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Law school admissions: letters of recommendation -- help me!

wiwf123wiwf123 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
So, I'll be applying to law schools this fall. I have a 4.0 GPA from the University of Alabama, and I'm doing well on my LSAT practice tests so far. I'm going for a 170+ (but then again, so is everybody). I'm not too worried about my personal statement because I trust in my ability to sell myself. My one nagging worry has to do with my letters of recommendation.

Basically, does the prestige of your recommenders matter? I'm going to request letters from 3 professors, each of whom gave me an A+ in their respective classes. I've had one of them for two semesters, and he is also my Honors Thesis advisor, so I know his recommendation will be solid. I also had great feedback from the other two professors in class and on my essays. I'm worried, though, that their recommendations won't carry much weight. None of them are the directors of their departments. One of them is a city attorney who taught me Con Law this past semester and really liked my essays, but how much weight will his rec hold for professors at a top law school? I go to a good college, but it is definitely not prestigious, so I already have that working against me.

Do I have any chance of getting into a T3 law school? Could my recommendation letters break my chances?

Replies to: Law school admissions: letters of recommendation -- help me!

  • wiwf123wiwf123 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    So, I'll be applying to law schools this fall. I have a 4.0 GPA from the University of Alabama, and I'm doing well on my LSAT practice tests so far. I'm going for a 170+ (but then again, so is everybody). I'm not too worried about my personal statement because I trust in my ability to sell myself. My one nagging worry has to do with my letters of recommendation.

    Basically, does the prestige of your recommenders matter? I'm going to request letters from 3 professors, each of whom gave me an A+ in their respective classes. I've had one of them for two semesters, and he is also my Honors Thesis advisor, so I know his recommendation will be solid. I also had great feedback from the other two professors in class and on my essays. I'm worried, though, that their recommendations won't carry much weight. None of them are the directors of their departments. One of them is a city attorney who taught me Con Law this past semester and really liked my essays, but how much weight will his rec hold for professors at a top law school? I go to a good college, but it is definitely not prestigious, so I already have that working against me.

    Do I have any chance of getting into a T3 law school? Could my recommendation letters break my chances?
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,261 Senior Member
    edited July 10
    Recs are only a minor factor. GPA+LSAT = 95% of the deal for all law schools outside of New Haven and Palo Alto. A few extra points on the LSAT are much more important.

    Sure, an excellent rec from a Nobel winner from Harvard or Provost from P'ton will carry great weight, but those are rare. Just control what you can, prep hard and ace the LSAT, and apply broadly.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Regarding your chance for admission into a top 3 law school: Depends upon your LSAT score. With a 173 or higher, your application should receive serious consideration.

    It is okay to ask 3 different people to write recommendations for you, but only submit 2 if that is what the law school requests or requires.

    Recommenders should be familiar with you. The prestige of the recommender does not matter as much as that person's familiarity with you.
  • Demosthenes49Demosthenes49 Registered User Posts: 1,550 Senior Member
    I am not convinced anyone even reads letters of rec. No data supports the claim that they affect admission chances.
  • beisbolplayerbeisbolplayer Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I would def try to get letters of rec from congressman, judges, provosts, or deans
  • liveyourlife26liveyourlife26 Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    LOR are there to highlight you, not prestigious people that you've interacted with. Don't get more "prestigious" ones over those who know you well and will be able to talk about your academic performance.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Do NOT submit letters from congressmen, judges, provosts or deans if they do not know you well.
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