ABA Admissions Support
Letters of Reference
Tips for Requesting A Recommendation Letter:
- Tip #1: Make sure it is someone who not only knows you well but also is familiar with your academic record. Likely those who are in or related to the field you’re applying to.
- Tip #2: Do your research on universities you want to apply to. Consider how to individualize your application to meet the requirements for the college of choice.
- Tip #3: What if you’re not currently enrolled in college? Professors might not be a clear choice to write letters of recommendation. Professional contacts such as a boss or mentors are great candidates. Someone who can speak to your work ethic, skills, and other qualities that promote potential for success.
- Tip #4: The earlier the better! You don’t want to ask a potential recommender one week before the application is due. Give them time to write and submit a well-thought-through letter for you.
A few items you should provide your recommender:
- A list of the graduate program(s) you are applying to, their due dates of application, and any other information you think will help aid them in writing the letter of recommendation.
- If you’re asking a current or past professor, include in the email what classes you took and what grade you received.
- A resume detailing your relevant professional experience, extracurricular activities, and accomplishments.
- Provide a copy of your college transcript and your overall GPA.
- A short self-reflective paragraph about your qualifications for higher education.
- Some college applications have an additional form for your recommenders, often with specific instructions about what to include in the letter.
- Don’t forget to thank your letter writers!
Writing a Personal Statement
A personal statement is an important component of your application. Learn more about writing an effective personal statement here.