The law school letter of recommendation is a formal document designed to validate a student’s application for a law program or law school. The law school letter of recommendations also provides additional positive details about the student’s performance, qualities, and personality.
A law school letter of recommendation should be written by an individual that knows the student, therefore, is aware of his or her strengths and skills. The writer should also provide positive feedback on the student’s academic evaluation in upper-division classes. A recommender may also have evaluated the student’s job or internship. This ensures that the writer has personally observed the qualities and experiences that he/she writes about therefore ensuring that his/her recommendation is valid.
The following individuals are therefore suitably positioned to write a law school letter of recommendation:
- Faculty members
- Professors and GSIs
- Teacher’s assistant
- Employer/work supervisor who has directly interacted with the student can personally vouch for the student’s potential as a good law student.
There are, however, individuals or writers that may detrimentally affect a student’s chances, and hence it is recommended that they steer away from writing a law school letter of recommendation. They include:
- Political figures
- Any professional outside the university setting
How to Write
A law school letter of recommendation is written to increase a student’s chances of being accepted to a law school or program; therefore, the recommender should have all the necessary information to enable him to draft a compelling letter. The recommender should ensure the following during the writing process:
Section 1: Collect information from the student
A recommender should start by assembling information about the student and the opportunity he/she is applying for. This will help the recommender better understand the student as a person and professional. The student should therefore provide the recommender with the following information:
The student should provide the recommender with his/her cover letter, which contains information on how the writer can contact the student in case they need to reach out arises, what the student would like emphasized in the law school letter of recommendation, a list of schools the student is applying and the earliest dates their application information is required, any other relevant information and a note to the writer of the recommendation emphasizing on the importance of the recommendation for the student’s professional future/career.
The recommender should also request recommendation forms from the student to enable him/her to complete the student’s application information promptly and provide his/her name, title, and contact information (phone number, email, etc.). This also ensures that the writer uses his/her official letter of recommendation forms found on the LSAC website, especially if the student is using CAS.
The student should provide the recommender with an informal transcript. The transcript contains courses, tutorials, or extracurricular activities in which the recommender and the student worked together. This provides the recommender with an overview of the student’s academic performance, which he/she can then include in the law school letter of recommendation.
The recommender should also request a personal statement from the student. This helps the recommender combine his/her knowledge of a student’s academic background with personal information, including the student’s goals and ambitions about getting admission to the law program/school.
Copy of the student’s best work
A copy of the student’s best work as assessed and estimated by the recommender should be provided. This can include lab evaluations, projects, and publications. This increases the credibility of the law school letter of recommendation because the recommender can demonstrate that he/she has interacted with the student in an academic capacity.
The recommender should request and obtain a copy of the student’s resume/CV. This enables the recommender to ensure that the student’s resume/CV and the law school letter of recommendation complement each other. It also ensures that the recommender does not seem to be repeating what is contained in the resume/CV, which can annoy the recipient.
Section 2: Write the Letter
A well-drafted and formatted law school letter of recommendation should eloquently convey information and facts. Therefore, the recommender must undertake the writing process in a well-thought-out manner. He/she should ensure that the law school letter of recommendation contains the following:
The letterhead of a law school letter of recommendation should be written depending on whether the recommender is sending an email or a hard copy. However, regardless of the method used to send the law school letter of recommendation, the following information should be provided:
The name of the recommender must be provided on the letterhead of the law school letter recommendation. This ensures that the recipient knows who wrote the recommendation on behalf of the student. Suppose the recommender is writing an email, then he/she should ensure that the subject line reads ‘Recommendation -First Name and Last Name. This ensures that the letter is not received as spam mail.
The recommender should provide his or her contact information to ensure that the recipient can contact him/her when the need arises. However, if the recommender is writing an email, he/she should ensure the contact information follows the closing or signature. This is because it is easy to lose the attention of the recipient/reader with an email; as such, it is best to get straight to the point at the beginning of the law school letter of recommendation.
A hard copy of the law school letter of recommendation should contain a date. This informs the recipient/reader of when the letter was written. The date also helps the reader discern if the letter was written past the submission date; therefore, he/she can decide if it should be disregarded on that account.
The letterhead of the law school letter of recommendation should also contain the recipient’s details. This should include the recipient’s name, his/her office or department, and address information. However, if the recommender is sending an email, then the recipient’s details are not required as the law school letter of recommendation will be sent directly to him/her.
The recommender should use a salutation that addresses the recipient directly.
‘Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name.’
Suppose the recommender has not been informed of the recipient’s name by the student or from his /her research, then the recommender can address the letter to the academic department with a general salutation written as ‘To Whom It May Concern.’
Section 3: Introduction
A strong introduction should be written in the law school letter of recommendation to enable the recommender to catch the reader’s attention. Therefore, the recommender should ensure that the introduction of the law school letter of recommendation contains the following:
The recommender should start the recommendation letter by introducing himself /herself to the reader. This ensures the reader is familiarized with the writer of the law school letter of recommendation.
Describe your relationship with the student
The recommender should also describe the type of relationship he/she has with the student and the duration. This enables the writer to show how he/she relates to the student, demonstrating why he/she is the best person to write the law school letter of recommendation.
Briefly state the qualifications of the student
The law school letter of recommendation introduction should also contain a brief mention of the student’s qualifications, including training and seminars that the student has attended. This brief mention in the introductory paragraph can render the reader curious about what more the student has to offer; hence he/she will be hooked into reading the rest of the recommendation letter.
Section 4: Body
The body of the law school letter of recommendation should further detail the student’s qualifications, skills, and achievements. It is therefore important that the recommenders provide the following information:
State your reasons for the recommendation
The recommender should start the body by explaining why he/she believes the student should be considered for the law school or program. This is the writer’s chance to demonstrate how the student stands out from other students who may also be interested in getting admission into the law school or other students with whom he/she has interacted.
Student’s skills and achievements
The recommender should also mention the student’s skills and achievements in the body of the letter. This shows that the student can handle the workload he/she is likely to get in the law school or program. Stating the student’s achievements also shows that the student is determined and driven to accomplished his /her goals.
The recommender should provide examples that show that the student possesses characteristics of a lawyer such as good judgment, knowledge of the law, creativity, willingness to listen, etc. This helps demonstrate that the student has qualities that deem him/her as a future lawyer.
Mention student’s effective communication ability in writing
A student aspiring to work in the legal field must possess good communication skills due to the legal arguments he/she will be required to make. The recommender must therefore mention the student’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing.
Highlight student’s leadership and public speaking skills
The recommender should also mention the student’s leadership and public speaking skills. This helps to call attention to specific valuable skills that the reader/recipient is likely to be interested in or looking for. It also helps the recommender indicate that the student is confident and headstrong.
Section 5: Conclusion
The conclusion of the law school letter of recommendation provides the recommender with the last chance to make a good impression of the student. Therefore, the recommender must include the following information:
Restate your admiration and support
The recommender should restate his/her admiration for the qualities processed by the student. However, the recommender should avoid being too positive. This can make the reader cynical of the information provided as he/she has likely dealt with students.
Summarize the statements made above
The recommender should provide a summary of the body of the law school letter of recommendation. This enables him/her to emphasize the qualities possessed by the student, reminding the reader once more that the student should be considered for the law school or program.
Provide contact information for follow-up
The recommender should provide his/her contact information in the conclusion of the law school letter of recommendation if it is an email. However, if it is a hard copy, it is standard practice to omit it as he/she is likely to have already provided it on the letterhead. In either case, the recommender must offer to answer any questions or clarify any information for the reader if the need arises.
Finally, the recommender should conclude the law school letter of recommendation with an appropriate word or phrase such as sincerely. This demonstrates attention to detail along with adherence to business etiquette.
Note: An individual writing a law school letter of recommendation should be aware that this letter is critical in determining whether the student will be accepted into the law school. Therefore, the recommender should be ready to provide a good commendation based on what he/she knows of the student. If the recommender feels that he/she cannot sufficiently provide a good recommendation, then he/she should turn down a request to write a law school letter of recommendation.
Law School Letter of Recommendation Samples
Following are some samples for your convenience:
234 Marker’s Lane
San Jones, Ca 90090
Email: [email protected] email.com
June 3, 2021
Andrew Bridges, Admissions Office
New York, Ny2446
Dear Mr. Bridges,
I want to recommend Sarah Parker for acceptance into your law program. I have known Sarah for one year. She has just completed a very competitive internship with us.
Sarah has displayed dedication, seriousness, and a willingness to learn, which is quite impressive even in her capacity. I have observed her display an incredible sense of responsibility with her work and with her studies. Sarah had displayed her leadership and public speaking skills in an exceptional instance when she helped me negotiate a merger between two pharmaceutical companies. She used her good communication skill to help the clients find an agreeable middle ground.
I strongly believe that Sarah will be an excellent addition to your program. The hard word commitment, dedication, experience, and skills will make her an excellent student. All this, coupled with your law program, will make her a successful attorney in the future.
You can contact me for further information.
President of Wellington law firm
Dear Admissions Committee,
I submit this recommendation letter in support of Johnson Tomley’s application for admission to your law school.
Mr. Tomley has completed an internship in our office in the past summer. He had the pleasure to work with experienced attorneys in our firm. During this period, Tomley was actively involved in the preparation and analysis of court case and evidence. Additionally, he embarked on a project; compiling and analyzing past won cases by our attorneys.
One thing I noted about this candidate is their passion for law. Unlike most interns, Mr. Tomley portrayed exceptional talent and curiosity. I believe enrolling in law school will be a golden opportunity for him to actualize his dreams.
In this respect, I wholeheartedly recommend Mr. Tomley for law school.
Brown Levi, Esq,
Cambridge Family law Attorneys
1245 Main St
Dallas, Texas 75056
October 1st, 2019
Washington State University
234 J Street
Washington DC, 9000
Dear admissions committees,
I write this letter to recommend Mr. Allan Florrick for law school. Mr. Florrick has been working with our law firm for around five years now. I have known him to be an intelligent and exceptional attorney.
Through his commitment to service, we have seen the number of clients increase. His efforts to win challenging cases can’t go unnoticed in our firm. He was the force behind the famous Washington post case that was much publicized late year.
Besides his exemplary performance, Mr. Florrick is a team play, an attribute that has made him a darling of many in our firm. He is very articulate on matters of law. His passion for these professions is impressive.
I’m sure after his program; he will be among the best attorneys in the state. In this respect, I highly recommend him for this law program.
If you have any concerns about the candidate, please let me know.
Law School Letter of Recommendation Template.
[City, state, Zip Code]
[Recipient’s Name, Department /Office]
[City, State, Zip Code]
I want to recommend[insert student’s name]for acceptance into your law program. I have known [Insert student’s name]for[period].[Insert student’s name] has completed a very competitive internship with us.
[Insert student’s name] has displayed dedication, seriousness, and a willingness to learn, which is quite impressive even in[ his/he] capacity. I have observed [him/her] display a sense of responsibility not only with [his/her ] work but also with [his/her] studies.[Insert student’s name ] displayed leadership and public speaking skills in an exceptional instance when [he/she][provide example].[He/she] also showed good communication skills.
I strongly believe that [insert student’s name] will be an excellent addition to your program. The hard word commitment, dedication, experience, and skills possessed make[him/her] an excellent student. All this, coupled with your law program, will make [him/her]a successful attorney in the future.
You can contact me for further information.
Tips to Follow
A law school letter of recommendation should effectively convince the reader to consider the student for the law school or program. However, these essential tips will help the recommender ensure that the law school letter of recommendation has the desired effect.
Ask for information before the time
The recommender should request the student to provide him/her with information before writing the law school letter of recommendation. This is especially important when the recommender does not recall the student. Asking for information ensures that the recommender can provide adequate and relevant information concerning the student.
Follow the deadline
The law school letter of recommendation should be sent and received on or before the application submission deadline date. This ensures that the recommender is not viewed as unprofessional, resulting in the recipient/reader disregarding the recommendation, lowering the student’s chances of admission to the law school.
Keep it positive
The law school letter of recommendation confirms a recommender’s belief in the student. Therefore, the information provided should be positive. This helps ensure that the information has a favorable impact on how the reader perceives the student.
The recommender of a law school letter of recommendation should avoid using clichés and generalized language, which makes it seem as though the student is unknown to him/her. This may lead to the admissions council believing that the recommender is not confident about the recommendation.
Focus on the attributes that matter to law schools
The recommender should focus on attributes that matter to the law school. The attributes can be identified by researching what the school is looking for or inquiring from the student. This helps to show that the student meets the criteria required by the law school. The most common skills sought for in law school students include:
- Writing skills
- Critical thinking
- Logical thinking skills
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The letter of recommendation plays an important role in enabling a recommender to strengthen a candidate’s application. A recommender can share an applicant’s academic, personal, and social skills with the institution or job the candidate is applying for.
A student should inform the recommender of the number of recommendation letters requested by the institution he/she is applying for. In most cases, a recommender may be required to write at least two to three recommendation letters. A recommender can provide an additional letter with new information not mentioned in the other letters to further support the application.
A recommender should enquire on whether or not the law school prefers a confidential recommendation letter. Confidential recommendation letters cannot be seen by the student or applicant. Most law schools prefer confidential recommendation letters to enable the recommender to provide an open and honest recommendation of the student.