Reference Letter Sample for Law School

Businessman reading book in law library
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In your capacity as a professor, supervisor, colleague, teacher, or volunteer coordinator, you may be asked to write a reference letter for someone who is interested in attending law school. 

Before you agree, make sure that you are prepared to give a glowing endorsement for the person. If you don’t feel that you are familiar enough with his or her work habits and qualifications, or you don’t feel that they would make a strong candidate, it is better to politely decline to write the reference.

You might say that you don’t feel that you know them well enough to provide the detail to be effective as a reference.

If you are able to write a reference for someone, however, it’s always a good idea to do it. It reflects well on you, and is very helpful in the application process for the candidate. You should begin your letter with an introduction of who you are, why you are qualified to endorse the applicant, and how you know him or her. Include a few specific instances and examples of qualifications and achievements that highlight his or her most relevant skills.  

Tips for Writing a Law School Reference

For a reference for law school, you can focus on skills like writing, communication, organization, critical thinking, integrity, and logical thinking. Try to provide examples of when you were impressed by the candidate’s skills in key areas.

You might mention how well he or she wrote up reports as your research assistant, or the quality and relevance of the newsletter they were responsible for.

Maybe he or she was tasked with making a presentation to your department, and received recognition from a high level position. You could share your impressions of their critical thinking skills while in your employ. Honesty and integrity can be highlighted through actions as well.

The following is an example of a reference letter written for a student who is applying to law school.

Reference Letter Sample for Law School 

Subject: Recommendation for Jane Doe

Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname,

I have worked very closely with Jane Doe, both as her supervisor while she worked in the Career Office, and as an advisor. During this time, I have been very impressed by the dedicated manner with which Jane carried out her work assignments and pursued her academic coursework.

Jane has displayed a maturity, motivational level and seriousness of purpose which I have rarely encountered during my extensive interactions with college students. Jane is very bright and has demonstrated an eagerness to learn. She is a quick study and has shown the ability to grasp general principles as well as subtle details.

Jane possesses many other qualities which I believe will make her a successful student of the law. She is very well organized, approaches projects in a systematic way, and manages her time effectively. Gathering information and producing quality documents were instrumental to Jane's success while working in Career Services. Ms. Doe possesses an excellent grasp of the English language and displays effective writing and editing skills through her work.

In conclusion, Jane Doe is an outstanding young woman who has a very strong interest in studying the law.

She has demonstrated the character and work ethic that I am confident will lead to success in her legal studies and subsequent legal career. Ms. Doe left ABCD College as a well respected student and solid member of the community. I recommend her without reservation for a spot in your incoming class of law students.

Please feel free to contact me if you need further information.


Firstname Lastname
Director, Career Office

Sending Your Letter or Email

If you are emailing your reference, the subject should read Recommendation- Firstname Lastname, and begin with Dear Mr./Ms. Contact Person. Your contact information should be included after your closing and signature.

If you are sending a letter or an attachment, and you have the contact person’s name you should use it in the heading and the salutation.

Your letter should be formatted like a business letter, beginning with your name, title and contact information, the contact person’s name, title and contact information, and the date.

Begin your letter with a polite salutation, such as “Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname.” It is possible, though unlikely, that you won’t have a name, in which case you can send the letter to the academic department and use “To Whom It May Concern” as a salutation.

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