“I hired Ann Levine because I was a non-traditional applicant hoping for admission to a top-14 school and I wanted the extra insurance of an expert advisor. My decision to employ Ann as a consultant was a good one and my money was well-spent. Ann provided much-needed guidance on how to best present my highly varied work and educational experience and she helped me coordinate my resume, letters of recommendation and personal statement into a tight, unified application package that garnered me admission to several excellent law schools. I am now attending Columbia and Ann certainly played an important role.”
– J.Z. (Columbia Law School)
Letters of recommendation are an important component of your law school application. In addition to your undergraduate GPA, your LSAT score, and your personal statement, the letters of recommendation provide the law school with insights from those who are qualified to evaluate you as a future law student and attorney. It’s important to choose the right people to ask, and to give them information that will help them to build a letter that will impress law schools.
During her 15 years in law school admissions, Ann has seen some key mistakes made by applicants with respect to letters of recommendation. First, they often prioritize a writer’s title or importance over the content of the letter. Remember that law schools want to know things about you that they wouldn’t otherwise, from someone who was in a position to evaluate you. They don’t need someone with a fancy title writing a letter of recommendation that simply repeats your resume.
Rather, law schools want to see letters of recommendation from people who know you well and who served in a capacity to evaluate your skills and talents. Academic letters are very important because law schools want assurance from professors that you can handle the rigors of a legal education. Law schools also want to know that you have the writing, analytical, communication, people, and managerial skills for this sophisticated profession. Therefore, a writing professor will be better than a recommendation from the manager for your part-time job in retail.
For law school applicants who have held professional positions, employer letters of recommendation can shed light on the sophistication of tasks you’ve been responsible for, your writing and communication skills, ability to work as part of a team, willingness to work hard, and your understanding of complicated business issues. A letter of recommendation from an employer should discuss your contributions to the team, your abilities in relation to other bright and motivated employees, and perhaps (if you work in a law firm) how you measure up to previous people in your position who have gone on to law school.
Ann Levine works with people to help them choose the right letters of recommendation to balance their applications’ strengths and weaknesses, and answers questions about whom to ask for letters of recommendation, how to ask for letters of recommendation, and how to encourage your recommenders to include the most helpful, relevant and meaningful information in order to boost your candidacy at law schools.
Ann Levine has written multiple articles about letters of recommendation for law schools.