Recommendation Letters

The recommendation letter process takes a while, so be sure to start early!

Meet with faculty members about writing recommendation letters and ask if they feel comfortable writing a strong, positive letter for you. Professors are ideal, but it's ok if one of your letters is from an employer or advisor. Once you have found your recommenders, give them whatever forms they need to fill out (if any), and provide them with helpful information about you, such as your resume, transcripts, and personal statement.

Graduate School

How to Ask for Letters of Recommendation

Graduate programs across the nation will likely request applicants to submit two and/or three letters of recommendation.  Deciding who to ask and how to ask for letters of reference can be a challenge. Typically you will want to have some who has worked with you in an academic setting to write one or two of your letters of recommendation.  Additionally, it might be beneficial to have someone who has worked with you in a professional setting to write a letter as well.  You will want to choose references who know you well and are able to write a meaningful letter. 

After you have chosen who you want to write your letter, you will want to make an appointment to discuss your goals.  For this appointment, you will want to bring:

  • An updated copy of your resume/CV
  • Your most recent transcript
  • A draft of your personal statement
  • Any other information that would be helpful to leave with your writer.  

During the meeting, you will want to share why you have chosen this individual as a writer and what your academic and professional goals are.  Once your reference has confirmed they are able to write the reference, you will want to leave a copy of the official recommendation form(s) and a stamped, addressed envelope (or see Interfolio option below).  Lastly, you should never assume someone will write your letter of reference without discussing the option with them!

Interfolio: Managing and Sending Your Letters of Recommendation

When you apply to graduate schools, the CLA career office recommends using the online service called Interfolio. This service helps you manage and send your recommendation letters.  To sign up, go to www.interfolio.com.  You will then choose the option that best serves your needs.  Interfolio does charge a fee but your letter writers can submit their letters to your account at no charge. If you have any questions, contact Interfolio directly.

Pre-Law

All law school application materials, including recommendation letters, are handled through LSAC.