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.
They can put your transcript into context (e.g., explain what a "B" in their class
Highlight your strengths (e.g., writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills),
Emphasize your personal qualities (e.g., persistence, empathy, etc.)
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
How to request letters of recommendation/evaluations
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
Make an appointment to talk with the prospective writer. Bring the following to the
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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