Letters of Recommendation and Evaluations

What is the difference between a letter of recommendation and an evaluation?

A letter of recommendation is a signed letter mailed to LSAC by your recommender. An evaluation is a questionnaire completed online by the evaluator to rate applicants on noncognitive attributes and skills related to success in law school and the legal profession. (information found at lsac.org)

Who Should I Choose to write Letters of Recommendation/Evaluations and Why?

It is very important to choose recommendation/evaluation writers carefully. Along with your personal statement, your letters of recommendation/evaluations are the items in your application that say the most about who you are and what you will contribute to your law school.

Faculty

  • They can put your transcript into context (e.g., explain what a "B" in their class means),
  • Highlight your strengths (e.g., writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills),
  • Emphasize your personal qualities (e.g., persistence, empathy, etc.)

Supervisors

  • They can emphasize your personal qualities
  • Confirm your achievements
  • Confirm your commitment of time and energy
  • Highlight other successes relevant to success in law school.

Who should not write your letters/evaluations?

  • High school teachers - High school teachers should not write letters of recommendation unless you have done recent work with them.
  • 'Influential' people - Be careful of selecting influential people, especially judges or politicians unless they know you (not your parents or family) personally.
  • It will not be beneficial to have any individual write a letter of recommendation if they are unable to express anything unique or profound that is not evident in your application packet.

How to request letters of recommendation/evaluations

Masked Rider
  • Think about the relevance of your experience with the writer, not his/her status.
  • Select the appropriate number of people to ask.
  • Notify your letter writers 3-5 weeks in advance of the time the letters should be sent.
  • Make an appointment to talk with the prospective writer. Bring the following to the meeting:
    • A copy of your law school resume
    • Good examples of past papers / writing samples for the writer
    • A copy of your personal statement
    • Depending on how you want the LOR submitted you could bring either of the following with you to the meeting:
      • Stamped envelopes to:
        • Law School Admission Council
          662 Penn Street
          Box 8508
          Newtown, PA 18940-8508
        • A Letter of Recommendation Form from your LSAC account
      • A copy of the email address from which the electronic request to submit the LOR will be sent (lsacinfo@lsac.org) to ensure that the request is not sent to junk mail.
    • A time-line for when the letter should be mailed
    • If your recommender hasn't written a LOR before, this document might help guide them
  • Follow up with a thank you note 1-2 weeks later

For more information on Letters of Recommendation and Evaluations, please visit www.lsac.org

A Guide for Writing Law School Recommendations