Julie Line Bailey
Julie Line’s Answer
The most effective law school admissions recommendation letters, in my experience, come from people who can describe in specific ways how the applicant has demonstrated a commitment to solving problems and helping others. This may not be a professor, and need not be someone who is a lawyer. One of the best recommendation letters I have seen came from a person who worked alongside the applicant on a political campaign. The recommender described, in anecdotes, how the applicant rolled up her sleeves and related to all different types of people in a variety of stressful and unusual situations, and gave examples of the applicant’s compassion, energy, and good humor. I have also seen wonderful letters from an applicant’s coworkers - some of whom themselves might be recent graduates - who describe how the applicant was a hardworking, effective part of their team - even in a position that might not be seen as prestigous or glamorous, in work that is not law related. I think the best recommendation letters come from those who can highlight your problem-solving skills in a meaningful, real-life way. The best lawyers are, in essence, problem solvers! Good luck!
Jenna Zebrowski, JD, MBA
You will want someone you know and who can write an honest, positive recommendation. Teachers are very popular recommendation writers, as well as other adults, such as a youth group or volunteer leader. If you know someone who is an alumnus or who has connections with the school, that is also something to consider. If you know any lawyers and have had an opportunity to interact with them or know them well, you could also request a letter from them. No matter who you ask, make sure that they will actually take the time and write a good recommendation for you; it might not be a bad idea to have a back-up plan. I suggest providing a copy of your resume for their reference and highlight any awards or accomplishments you would like them to be especially aware of. Good luck!