Applying to Law School
LSAC Applicant References: Letter of Recommendation and Evaluation Services
LSAC's Letter of Recommendation (LOR) and Evaluation services are offered as a convenience to Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registrants, recommendation/evaluation writers, and law schools. A letter discusses the qualities and characteristics of the applicant's ability, academic and otherwise, to study law. An evaluation rates both cognitive and noncognitive attributes and skills that have been identified as important to successful lawyering, using a scale that represents degrees of a particular characteristic. Letters may be submitted electronically or on paper, depending on the recommender's preference; evaluations are completely electronic.
Use of LSAC's LOR or Evaluation service is optional unless a law school to which you are applying states that its use is required. These services allow you to use your LSAC.org account to have your LORs and evaluations sent to law schools based on each school's requirements or preferences.
Follow the instructions in your LSAC.org account to
- provide the names and contact information of all your recommenders/evaluators;
- indicate the number of letters/evaluations each recommender/evaluator will submit, and describe them;
- select your law schools and specify the letters/evaluations that should be sent to each one using the ID numbers. You must assign letters/evaluations or they will not be sent;
- submit your requests for letters:
- An e-mail will be sent to each of your recommmenders requesting him or her to complete and upload a letter for you; or
- you may print the required recommender forms to give to your recommender to ensure quick matching and routing at LSAC. Letters received without an accompanying form or without the recommender's signature will be returned to the recommender. Allow two weeks from the time of receipt for LSAC to process your letters.
- submit your requests for evaluations. An e-mail will be sent to each of your evaluators requesting them to complete an online evaluation for you;
- review your LOR and evaluation specifications early in the application process so that you can redirect them if necessary before LSAC sends them to a particular school. Depending upon where your letters/evaluations are in the process, you may have the option of changing your mind and reassigning them if the change doesn't exceed the maximum number of recommendations or evaluations that will be accepted by each school; and
- look at the school-specific information boxes and be sure to follow each school's requirements.
NOTE: Letters are matched to your file by the "L" number on the form, not by the description. If your recommenders are sending more than one letter for you, please be sure to emphasize the importance of attaching the correct form to the corresponding letter. For example, a form that names a specific law school must be attached to the letter addressed to that school; a form for a letter described as "general" must be attached to a letter that does not refer to any specific law school. Law schools receive both the LOR form and the letter, so write your descriptions carefully.
Examples of Possible Letter or Evaluation Descriptions
- A student who interned for the EPA might ask a professor to write a specific letter about that experience, targeted to a specific law school (Smith) that offers an environmental law specialty. The description would read: Smith Environmental Law Pgm. The letter would be assigned only to Smith School of Law.
- A professor might be a law school graduate and want to recommend the applicant to her alma mater. The description could read: For Smith School of Law.
- The letter is not targeted for a specific school. The description could read: General Use. The letter would be assigned to multiple law schools.
LSAC will accept copies of letters from undergraduate school credential services or career planning offices. The LSAC Letter of Recommendation form must accompany each letter. When the form is completed by the school's service, the lower portion can either be filled in with the recommender's name and address, or—if the recommender's address is not available—with the recommender's name and the address of the school's service.
Letters and evaluations sent to LSAC remain the property of LSAC and will remain active for the life of your file. Letters and evaluations will be neither returned to nor copied for the candidate.
You may access your online file to determine the status of letters and evaluations in your file. Check Letters of Recommendation/Evaluations on your homepage.
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