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Who to address in the general recommendation letter

CrushLSATCrushLSAT Legacy Member
edited December 2016 in Law School Admissions 150 karma
Hope everyone had a great Christmas weekend!

Quick question to those of you who had a chance to submit a general letter of recommendation to LSAC. I'm about to send an instruction to my recommenders on how to submit their letters etc and was wondering who they will need to address in the letter head. For example, should the address of the person / committee receiving this general letter should be that of LSAC as opposed to specific school?

Also, do you have any thoughts on not putting the date when the letter was written by the recommender? Given that these letters can stay on my record for the next 5 years and since I may be applying again after this admission cycle, I was wondering maybe I should ask the recommenders to omit the date in their letters... Really appreciate any thoughts you guys have on these questions and hope everyone has a great rest of the week :)

Comments

  • 322 karma
    I don't think it really matters that letter writers make their address specific in their letters UNLESS you ask them to write a specific letter of recommendation to a school. In which case you can go to the school website or email someone in the admissions department to ask who it should be made out to. Otherwise, my understanding is that letter writers are usually pretty good at knowing how to address letters or can just make it out to general "Admissions/Who It May Concern" type of thing.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    If your professor doesn't know the proper format, here is a great guide!

    https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/982/01/
  • CrushLSATCrushLSAT Legacy Member
    150 karma
    @lawschoolstuff16 Thanks for your feedback! My professors have no issues with how to format etc but this question I posted is specifically for my boss who has less experience writing these types of letters... If this is a general letter and not catered to a specific school, would omitting the address and just addressing the person as "To whom it may concern" should suffice right?
  • CrushLSATCrushLSAT Legacy Member
    150 karma
    Thanks @"Alex Divine"! I will take a look at this website and share it with my boss :)
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    edited December 2016 2086 karma
    Most of mine have written a few law school recommendations, so, they knew what to do. For the others, I asked that they address it to "admission committee."
  • 322 karma
    @MrSamIam said:
    For the others, I asked that they address it to "admission committee."
    Yeah this is what I did as well.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @CrushLSAT said:
    Thanks @"Alex Divine"! I will take a look at this website and share it with my boss :)
    Yeah, I figured most profs must have some experience writing them, but often out bosses might not.

    Good luck :)
  • MaritzaaMaritzaa Alum Member
    368 karma
    Is anyone willing to share their instructions outline? It would be helpful to have a guide as I prepare mine. :)

    Did any of you include a paragraph or two explaining why you want to go to LS? Or was that information explained when you were verbally requesting the letter (assuming you verbally requested)?

    Did you include any other information?

    I'm requesting from my employer. I've heard you should include a copy of your transcript. I'm 28... been out of school for 7 years. Not sure if it's necessary to provide.

    Any info you could share would be great! Thanks!

    @lawschoolstuff16 @"Alex Divine" @CrushLSAT @MrSamIam

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @Mitzyyyy said:
    Is anyone willing to share their instructions outline? It would be helpful to have a guide as I prepare mine. :)

    Did any of you include a paragraph or two explaining why you want to go to LS? Or was that information explained when you were verbally requesting the letter (assuming you verbally requested)?

    Did you include any other information?

    I'm requesting from my employer. I've heard you should include a copy of your transcript. I'm 28... been out of school for 7 years. Not sure if it's necessary to provide.

    Any info you could share would be great! Thanks
    I asked my professors before I graduated, and the two I propositioned for letters were Profs who I had researched with and who knew me very well. They had kind of known all of the reasons I wanted to go to law school, so when I asked, they just wanted to know when I needed them by.

    I did, however, include my resume via email after I had already asked.

    If you can, try to verbally speak to the profs/employers you are asking. Being 7 years out of school, I would imagine you might have some trouble getting 2 LORs from profs. Unless of course you have kept in touch!
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    edited December 2016 2086 karma
    @Mitzyyyy All of my recommenders knew me well prior to me asking for a LOR. So, they all knew why I was applying to law school. Had they not, I would have provided them with a 1-paragraph explanation as to why I want to practice law, a list of characteristics that successful attorneys tend to possess (that way they could comment on whether or not I have them), and reminders of the work I did for them.
  • 322 karma
    @Mitzyyyy said:
    Is anyone willing to share their instructions outline? It would be helpful to have a guide as I prepare mine. :)

    Did any of you include a paragraph or two explaining why you want to go to LS? Or was that information explained when you were verbally requesting the letter (assuming you verbally requested)?
    I'll share what I did:

    I first started by doing research into what law schools are looking for in a candidate. Then, I finished all of my application materials with that information in mind. I wrote all of my essays, and then checked the gaps against the character assessments that schools wanted.

    I saw the weaknesses and made a list of them, and made a list of professors who had agreed to write letters for me. I knew that some professors, based on experiences I've had with them, could strengthen those weaknesses more than others. So, I wrote a general email. I said I was applying for law school for x reason. I wanted to pursue x career. (make sure this matches up with what youve written in your apps). I attached my essays to the email and included the list of schools that I was applying to. Then, I personalized the email according to what I wanted each letter writer to include in their letters. I said something different to each, but I gave it in the same format: "I'm trying to frame myself in a certain way to my schools and so I did my research. I'd like for schools to think i'm xyz, but abc are a weakness in my app. Remember during class/office hours/advising/etc when y happened? Maybe you could write about that to off-set that weakness in my application."

    For example, law schools want someone who is sociable and can get along with others, but if my resume showed all my work done alone and nothing really collaborative there, I'd ask one letter writer to make sure they share an anecdote about how friendly I am with classmates, etc. maybe even say I can lead a group well and leave the classroom with friends, despite the fact that I prioritize work.

    If my GPA was low but my resume was over crowded, I'd have a different letter writer talk about adjustment, or something like that.

    This took me months of research, writing, and careful planning but I definitely think it's an excellent strategy to follow, and I don't mind sharing. Good luck!
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