College of Law

Letters of Recommendation

Occasionally employers will require letters of recommendation. The letters frequently are written on behalf of an applicant by a professor or current/former employer. The positions that most commonly require letters of recommendation are judicial clerkships and federal summer clerk programs or honors attorney programs.



  • When asking professors to write you a letter of recommendation, you should be sure to ask those in whose class you have done well and with whom you have had enough interaction for them to comment on your abilities.
  • Once you have confirmed that your contacts are willing to serve as a recommender, you should provide each individual a copy of your updated resume. This will give them supporting information to write the best letter possible.
  • Give your recommenders sufficient notice in advance of a deadline so they have time to write you a quality letter of recommendation. If possible, give them several weeks.
  • Usually employers like for letters of recommendation to be confidential; that is, a letter the student has not reviewed.
  • If you are sending an application via paper copy, be sure to clarify if the employer needs to receive the letter as part of your application packet, or if the letter should be sent separately directly from the recommender. When employers request that letters be sent as part of the application packet, it is a best practice to ask your recommender to seal the letter in an envelope and sign over the seal on the envelope.
  • If you are applying electronically through Symplicity, OPD staff members are available to assist with uploading recommendation letters confidentially.
Last Updated: 6/27/22