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Letter of Recommendation

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How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Law School Admissions

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 expression?
  • 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?


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