The most effective letters of recommendation are written by professors or work supervisors who know you well enough to describe your academic, personal, or professional achievements and potential with candor, detail, and objectivity. Letters that compare you to your academic peers are often the most useful.
Most schools do not consider general, unreservedly praiseworthy letters helpful.
LSAC Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service
Access to LSAC’s Letter of Recommendation (LOR) service is included in Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registration. This service allows you to manage your letters of recommendation through your LSAC.org account.
If you use LSAC’s LOR service, your references will only need to submit their letters of recommendation once to LSAC — even if you intend to include these letters in every one of your law school applications. LSAC will make copies of each reference’s original letter to include in your law school reports.
You get to assign which letters you want each law school to receive. If you change your mind early enough in the application process, you can reassign your letters through your LSAC.org account.
How to Use LSAC’s LOR Service
- In your LSAC.org account, provide the name and contact information for each of your recommenders.
- Indicate the number of letters that each recommender will submit, and describe each letter’s use (e.g., for all law schools).
- You must assign the appropriate letters to each law school to which you’re applying (or they will not be sent). You can find information about each school’s requirements by clicking the “LOR Requirements” link beneath the school names on the Letters of Recommendation page of your LSAC.org account.
- Submit your requests for letters by clicking the “Submit Request” buttons in your account. Your recommender will receive an email requesting that he or she complete and upload a letter for you. However, if your recommender prefers, LSAC also accepts paper letters of recommendation.
This is important. If your recommender is submitting your letter of recommendation on paper, you must print the required LOR Form from your LSAC.org account and deliver it to your recommender. This form must accompany your letter of recommendation. Paper letters received without an accompanying LOR Form or without the recommender’s signature will be returned to the recommender.
If your recommender is sending more than one letter for you, be sure to emphasize the importance of attaching the correct form to the corresponding letter.
Please allow LSAC two weeks from the time of receipt to process your paper letters.
The status of each of your letters will be listed on the homepage of your LSAC.org account.
Do I Need to Use LSAC’s LOR Service?
Most ABA-approved law schools accept LSAC’s LOR service. However, unless a law school states that you must use this service, you may choose not to use it. For individual application requirements, log in to your LSAC.org account or contact the law school.
Can My Campus Credential Service Submit Letters to LSAC?
Yes, LSAC accepts copies of letters from undergraduate school credential services or career planning offices. However, the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Form must still accompany each letter, even if the school’s service uses its own preprinted forms in the collection process.
There must be one LSAC LOR Form for each letter your campus service will be sending to LSAC. This is true even if the credential service issues a “packet” that includes several recommendations. Be certain that your school’s service understands that each LOR Form you give them must be submitted with the packet to LSAC.
When identifying your recommenders in your LSAC.org account, enter the name and contact information for each individual recommender, NOT the name and contact information of your campus credential service. LSAC will use this contact information to send your recommender a confirmation of receipt.
In the event that a recommender on file in the credential service office is no longer associated with the institution, or has passed away, you should still enter the recommender’s name on your LOR Form. However, enter the contact information associated with your credential service office. LSAC will send a confirmation of receipt to the campus credential service.
Describing Your Letters
Descriptions will help you assign the correct letters to each school to which you’re applying. If you aren’t sure how to describe your letters, these examples might help:
- Program/Specialty-Specific References: If you interned for the EPA, you could ask either a professor or your supervisor to write a letter about that experience. Describe this letter as “Environmental Law Programs” if you only plan to assign it to law schools that offer environmental law specialties.
- School-Specific References: If one of your professors is a law school graduate, you could ask this professor to recommend you to his or her alma mater. The description for this letter could read: “Smith School of Law.” You would assign this letter to Smith School of Law only.
- General References: For letters that aren’t targeted to specific specialties or law schools, the description could read: “General Use.” You could assign this letter to any law school.
Law schools receive both the LOR Form and the letter, so write your descriptions carefully.
- 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 you, the candidate.
- 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.