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Welcome to the CLEO Diversity in Legal Education Blog! On this site we will talk about the reality of a prelaw education, the programs that CLEO sponsors, and the challenges and triumphs you encounter as you diversify the legal field. CLEO staff and colleagues will share practical insights and discuss how to become a competitive law school applicant.

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 CLEO Blog - Are Law Schools LOL @ Ur LOR
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April 20, 2011
  Are Law Schools LOL @ Ur LOR
Your Letters of Recommendation (LOR) and your common Evaluation show your progress in an academic world by people whose opinions are respected. Admissions Committees will evaluate you and your judgment based on the people you choose to represent you. What are your Letters of Recommendation and evaluations saying about you?


NOW, LET'S START WITH THE BASICS 4 RULES: Know What Your Law School Requires?

  1. V.I.P letter writers are only good if they actually know you. A generic V.I.P. letter looks shallow next to a letter that describes your academic success or commitment to a social issue. Law schools will not want to accept an under-qualified applicant no matter who writes a reference letter.

  2. Choose 3 Letters of Recommendation writers to describe different aspects of your experience. The only theme you want to repeat is academic success and valuable skills.Who knows that better than your professors and supervisors?

  3. Give your LOR writers: time, information, and complete resources. A hastily written LOR without personal anecdotes and with contradictions to your personal statement or resume is worse than ineffectual - it can sink your application.

  4. Never accept a generic LOR! Meet your LOR writer more than once. Bring your resume, your personal statement, and explain why you are choosing law school. The better a LOR writer knows your goals the more profound the LOR.

CURRENT STUDENTS: Faculty and Teaching Assistants (T.A.) should be your primary source for your LOR and Evaluation. Seek out a professor who can explain how you have been successful in difficult classes in comparison to other students.

Note: If you are choosing to work between college and law school, request LORs now and send them to be held by the Credential Assembly Service/CAS (formally LSDAS).

POST GRADUATE STUDENT & WORKING PROFESSIONALS: Professional supervisors can be good sources for LORs when you connect your work experience to your academic or professional goals. A professional LOR needs to match the successful law school skills with the language and duties of your position.

Notes:You may need to help supervisors translate work experience into skills for legal study. Highlight the strengths you can offer a law school: Post-collegiate "real-world" experiences, maturity, and professional skills.
Find the chapter of Older Wiser Law Students (OWLS) at your local law school. These students were in your shoes not too long ago.

ALL LAW SCHOOL APPLICANTS: Be sure that your LOR writers use examples to that you demonstrate the following skills:

Attention to detail and ability to research, organize, and integrate new and complex information into previously learned information.
Problem solving using clear methods to achieve a clear result.
Communicating complex details in a concise written and oral presentation.

Keep in mind that your choice of LOR writers should emphasize your entire experience (Academic, Co-Curricular leadership, and professional/community service experiences). Choose the people who will proudly recommend you to study law. ~ Then follow up...

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    Posted By: matthewniziol @ 04/20/2011 02:11 PM     Prelaw Advising  

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