Topic: What do law schools look for in a letter of recommendation?
June 16, 2019 / By Bee Question:
I have a lot of professional experience and potential, but I hear that there is a set of certain things that law schools look for when they read letters of recommendation. Do they prefer past employers? Co-workers that you've had for many years? How much do letters of recommendation play into the choosing of a law school candidate?
Admiranda | 2 days ago
If you're still in college or recently out of college, then a lot of law schools would like to see at least one academic letter of recommendation. If you graduated 3-5+ years ago and don't have contact with any of your professors anymore, then you can send in all professional letters of recommendation. Law schools wouldn't expect you to keep in contact with your professors that long.
Regarding professional LORs, you should choose someone of authority (boss, supervisor, manager), not a coworker. Ideally, this person would know you very well and be able to offer very specific and complimentary examples of why you'd be a good law student. If you have any doubt as to whether a person can write you a positive letter of recommendation, then either don't request one from this person or ask directly, "Would you feel comfortable writing me a positive letter of recommendation?" I know many applicants who only have professional LORs and this did not seem to hurt them at all in terms of admissions. Their cycles played out just as their numbers indicated they would.
Obviously, a negative LOR is bad, but a lukewarm one isn't great, either. Most people go to professors they hardly know. The professor will write something, "Mary was an excellent student in my class. She turned in all her assignments on time and participated constructively in class. She's very intelligent and hardworking. She received an A in both of my classes. I recommend Mary for law school." LORs like this are so boring. Remember that 95% of LORs are "positive," so it's not enough that they be positive. The LOR above shows that the professor hardly knows Mary and is just regurgitating her report card and what little he gathered about her from class sessions and maybe a handful of meetings during office hours. Most students never get to know their professors well enough to get an outstanding and highly specific LOR. Writing a senior thesis or taking a seminar-style course can get you more intimately acquainted with a professor, though. This is all moot if you've already graduated.
Sometimes recommenders have trouble coming up with specifics, so feel free to provide them a list of your job duties/accomplishments, as well as your skills and abilities.
LORs aren't going to turn a reject into an acceptance, but if the law school is on the fence about you, they can make a difference. Admissions committees to read through them and can rely heavily on LORs and personal statements when there's doubt about the maturity or ability of the student.
The best letters will be full of specifics from someone who knows you very well. College professors are the best if you are a recent graduate. Otherwise your boss would be a good choice. I doubt law schools would take a coworker's recommendation all that seriously. They'll want to know about your contributions and your ethics.
I personally wouldn't worry about rec letters unless you get a bad (or lukewarm) one. GPA and LSAT matter most of all, and a lot of schools will only look at the letters seriously if you're borderline. This is when having specific details from someone who really knows you helps a lot, but even a more generic letter won't be harmful.
Richard Montauk covers some great examples in his book "How to Get Into the Top Law Schools." It's a (sometimes brutally) honest but 100% accurate look at law school admissions. His advice is dead on even if you're not aiming T20.
she actually sucks as a supervisor... I fairly have yet to fulfill a supervisor that has outright denied a letter of advice. is there every physique else you are able to ask to place in writing you the letter? like according to hazard a supervisor you had previously her (i spotted you mentioned you have labored for the enterprise for 2 years yet in basic terms labored for her for in basic terms certainly one of the two) or maybe going to the chief above her (if there is one) with the intention to get this resolved.