Most Deans of Admissions read each recommendation with three questions in mind:
- How well does the writer know the applicant and the applicant’s academic record?
- What does the writer have to say about the applicant’s abilities and characteristics which are important for success in law school and the profession?
- In the final analysis, how enthusiastic is the writer’s support for the candidate’s admission to this particular law school?
As a result, it is important for students to obtain letters of recommendation from professors who are well-equipped to write about your academic record, critical thinking and analytical skills, and motivation for attending law school. When asking faculty members to write you a strong letter of recommendation, consider the following: which faculty members are most familiar with your writing and critical thinking abilities? Which are most likely to be able to write a tailored letter on your behalf? Which classes did you perform successfully on written assignments, research papers or other projects that will best reflect your ability to succeed in law school?
You should plan to request letters of recommendation from faculty members in early December of your senior year (or at least one month prior to the recommendation letter deadline). It is helpful to meet with them in person to discuss your motivation for attending law school and also to provide them with a resume and a copy or rough draft of your personal statement. This will help them to best tailor the recommendation letter to your strengths.
You can arrange for your letters of recommendation to be submitted through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) web site. By registering with the LSAC, you can indicate the names and contact information of your recommenders, indicate which law schools should receive a letter of recommendation, and submit your requests for letters from your recommenders, to whom emails will be sent for the faculty members to easily submit their letters.
It is polite etiquette to send those who have written letters of recommendation on your behalf a note to say “thank you” and also to keep them apprised of your admittance and decision for attending law school.