Letters of Recommendation

Law schools require letters of recommendation, usually two, and most will not mind receiving a third. (A fourth letter is not usually welcome as admissions committees are reading thousands of applicant files.) If you are applying to law school even three or four years after Princeton, law schools will want at least one, if not two, academic letters of recommendation. The other letter(s) can be from an employer.

Choosing Your Writers

In selecting someone to write a letter on your behalf, you want to choose someone who will be able to speak positively of your academic skills, abilities and if relevant, your employment performance. They should be willing to do so in detail. If you are a recent graduate, the recommender might also address your character, motivation, maturity and the difficulty of your courses as well as the importance and the time-consuming nature of your extracurricular activities.

Help them help you.

Once a person has agreed to write a letter on your behalf, it is a good idea to ask if it would be helpful if you provide some information, e.g., a resume or a few paragraphs on why you are pursuing law school. At least one letter should be from a faculty member in your department. The additional letter(s) may be from a preceptor or faculty member from another department or employer. Lawyers, law school alumni and the like are generally only useful if they are well known to the school (major donors?) or if they are especially distinguished or accomplished in some way and know you well enough to write a meaningful recommendation.

Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

Once you have set up your CAS account at LSAC you can have your letters sent directly to LSAC. Letters sent directly to the LSAC must be accompanied by the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Form. Provide this Form (go to the LOR section of your CAS account to print the Form) and, as a courtesy, give an addressed/stamped envelope to your letter writer(s). Your letters must be sent to LSAC for inclusion in your report. If you have letters stored in a file at Career Services these letters must be sent to LSAC. In addition, since it sometimes takes a few months for a recommender to get around to writing your letter, give yourself plenty of lead time on your requests.

Confidentiality

While no school requires you to waive your right to review your own letters of recommendation, a number of admissions officers admit that they tend to view confidential letters as somewhat more candid, and therefore more useful. While it's not a major issue, any competitive advantage to your candidacy — like enhanced credibility of your recommendations due to their confidentiality — is probably worth it.

Dean's Forms

Also known as the "College Questionnaire," these forms are not completed by a dean, but by the PreLaw Advisor. The sole issue addressed on this form is your disciplinary action and academic probation record. If your record is clear, that is noted on the form and the form is returned with no other comments. Please be sure to provide stamped and addressed envelopes when you send these forms to Lyon Zabsky, PreLaw Advisor.