Most law schools will require two (2) letters of recommendation. Occasionally, you will be asked for one, three, or even four letters of recommendation. The LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) will process up to four letters and LSAC will send as many letters as the school accepts. It is to your advantage to submit as many quality letters of recommendation as you can that attest to your capacity to succeed in law school and as a lawyer.
Most law schools are highly interested in your academic abilities. Professors are preferred recommenders because they are likely the most familiar with your academic work. Teaching assistants are an appropriate choice as well, as long as they know your quality of work. If all three recommenders are academically-focused, that’s great. The academic department the professor or TA are in does NOT matter for letters of recommendation- it is more important to select who know you well and who can speak in some detail about your academic prowess.
You might choose to have a supervisor or employer act as your second or third recommender – this is perfectly acceptable, especially for alumni that have worked prior to applying to law school.
After selecting your recommenders, provide them with the following items:
- Letter of recommendation guidelines: For professors For employers
- A packet of materials, including a resume, a copy of your transcript (if your grades are good), a draft of your personal statement, copies of written work submitted for the recommender’s class, and anything else that the recommender specifically requests. Share your reasons for wanting to become a lawyer, the schools you are interested in applying to, and the traits you would like them to focus on in their letter.
- A signed Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Waiver Form and a stamped, addressed envelope– if the recommender wants to send in a hard copy of the letter. Most recommenders will elect the electronic process through CAS. Contact your professor before putting their information into the LSAC website.
Approach your recommenders early—at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the date you’d like the recommendation mailed. Be very clear about the date you need the recommendation to be mailed, and make sure the recommender understands—and is committed to—your application timeline. Check in with your recommender every two weeks until the recommendation is received by CAS. If you find that a professor is not meeting the agreed-upon deadlines, find another recommender ASAP.
Related to letters…
Certain law schools ask for a letter from the Dean’s office regarding your standing as a student. Please email the Vice President of Student Affairs’ office with the following two documents attached in the same email: 1- A completed FERPA release form and 2-The law school’s form requesting the letter. Make sure the directions on how/where to send the letter are included. Please use the following for your subject line: Dean’s letter request for [insert your name]. The process to get the letter to the law school should take less than five business days.