Five Tips for Letters of Recommendation For Law School
- Start Early
- Ask People Who Know You
- Ask People From Different Aspects Of Your Life
- Prepare For Asking
- Professors Come First
When it comes to applying to law school, there are many important factors that go into a final decision. Your LSAT scores are important, as well as your GPA and personal recommendations from people that you know. Acquiring various letter of recommendation can be a big benefit when you are applying. You might think this is just a matter of having a couple of professors or bosses say some nice things about you, but making sure you take the time to obtain these letters and utilize them properly will make a big difference. Let's take a look at some of the things you should know about letters of recommendation for law school.
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1. Start Early
You never want to wait until the last minute to ask for letters of recommendation. It isn't a good idea to ask a week before you need to submit the letters. This doesn't give the person writing the letter enough time to organize their thoughts and write a great letter. It also doesn't give a good impression of you to the people who are writing the letters. The earlier you start asking, the more time people will have and you won't be stressing out when you get close to your deadline and need the letters in hand to apply.
2. Ask People Who Know You
When you think about who you want to write a letter for you, make sure that the people who you are asking know you pretty well. You might feel comfortable asking one of your professors to write you a letter of recommendation, but if you never interacted with them on a one on one basis, this might not work out great for you. Make sure the people you ask have known you for a good length of time and that they know you well so they can include a number of your great qualities.
3. Ask People From Different Aspects Of Your Life
You want the law school to which you are applying to see a number of different sides of you. You want to look like you are a successful student but you also want it to stand out that you do other great things in your life as well. You will want to ask a variety of people for a letter so that your school of choice will learn about you from an educational standpoint, work standpoint, etc.
4. Prepare For Asking
Before you approach someone about writing a letter, you will want to make sure you have a number of things on hand. Take a copy of your resume with you that you can leave with them. You should have all of your important contact information on here and the correct spelling of company names, schools, etc. This will be a point of reference for the person writing. If a professor is going to be writing the letter, you can bring along a copy of some of the work that you did for them as a reminder of the great work you have done.
5. Professors Come First
When it comes to applying to law school, the most appreciated and swaying letters come from professors that know you well. Of course, letters are beneficial from places like work but stick to professors as often as you can.
If you are going to be applying to law school in the next year or so, start thinking about who you want to ask for letters that they can write recommending you for a certain school's program. Each school is very different so it might be a good idea to inform people of where you will be applying. Have your law school recommendation letters ready to go long before they are due.
For more information about law schools with great career prospects, see this Forbes article.