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How to Request a Formal Letter of Recommendation in Writing

You are an upcoming law student and have just been accepted to a reputable law school. You are overjoyed and cannot wait to start your new life as a lawyer. Your excitement about the forthcoming journey is understandable as you are now armed with the knowledge that you have successfully gotten past one of the most challenging parts of the law school entrance process. But your delight will soon turn to horror as you begin to see the immense amount of stress that comes with studying for and taking the bar exam.

After your initial euphoria, you will soon begin to wonder what you’ll need to do to make sure you pass the bar exam. One of the things you will want to do is to request a formal letter of recommendation from your professional advisors (e.g., Professor XYZ from your law school). You will not be alone in wanting this as many students feel the same way after attending a reputable law school and being accepted to a bar in their state.

So how do you go about requesting a letter of recommendation from your law school?

The Basics

The first thing you will want to do is make sure that you have the proper credentials in order to request a letter of recommendation. You will need to be a graduate of the university you are applying to (i.e., either a law school or a college) with a GPA of at least 3.0. You should also have maintained at least a C average throughout your undergraduate studies. It is also advisable to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) or the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) as these tests are considered the gold standard for legal and medical school admissions. You can find out more information about the LSAT here and the MCAT here.

How to Request a Recommendation Letter

Once you have the basic requirements in place, the next step is to request the letter of recommendation from your law school. You can contact the school’s writing center or academic advisor to find the proper procedure for requesting a letter of recommendation. The school will then need to submit your request in writing along with a curriculum vitae (a summary of your academic and professional career). After this, the school will review your request and either grant or deny it. If your request is granted, you will be notified via e-mail.

The Benefits

Once you have received the approval for a recommendation letter, you will need to take a few minutes to go over the details of the letter. This process will go faster if you write down the information that you need. So, to begin with, you will want to find out the title of the person writing the letter, the date the letter was written, and the address of the person receiving the letter. You can find all of this information on the email that the law school sent you. Make sure to keep a copy of this letter for your records.

The main benefit of a formal letter of recommendation is that it serves as a seal of approval from the person or the organization that you are requesting it from. Many employers and graduate schools look at letters of recommendation as a way to screen out applicants. So, as long as you maintain a good standing with your law school, you will continue to receive formal letters of recommendation in the future.

The Risks

There are a few risks associated with asking for a letter of recommendation. One of the risks is that the person writing the letter may decide that they want to write something other than a glowing letter. If this happens, you will have to live with the fact that you did not ask for formal recommendations and it will be difficult to get others to write you letters of recommendation in the future. Another risk is that the person writing the letter may decide that they do not want to write you a recommendation after all (e.g., if you did not maintain a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate studies). In this situation, you would have wasted your time and the school would have wasted its paperwork.

It is also possible that the person writing the letter does not have enough time to write you a comprehensive letter. If this happens, it is up to you to determine how important it is for you to have a letter of recommendation and whether or not you should continue applying for law school. The only way to know for sure is to ask the professor or advisor for a meeting with you in person to discuss your future goals and plans.

In short, there are many risks associated with asking for a letter of recommendation. But, if you understand these risks, you can continue to apply for law school and receive letters of recommendation in the future. It is just a matter of time before you start receiving them anyway so there is no rush to get a letter now rather than later.

What If I Do Not Pass The Bar Exam?

If you are the type of person who worries about things far too much, you may begin to fret over what will happen if you do not pass the bar exam. Let us put your mind at ease. If you attend a reputable law school, you will have the opportunity to take the bar exam more than once. Your first attempt will be counted as your final exam score and you will be required to wait 3 years before you can take the test again. If you pass the bar exam on your first attempt, you will be given full lifetime access to practice law. This effectively gives you a pass on the exam even if you do not practice law for the rest of your life. In order to practice law, you will need to take the exam a second time and pass with a score of at least 200. If you do not pass the test within the first two tries, you will need to take it a third time and it will be considered a failed attempt. Your score on your third attempt will determine whether or not you can continue taking the test. This is a situation that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. But, if you are attending a reputable law school, this should not be a concern as you can continue preparing for the exam and taking it until you are able to pass. You will not need to worry about how you will pay for your legal education once you are working. Your employer will be footing the bill.

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about how to request a letter of recommendation, you can contact the school’s writing center or academic advisor to get additional information. It is also advisable to visit the school’s website as they may have additional information regarding formal letters of recommendation as well as practice exams and application forms for prospective students.

With all of this information in mind, it is time to sit back and enjoy your well-deserved celebration. You have already accomplished so much and it is only natural that you would feel a twinge of remorse as you begin to realize the amount of work that is required to achieve your goals. But let us not forget that you are now an attorney and that feeling guilty will not serve you any good. You should feel proud of yourself and what you have accomplished so far. From here on out, everything will be easy. You will have supportive colleagues, a devoted family, and plenty of billable hours. Besides, who knows – you might even enjoy your work. So go out there and cherish this moment. Why not? You deserve it.

Above all, make sure to put in the work so that when you do accomplish something, it will be of lasting value. You have worked hard to get where you are today and you should feel confident that you have prepared appropriately for the task at hand. Remember that your law school will always be there to provide you with a helping hand should you need it – you are not alone in this world, even though you might feel like it sometimes.