Law School Discussion

Question from my recommender

Question from my recommender
« on: September 11, 2008, 10:16:15 PM »
I asked a Community College professor who I knew very well and took many classes with 3 or 4 years ago before I transferred to UC Santa Barbara and earned my BA.
Upon asking him for a LOR, he was more than willing to do so. He said:

"Congratulations on your UCSB degree--I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. there. I'll be happy to write a letter for you--let me know dates of classes you took with me and what characteristics you'd like me to emphasize."

How do I respond to this? What characteristics should I have him emphasize? And how should I suggest that these specific characteristics, whatever they may be, be emphasized?

What I'm indirectly asking you guys is... what do law schools like to hear in an LOR?


Re: Question from my recommender
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2008, 03:01:20 PM »
Wow, thanks guys!

Re: Question from my recommender
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 07:49:49 AM »
This question's been answered plenty of times, so you should be able to pull up some specifics by searching in this forum, each law school's admission FAQ, and Google.

But, from what I've been able to gather, the schools want to know you're up for the challenge of law school. The recommenders should focus on your academic prowess -- how you think, read and write, and whether you work hard and produce good work.

Re: Question from my recommender
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 05:45:56 PM »
Thanks for the response. I know that there is plenty of information out there about this matter, but I just wanted to see if anyone had anything slightly more specific/creative... nevertheless, you summed it up pretty well.

Re: Question from my recommender
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 09:29:43 PM »
This post -- -- on the Chicago law admissions blog seems really good, and it references a past post that's good, too.

Re: Question from my recommender
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 12:50:10 AM »
Wow... good stuff. That is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

I'll basically respond to my professor with this:
"The best recommendations offer substantive, enthusiastic assertions about your intellectual ability and strengths as a student demonstrated by specific, detailed examples.  We want to hear about your writing ability, analytical skills, willingness to think critically and challenge your views, intellectual curiosity, motivation, and contribution to the classroom.  In addition, relevant personal characteristics, such as work ethic, maturity, leadership potential, professionalism, and ability to work with others, often give us a more complete sense of what you have to offer.

The best recommendations bring these qualities to life through examples and comparisons we love to read about specific examples of your work!  Quantitative comparisons (e.g., applicant was by far the best student in my class and I would place her in the top five percent of students that I have taught) are extremely helpful.  Illustrative anecdotes from statements that you made in class or during office hours, or a discussion of your analysis in a specific research paper can really give us a sense of who you are as a student.  "

Bad idea?

Re: Question from my recommender
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2008, 12:31:43 PM »
You might wanna rephrase that to make it sound more like a human being and not a viewbook.