Doorkeeper wrote:Random question for those who have applied already: I know the standard is 3 recommendations, but are there any circuit judges that want 4 letters of recommendation? Alternatively, are there any times when adding a 4th recommendation might be beneficial? I had a fourth professor spontaneously tell me that he wants to write a letter for me, but I don't know if I'd have any need for it.
Would the fourth letter be added to an application you've already submitted? Or are you still preparing your initial application? If it's the latter, and if you have reason to think that this fourth letter will be better than one you already have, I suggest replacing the weakest of your existing letters with the new one.
In my chambers (non-feeder COA), I find that it's very unusual to have three excellent letters. Usually, one or two are helpful in that they go into a lot of individualistic detail about the applicant. But it seems like there's always at least one rec that looks like it was prepared using a professor's letter-of-rec template; the professor just mentions the student's fine exam performance and the student's thoughtful contributions during class discussion. These letters are largely useless, even if the professor is well-known and prestigious.