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Help! I’m Still Waiting on a Letter of Recommendation!

Unfortunately, not many professors have a New Year’s resolution of getting through their backlog of law school letters of recommendation. So not only are they already holding up your application, but they’re unlikely to make a lot of headway…

Without a gentle reminder.

Waiting on law school letters of recommendation is, by far, the most frustrating part of the law school application process. While you might get stymied during your LSAT prep or sick of your personal statement, at least they’re under your control. The law school letter of recommendation, however, falls squarely on someone else’s shoulders.

It’s getting late in the law school application season, though, so it’s time to start prodding professors to get those letters in so you can apply.

First, a little bit on the submission process. I’ve written a few law school letters of recommendation, so I know how it works. And it’s quick and easy. If you signed them up to submit electronically, it takes about 2 seconds to register and 10 to upload and approve the letter. Don’t let them use it as an excuse.

Second, they’re doing you a favor, but they’re not really doing you a favor if they drag their feet and don’t submit a letter. While you want to be polite and respectful, it’s important to let them know that you’re operating on a deadline, and if they can’t finish it in a timely manner, then it’s not helping you.

Third, they should also be working on a deadline. They’re human – if you don’t tell them when it’s due, then it’s not high on their priority list. Don’t threaten to kidnap their children if they don’t submit by the end of the month. But gently let them know that you want it done by a certain time. Something along the lines of, “I’m trying to submit my law school applications by X” usually does the trick.

Finally, don’t be afraid to stop in and check up on them. Ask how it’s going. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. As long as you’re not stalking them, they won’t be offended by a biweekly check-in.

It’s getting down to the wire. Make your New Year’s resolution to get these letters in.