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Course syllabus

This course covers letters of recommendation, which provide law school admissions committees with an outside perspective on an applicant’s academic capabilities, as well as their ability to comfortably navigate and collaborate in an academic environment. We outline what makes a good letter recommendation and who makes a good recommender. We review the process for submitting letters of recommendation through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website. We cover the importance of how your students make their requests and some steps they can take to make it easy for the recommender to deliver a quality letter. We also warn against pitfalls and mistakes to avoid regarding who, when, and how to ask for a letter.

  1. Who, What, Why?


    We describe the purpose of a letter of recommendation as a part of the entire application package and how an applicant should think about picking a recommender. We describe two types of letters, academic and professional, and what makes for a nuanced, personal letter that conveys an applicant’s most important qualities.

  2. Submitting Letters Through LSAC


    We explain how to navigate the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), a paid service housed within the LSAC website that compiles various application materials—including letters of recommendation—which are then submitted to law schools as a complete application package.

  3. Approaching Recommenders


    We explain one helpful way for a student to approach a recommender. We cover relevant materials to include, a sample request email, and when requests should be made to line up with application deadlines.

Sydney Montgomery, S. Montgomery Consulting

photo of Sydney Montgomery

Sydney is founder and CEO of S. Montgomery Consulting, which helps students pursue their college and law school dreams. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and J.D. from Harvard Law School. She completed the Independent Educational Consultant Certificate from UC Irvine, Division of Continuing Education.

Sydney is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC), and currently sits on the Graduate Committee and the Ethics Committee of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). In 2020, IECA named her one of seven inaugural recipients of the “Making a Difference Award” for positively contributing to the profession and membership. In 2021, PCACAC named her a Counselor of the Year.