“Regardless of what stage of the [law school] application process you are at, if you haven’t started to think about who you will want to write your letters of recommendation – you’re late.”
There is an abundance of fantastic guidance on getting great letters of recommendation for the law school application process. Anna Ivey, the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School, has given specific instruction on how to avoid the “generic” letters that most frequently reach the admissions committees. You can find some of her smart and practical advice here, and also on her website found here.
But in thinking of putting together a quick list to serve as a reminder for the strategies to get letters of recommendation that mean something and stand out, the article that I’ve stolen the title from for this very post stood out above the rest. Sometimes when things are written in the positive it is too easy to believe that some watered-down version of what we are doing is actually meeting a bare minimum. But this article smacks you across the face for doing five, likely very common, things. It is written towards pre-med students, and if there weren’t more effective uses of time I would cut and paste and replace all those with pre-law, because it is so relevant. Check out this article (linked above), and be certain that you aren’t ruining your chances of securing what should be your first priority after LSAT and GPA in the admissions scheme.
5 Easy Ways Students Ruin Their Chances at Great Letters of Recommendation:
1. CHOOSE THE WRONG PEOPLE TO WRITE YOUR LETTERS
2. PERFORM POORLY IN CLASS OR AT WORK
3. TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING BUT WANTING TO BECOME A [LAWYER]
4. ALLOW FOR ONLY A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO WRITE YOUR LETTERS
5. HOLD BACK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF
Wherever you are on your timeline for applying to law school, be certain you are not falling into these common traps that will ruin your chance of securing a strong letter of recommendation.