How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Law School
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Law schools are primarily interested in recommendations that come
from professors who know the student and his/her academic work, as well
as from employers who can write about the factors noted below. They are
interested in summary estimates of the candidate's general promise as a
student of law. The more the evaluation reflects real knowledge of the
student and his/her performance, the more useful the letter is to the
law school's admissions committee and thus to the student. Indicate how
long you have known the applicant and in what capacity. It should
address the following questions:
- Personal effectiveness: Is the applicant the kind of person
you would choose to consult as a lawyer? Does the applicant enjoy the
trust and respect of professors and fellow students?
- Intellectual qualifications: What is your assessment of the
applicant's analytical skills and ability to grasp new ideas? Has the
applicant's academic record been affected by any special circumstances
such as work, social or academic background? What is the applicant's
ability to deal with complex or abstract matters?
- Ability to communicate: Is the applicant an effective
writer? Does the written work submitted demonstrate a mastery of the
conventions of English? Is the written expression clear,
well-organized and forceful? Is the applicant articulate in oral
- Industry and self-discipline: To what extent does the
applicant possess the traits of persistence, efficiency and
motivation? Is there any reason to doubt the applicant's commitment to
law study or the applicant's diligence as a student?
- Potential for the study of law: What is your prediction of
the applicant's probable performance in the study of law? Would the
applicant stand in the top quarter, near mid-class or simply make the
grade in a rigorous program? Do you have any special familiarity with
the process of legal education?
- Is there any other information about the applicant which you would
like to share with admissions committees?