Letters of recommendation are an important part of students' law school applications. The law school admissions process is very competitive. Particularly for students whose GPAs and LSAT scores do not make them an automatic shoo-in or an easy rejection at a given school, they are an important factor in the admissions process.
Include specific information about the student
- You should indicate how long and in what capacity you have known the student.
- If you have former students who went on to law schools, particularly very good law schools, you might comment on how the current student compares to these former students.
- Commenting generally on how the student compares to his or her peers will also be helpful, i.e. "Sarah is among the top 10% of students I have taught in my 10 years at William & Mary" (or the equivalent).
- If the student has not provided you with a copy of his or her resume or a list of extracurricular activities, ask him or her to do so.
- Comment on these activities in your letter, if you can. It will help to personalize your letter and provide the reader more substantive insight into the candidate.
- This type of information might also allow you to comment on the student's character; which can be very helpful to the admissions committee.
- Comment on the student's logical reasoning, analytical abilities, writing skills and oral communication skills.
When students ask for a letter of recommendation, the vast majority will provide you with an electronic link to upload your letter directly into their Credentials Assembly Service (CAS) file. There is still an option for students to print out a hard copy recommendation form that you can then mail in with a hard copy letter, but nearly all students now use the electronic method.
- If you receive an electronic link, use it to send your letter (using letterhead stationary if at all possible) directly to CAS.
- If a student gives you a hard copy form, include that form with your letter and mail the materials directly to the Law School Admission Council address.
CAS will process the letter and you'll get an email notifying you that they have received it. The student can then direct CAS to send the letter to the law schools to which they are applying.