Law School Discussion
September 21, 2010, 11:48:12 AM »
Nearly 90 percent of law school admissions officers report they have received a negative letter of recommendation about an applicant, according to a survey of admissions officers by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.
A word of warning: Aspiring lawyers need to be more careful about who they call as their own character witnesses for their law school recommendations.
According to the new survey from officers at 145 law schools across the United States, 87 percent say they have received a negative letter of recommendation about an applicant. Fifteen percent report that a poor letter of recommendation is actually the biggest application killer.
“While your LSAT score and GPA are by far the most important factors in your application, letters of recommendation do factor in, and what these results show us is that students need to be much more self-aware about who they choose to advocate for them in their applications,” said Howard Bell, executive director, pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. “First rule: Do no harm. Only ask for recommendations from people who like you personally and think highly of you.”
Still, 64 percent of admissions officers report that an applicant’s LSAT score is the most important admission factor. GPA placed second with 23 percent.
The Kaplan survey also reports that 73 percent of admissions officers have discovered claims on an applicant’s application to be “exaggerated or untrue.”
Reply #1 on:
October 05, 2010, 10:54:00 PM »
While I have no idea exactly why various accepted me, I have to believe that letters of recommendation counted in my favor. I say this because I attended a small school, so I got letters from professors I knew well - VERY well - and who were able to write letters that reflected this. I also knew for certain that the letters were favorable, because I was given copies of each.
While there are many advantages to attending large schools for college, I suspect that graduate school applications may be an area where small school applicants have an almost unfair advantage, due simply to the potential strength of their letters of recommendation.
I have no statistics to back up my claim, and therefore rest my case entirely upon my own anecdotal data.
45 y/o Non-Trad-2012 cycle
Reply #2 on:
October 06, 2010, 07:22:14 AM »
Even as a 0L, I would tend to agree with you. I have sat on promotion boards as a military officer, and been a hiring manager in business. Specifically tailored recommendations that are not canned and cliche ridden can be very effective.
Formulaic cardboard dreck just makes the eyes of the reviewer glaze over. I simply speak from experience.
I can also see how LS applications can be exaggerated or downright untrue. Not EVERY 23 year old can have gone on an international "Save the Children" mission, or serve as the President's "RIGHT HAND ADOLESCENT." Come on. I think these exaggerations are born simply from the urge to "pump up" the resume. Funny enough, my LS advisor is kicking me in the rear about NOT leaving out some military experiences that I find it difficult to write about (Somalia and Rwanda). Such is maybe one advantage of being an "old fart."
Law School Discussion