LSAC’s Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service is offered as a convenience to LLM CAS registrants, recommendation-letter writers, and law schools. A letter discusses the qualities and characteristics of the applicant’s ability, academic and otherwise, to study law. Letters may be submitted on paper or electronically. Letters sent by fax or email will not be accepted. Both an LOR form and a signed original letter must be sent to LSAC for processing.
Use of LSAC’s LOR service is optional unless a law school to which you are applying requires its use. This service allows you to use your LLM account to have your LORs sent to law schools based on each school’s requirements or preferences.
If you intend to reuse a letter of recommendation for an admission year other than the one for which it was written, or for a different law degree program, it is a good idea to contact the recommender as a courtesy to make sure that the person does not mind this reuse. Some recommenders may wish to write an updated letter when you apply in a subsequent reporting year or to a different type of program. A recommender may decide to rescind a letter after becoming aware that it has been repurposed, if permission to reuse the letter has not been requested and granted.
Follow the instructions provided in your LLM account to
- provide the names and contact information of all your recommenders;
- indicate the number of letters that each recommender will submit, and describe them;
- select your law schools and specify the letters that should be sent to each one using the ID numbers. You must assign letters or they will not be sent;
- submit your requests for letters:
- An email will be sent to each of your recommenders 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 if he or she would prefer to submit a paper LOR. These forms ensure quick matching and routing at LSAC. Paper 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 paper letters.
- review your LOR specifications early in the application process so that you can redirect letters if necessary before LSAC sends them to a particular school; and
- review the school-specific information boxes and be sure to follow each school’s requirements.
It is not necessary for the recommender to address each letter to a specific school. If you are applying to five schools and the content is identical for each letter, the recommender need submit only one letter addressed to “Dear Admissions Committee.” Do not have the recommender submit five separate letters. This creates unnecessary work for your recommender and may delay processing of your letters.
Examples of Possible Letter Descriptions
- General letter or letter for all law schools: The letter is not targeted for a specific law school program. The letter would be assigned to multiple law schools.
- Specific programs: An applicant who worked in a tax department of a law firm might ask an employer to write a specific letter about that experience, targeted to law schools that offer an LLM in taxation. The letter would be assigned only to schools with tax programs.
- Law School A: International law—an applicant who interned for an international agency might ask a professor to write a specific letter targeted to a specific law school (Law School A) that offers an LLM in international law. This letter would be assigned only to Law School A.
- Law School B: A professor might be a graduate of Law School B and want to recommend the applicant to his or her alma mater.
Assigning Letters to Law Schools
You must assign each letter to the specific LLM program to which you want it sent. LSAC will send your letters to programs as assigned by you.
- Use the LOR screens to provide a brief and unique description of the intended use or content of each letter and to specify the school or program to which the letter should be sent. (If you neglect to specify a program for a letter, the letter will not be sent to any program.) The description will appear on the prefilled LOR form that you must print out and give to each recommender.
- When you select “Assign Letter” next to the program’s name at the bottom of your LOR page, a box showing that program’s preferences for LORs will appear. It is important to make sure you know each program’s preferences so that you can direct your letters appropriately for each program. Depending upon how far along your letters are in processing, you may have the option of changing your mind and reassigning your letters, providing the change doesn’t exceed the maximum number of letters that will be accepted by each program.
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.
Copies of letters of recommendation processed by LSAC will be sent according to each program’s specified schedule; e.g., some programs want LORs when the initial law school report is sent, some will take them when a certain number of letters have been received, and so on. These schedules allow law schools to most efficiently use LORs in their admission process. Law schools may change their schedule for receiving law school reports and LORs at any time.
You and your recommender will be notified by email when LSAC has received each letter, so ensure that the correct email address is listed for your recommenders. You can monitor the progress of your letters in your LSAC.org account.
LSAC will accept copies of letters from undergraduate institution credential services or career planning offices. The LSAC Letter of Recommendation Form must accompany each letter. When the form is completed by the institution’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 sent to LSAC remain the property of LSAC and will remain active for the life of your file. Letters will be neither returned to nor copied for the candidate.
You may access your LSAC.org account to determine the status of your letters. Check Letters of Recommendation on your homepage.