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LOR from my brother in law??

I have a very odd question to ask! I'm about to start the application process for law school, and am getting ready to ask for letters of recommendation from people. One of the best sources I could ask for a LOR from would be my new brother in law. He's a practicing attorney that I have worked for over 5 years for as a paralegal (I've dated his brother for 7 years until we recently married). I'm concerned that the unusual, mildly nepotistic structure of the situation would be frowned upon by admissions advisers (especially considering the last names will be practically the same, as I've hyphenated).

So what does everyone think? Should I find someone else? Would you think it would negatively impact my chances or am I overthinking it?


    22 karma

    While a letter from an in-law would normally seem "nepotistic", a letter from a boss who knows your work is perfectly acceptable. Assuming your brother-in-law is the only person who can speak to your professional competence, meaning you haven't worked with anyone else in a similar position, I don't see a problem with it. It would help, in my opinion, for him to make it very clear that he is writing this letter due to your professional relationship.

    For example, he could start the letter off with something like the following:

    "I've known Heather in a professional capacity for five years. Over the past five years, Heather worked as my sole paralegal in my office and I personally witnessed her professional growth. Therefore, I believe I'm well qualified to shed light on her professional career."

    You get the idea. If he makes your professional career explicitly clear, I see no problem.

  • Mario RoboMario Robo Alum Member
    266 karma

    I agree with the above comment, but I would strongly suggest that you look for other people who can also write strong LOR's for you, maybe from school or other people from work. I also think it might depend on who's looking at it and that if you have other things going for you, it probably won't be a negative.

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