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Letter of Recommendation Help

I asked my employer to write a letter of recommendation for but they asked what I want them to include in the letter. Aside from a resume/why I want to go to law school cover letter, is there anything in specific people usually want their recommenders to write about?


  • Steven_B-1Steven_B-1 Member
    755 karma

    What I’ve heard consistently is that the more your recommenders write about how you excel at your job the better. So personally, I’ve asked my employers to include very specific things that I’ve done at work like leading on cases, doing extensive research and then drafting briefs. Instead of just then saying oh he’s a great person, Hard-working, reliable, etc., I think the point is for the letters to really show what you’re capable of.

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1992 karma

    Hi @whyislsatsohard . Former admissions officer here. Letters of recommendation are a very important part of the application because they show the admissions committee (1) what sort of impact you had on someone in your life, (2) your judgment in selecting a particular recommender, and (3) your potential for success in law school. You want to present a LOR that is STRONG, POSITIVE, and SPECIFIC.

    Here are some things the committee might want to read about:

    -does she work well with others, can she cooperate and compromise?
    -does she work well under pressure?
    -is she ambitious and purpose driven?
    -is she capable of thorough and deep analysis?
    -does she take pride in her work product?
    -how does she compare to other employees the recommender has worked with?

    When you speak with your employer,

    -remind them of the nature and quality of your work
    -remind them of 2-3 particular successes in your work
    -tell them why you want to go to law school
    -tell them about your short term and long term goals as of this point

    Good luck!

  • studyalldaystudyallday Alum Member
    5 karma

    Hi @"Selene Steelman" if I've been working for three years, any recommendations on reaching back out to undergrad professors for LORs and thoughts on ratio of employer/professor LORs as someone a few years out of college?

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1992 karma

    Hi @studyallday . Since applying to law school means you are ultimately applying to an academic program, it would be good to have at least one academic LOR, especially since 3 years is not THAT far removed from the classroom. If it is possible to get 2 solid academic LORs, I would recommend a 2 (academic) + 1 (professional) balance. However, if you can't secure a strong, positive, and specific second academic LOR, a 1 (academic) + 2 (professional) balance is okay too. While a lukewarm LOR won't likely result in a denial decision, it won't necessarily help your application as much as a really enthusiastic and specific one. I encourage you to make sure that you have a good discussion with all recommenders so they know your narrative and motivations for going to law school. Good luck!

  • matt.hip595matt.hip595 Monthly Member
    62 karma

    I had a similar problem. I work in IT so naturally we're not the most articulate. My boss was more than happy to write the letter until he tried writing it. I gave him resources and documentation, mainly websites that have LOR templates and told him to use that. He ended up using a template and using the structure to write the LOR and it came out well. The other LORs were from my professors because I'm 31 years old and just graduated with a bachelors degree so it was easy to communicate with them, although some schools will have you fill out an LOR request form so take some time to reach out to your professors and go through the proper channels (like a lawyer :-))

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