1. Choose the right recommenders
2. Provide necessary information and materials
3. Personalize your request email or letter
4. Follow up on your request
5. Express gratitude and keep your recommenders informed
Identify the right recommenders
One of the most critical components of any law school application is a letter of recommendation. It is the way that your chosen professional colleagues, educators, bosses, or others present your abilities, skills, and potential to the law school administration. Therefore, it is crucial that you identify the right recommenders who can articulate your strengths, abilities, and character in the best possible way.
To identify the right recommenders, you should consider looking for people who know your professional and academic abilities well. These people could include former professors, employers, and club or organization advisors. It is vital that you choose someone who has interacted with you in a professional capacity and can offer detailed and specific information about your work performance or academic achievements.
You should also consider your recommenders’ positions and roles within their field and the law profession. A letter from someone with a prestigious position in their field or the legal profession carries greater weight than a letter from someone less experienced or unknown. While you can have a letter of recommendation from someone who is not in the legal profession, it’s still recommended to choose someone who is familiar with the legal profession and can speak to your potential in that area.
Furthermore, it’s essential to choose someone who can write well and who has a good command of the English language. A letter that contains typos or grammatical errors is not a good reflection of your potential or your recommender’s professionalism.
Finally, choose someone who you are confident will write a strong letter of recommendation. It’s okay to ask potential recommenders if they feel comfortable writing a strong letter on your behalf. If they do not feel confident, it’s better to choose a different person than to have a weak recommendation that may harm your application’s chances.
In conclusion, identifying the right recommenders is critical to your law school application’s success. Choose someone who knows you professionally and academically, understands the legal profession, has good writing skills, and can provide a compelling letter of recommendation. By taking the time to identify the right recommenders, you will show the law school administration that you are serious about your studies and potential career in law.
Provide necessary details and materials
When asking for a letter of recommendation for law school, it’s essential to provide the necessary details and materials to ensure the letter is complete and accurate. Here are some of the details and materials that you should provide to the person you’re asking:
- Resume: Your resume should include your academic and work experience, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and any other relevant information that the letter writer may need to know about you.
- Personal statement: Your personal statement should tell your story and explain why you want to go to law school. This will give the letter writer a better understanding of who you are and what motivates you.
- Transcript: Your transcript should include all your grades from your undergraduate studies, as well as any graduate courses if you’ve taken them.
In addition to these materials, you should also provide the following details:
- Deadline: Be clear about when you need the letter of recommendation. Give the person you’re asking plenty of time to write the letter, but make sure they know the deadline so they can plan accordingly.
- Format: Let the person know the format of the letter, whether it needs to be sent electronically or in hard copy. Provide any necessary instructions, including the name and address of the law school.
- Guidelines: Provide any guidelines or requirements for the letter of recommendation, including the number of pages, the content, and any specific questions that need to be addressed.
- Reminder: Follow up with the person a week or so before the deadline to ensure that they have everything they need and to remind them of the deadline.
By providing all the necessary details and materials, you’ll increase the likelihood of receiving a strong letter of recommendation that accurately reflects your skills, experience, and potential to succeed in law school.
Make a Formal Request
Asking for a law school letter of recommendation is a crucial step in your application process. You need to choose the right people who can vouch for your skills, knowledge, and abilities. Whether you’re applying for a Juris Doctor (JD) program, a Master of Laws (LLM) degree, or a PhD in Law, the recommendation letters play a significant role in determining your chances of success. Here are some tips on how to make a formal request:
1. Choose the Right Recommenders
Before you decide to send an email or make a phone call, you need to select the right people who can provide quality feedback about your academic and professional achievements. Ask yourself: Who knows me well and can provide detailed examples of my skills and achievements? Who can write a compelling letter that stands out from other applicants? Ideally, you should choose professors, supervisors, mentors, or colleagues who have direct experience working with you and can speak to your strengths and weaknesses, personal qualities, and potential for success.
2. Provide the Recommenders with Adequate Information
Once you’ve chosen your recommenders, you should inform them about your application plans and provide them with all the necessary information about the law school programs you’re applying to and the deadlines for submission. This will give them enough time to gather their thoughts, write a personalized letter, and submit it on time. You may also want to send them your transcripts, resumes, personal statements, and any other supporting documents that can help them write a more comprehensive letter on your behalf.
3. Draft a Polite and Professional Email or Letter
When it comes to asking for recommendation letters, it’s essential to be respectful, polite, and professional. You should start by addressing your potential recommenders with a formal salutation, such as “Dear Professor Smith” or “Dear Ms. Rodriguez.” Then, introduce yourself and explain your reasons for requesting a letter of recommendation. Be clear and concise, and avoid vague or generic statements that can make your request seem insincere or automated. Provide specific details about your relationship with the recommender and the law school programs you’re applying to.
Here’s an example of how you can draft an email requesting a law school letter of recommendation:
Dear Professor Garcia,
I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to you because I am in the process of applying to several law school programs for the upcoming academic year, and I would be honored if you could write a letter of recommendation for me.
You may recall that I took your constitutional law class last semester, and I was impressed by your teaching style, expertise, and commitment to excellence. Your insights and feedback have been invaluable to me, and I believe that your letter of recommendation could help me stand out as a competitive applicant.
As for the law school programs, I am applying to several JD and LLM programs in the top-ranked universities in the US, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. I have attached my resume, transcripts, personal statement, and any other relevant documents that may assist you in writing the recommendation letter.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the process, or if you need any further information from me. I understand that you have a busy schedule, and I am grateful for any time and effort you could dedicate to this matter.
Thank you for your consideration and guidance. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Remember, your email or letter should be concise, professional, and grateful. Don’t forget to thank your recommender for their time and support, and follow up with them after the submission deadline to express your appreciation and share your results.
Follow up politely
Asking for letters of recommendation can be intimidating, but it’s an essential part of the law school application process. Once you’ve identified potential recommenders, it’s important to follow up with them in a polite and professional manner to ensure they submit their letters in a timely manner. Here are some tips on how to follow up politely with your recommenders:
- Send a thank you email: Once your recommender has agreed to write a letter for you, be sure to send them a thank you email to express your appreciation for their support. This will also serve as a gentle reminder that you’re counting on them for the letter.
- Provide a deadline: Make sure to provide your recommenders with a specific due date at least a month before the law school’s deadline. Be sure to remind them of this deadline in your follow-up emails. If necessary, offer to provide them with any additional information or materials that they might need to write a strong letter.
- Be patient: It’s important to remember that your recommenders are likely busy professionals with many other commitments. Give them plenty of time to complete the letter and be understanding if they need to delay submission.
- Follow up in a timely and polite manner: About two weeks before the deadline, send a polite email to your recommender to remind them of the upcoming due date and ask if they need any additional information or support. If you still haven’t heard from them a week before the deadline, send a polite follow-up email to check in and reiterate the importance of the letter to your application. This is where you can gently nudge them without coming across as rude.
- Express gratitude: After your recommender has submitted the letter, be sure to send them a thank you note expressing your appreciation for their time and support. This will help strengthen your relationship with them and potentially lead to future networking opportunities.
Following these tips will not only help ensure that your recommenders submit strong letters of recommendation on time, but it will also help you build stronger relationships with these individuals. Keep in mind that your communication with your recommenders should always be polite, professional, and appreciative.
Express Gratitude and Keep in Touch
After obtaining a glowing recommendation letter from your law school professor, it is important to show your appreciation by sending a thank-you note or email. This gesture shows that you don’t take their time and effort for granted and that you value the relationship you have with them. It also leaves a lasting impression and may encourage the professor to write more letters for you or help you in the future networking.
When it comes to writing the note, keep it concise and straightforward. Begin by thanking the professor for taking the time to write the letter and for their thoughtfulness and support. Mention specific aspects of the letter that touched you or stand out for you. Was there anything written you did not know about yourself? Was there anything that you find beneficial for future employment? Tell the professor how much their recommendation meant to you and how much you appreciate their guidance and mentorship in law school. Finally, indicate that you would value their continued acquaintance and let them know that you plan to stay in touch, How you are inspired to follow their footsteps.
Furthermore, follow up on your conversations with the professor and let them know how your applications have progressed or your future job situation. You can also give them an update on your post-graduation plans and achievements. By keeping in touch, you refresh the relationship you have built, make it easier for them to remember you and possibly offer you help in the future.
Keeping up with your professors at law school can open doors for you later on in life. Professors can be valuable advisors, mentors, or connectors that bridge you to people or organizations that can elevate your career. Law school professors are well connected in the legal industry, and you never know when a connection they have may be useful to you. If there’s a particular area of law that you’re interested in pursuing, reach out to professors you have close ties with for advice and guidance. They may be able to connect you with law clerks, interns, or lawyers who currently work in that field to provide even further career advice.
Remember that you never want the relationship with your law school professors to feel like a one-way street. Find ways in which you give back, perhaps by volunteering as a teaching assistant for their class, offering to help with research or any upcoming projects. Small things like these are excellent ways of showing your appreciation and that you’re willing to give back to the community that has nurtured your career growth.