Writing a Rec Letter

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Law223
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:47 am

Writing a Rec Letter

Postby Law223 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:56 am

Greetings,

I am a lawyer from West Texas and have been asked to write a letter for a young man to my alma matter. I think this gentleman would make an excellent addition to our alumni and on top of that I feel he has what it takes to make an outstanding lawyer. I come to you folks as I have never actually written a recomendation letter and have really no idea what it should look like. I have been practicing for over 40 years and so I know what it takes to make it in this field and this kid has it. I have been in business with the boy's grandfather for over 50 years and thus know the family quite well including they way the young man was brought up and have been kept informed of his accomplishments. I have not had a lot of personal interaction with the young man, however that which I did have was quite impressive.

I apologize for rambling, I guess my question is this: what do I need to put in this letter to ensure that my alma matter will accept this young man and give him the education I think he deserves? I called the office of admissions myself but they were not very helpful, same story with the alumni association rep. The other lawyers I am friends with do not often write letters either as none of them are invovled in the academic community.

Thank you (I do apologize for any typing errors, however I am rather useless when it comes to computers. My assistant had to get me to page.)

whymeohgodno
Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: Writing a Rec Letter

Postby whymeohgodno » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:59 am

Law223 wrote:Greetings,

I am a lawyer from West Texas and have been asked to write a letter for a young man to my alma matter. I think this gentleman would make an excellent addition to our alumni and on top of that I feel he has what it takes to make an outstanding lawyer. I come to you folks as I have never actually written a recomendation letter and have really no idea what it should look like. I have been practicing for over 40 years and so I know what it takes to make it in this field and this kid has it. I have been in business with the boy's grandfather for over 50 years and thus know the family quite well including they way the young man was brought up and have been kept informed of his accomplishments. I have not had a lot of personal interaction with the young man, however that which I did have was quite impressive.

I apologize for rambling, I guess my question is this: what do I need to put in this letter to ensure that my alma matter will accept this young man and give him the education I think he deserves? I called the office of admissions myself but they were not very helpful, same story with the alumni association rep. The other lawyers I am friends with do not often write letters either as none of them are invovled in the academic community.

Thank you (I do apologize for any typing errors, however I am rather useless when it comes to computers. My assistant had to get me to page.)


The best you can do is write a really glowing but not over the top letter. I don't know how one would go about doing this though.

krad
Posts: 1897
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:33 am

Re: Writing a Rec Letter

Postby krad » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:11 am

This page may help you a little bit: http://www.top-law-schools.com/letters- ... ation.html

Other than that I agree with the above poster.

gambelda
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Writing a Rec Letter

Postby gambelda » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:59 pm

the forms that he provided you which will be turned in with the Letter of Rec. should provide a detailed description of what creates a good LOR if I remember right. If not, I do not know where to find it - but essentially, include skills that are required in law school and how the candidate exemplifies/illustrates those skills.

Speaking about a candidate's personality is great and all, but if you're mentioning things that will have no effect on how he will do in law school, it's worthless to him.

Ask him to supply you with his personal statement. You want to make your Letter of Rec. into a story about how law school fits into this candidates career path and life goals. How it fits into what has happened in his life. If you can draw "Why I really want to go to law school" from his personal statement, then you can cater your Letter of Rec. around his goals/life decisions.

Don't write about anything you cannot relate to this story.

In my opinion, the difference between a good LOR and a great LOR is making it a full comprehensive story about how your candidate not only fits in law school, but how law school fits with him.

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ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Writing a Rec Letter

Postby ahduth » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:47 pm

Law223 wrote:I have not had a lot of personal interaction with the young man, however that which I did have was quite impressive.


I'm not sure of what institution we're talking about, but at top schools this will cause your letter to not carry very much weight, or even weigh in negatively. Schools are looking primarily for academic references. And the more closely the recommender has worked with the candidate, the better.

Please see the second question on this page:

http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/admission ... ool-deans/

If you have considerable pull with the school, a well placed call to the dean might serve him better.




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