Some LL.M. programs receive many hundreds of LL.M. applications of very highly qualified students from around the world. Recommendation letters, written by credible and knowledgeable referees, play a large role in admission committee decisions.
So, you are cautioned to take great care in soliciting recommendation letters that will help you convince LL.M. admission committees to admit you.
You may be an excellent applicant, with excellent academic credentials, broad practical legal experience, superb English language skills, numerous other professional and personal accomplishments, and a dynamic personality. However, unless your referees can address those and similar qualities in your recommendation letters, you may lose out on a spot in the LL.M. program you choose.
Here are 7 things to remember about LL.M. recommendation letters:
1. Remember why LL.M. admissions committees want recommendation letters.
LL.M. admission committees want to get to know you, the applicant, as a person. Your test scores, marks / grades, and degrees provide substantial objective information. But, that does not paint a full picture of you. You will likely not have a chance for a personal interview. Your personal statements are helpful, but they are written by you.
Thus LL.M. programs typically require you to submit at least 2 recommendation letters written by “referees”. These letters help cement an image for the school about who you are. They help the admission committees learn as much about you as possible, from people who know you, your accomplishments, and your potential.
2. Do not pick the "wrong" referees to write your letters.
The best recommendation letters come from referees who personally know you, and who are familiar with your intellectual abilities, your work and other accomplishments, and your actual personality.
Your referees should have confidence in you. They should be able to inform the LL.M. admission committee, with relative specificity, that you will likely succeed in the LL.M. program.
Good recommendation letters can be written by current or former professors, employers, work colleagues, or even clients. All of these people should be in good positions to know you and your work well. People in these categories would have been exposed