Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

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hey it's angel with Harper the hardship

where the path to academic excellence

should not be a secret and this week

I'll be discussing requesting letters of

recommendation for a behind-the-scenes

look at my drinks at Harvard Law School

and life as a Harvard Law School student

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number one ignore the imposter syndrome

so start a time I remember when it came

time to you know put all of my

application materials for Harvard Law

together and I got to the letter of

recommendation so so by that time I had

been out of undergrad for about a year

and a half and I hadn't spoken to any of

my professors really I hadn't been

visited the campus I hadn't gone to


none of that um and I just remember all

these thoughts of like well I wasn't

that close to them will they remember me

I haven't emailed them since I graduated

I don't know what if they say no stop it

stop it stop it stop it stop it all of

those thoughts are the imposter syndrome

making you feel like you know you're not

good enough or like you know just making

you feel ashamed and guilty for even

asking for a letter of recommendation

but the reality is is that these

professors it's it's part of their job

like I've never seen like an actual

contract that like a tenured professor

signs when they sign up to teach on your

university or college but I'm pretty

sure that like they are expected to do

these types of things for students

especially when you start getting into

when we start talking about like tenured

professors and associate professors

especially like Dean's and stuff like

that like they love to do this

one-on-one say they love to do this but

like they're expect this is this is it

just it comes with the package and for

those people for like the high school

students um I wouldn't say like it's as

expected in high school as it is at the

university level but it kind of is you

know so you know don't be afraid just

tell the

posture syndrome - shut up remind

yourself that you can do all things

through Christ that strengthens you

remind yourself that you are capable you

know and and ask for that letter so now

that we've gotten the impostor syndrome

out of the way I want to move into like

the actual contents of the letter so the

next couple of I forgot how many I did

the next four tips are going to be more

so directed more directed to like the

actual what you put in the letter what

you put in your ass for a letter of

recommendation number one make sure you

provide background and our context for

your recommenders so the first sentence

or two I would say definitely do this

under five sentences in the introduction

of your request for a letter of

recommendation just you know tell them

why you're going why you want to go to

law school or what you've been doing

this will help kind of plant their

thoughts and like you know gather gather

their bearings about you but also it

will give them some background knowledge

when they sit down to write your letter

number two the next step is to ask for

the recommendation so this is the big

ask and you don't want to just say hey

can you write my recommendation letter

like don't put that in your request but

you want to lead into the asked by

cluing them in on you know your

achievements or like you know why why

why they should recommend you so so for

instance I'm going to list a couple of

like ways to begin the s go for instance

you could say given my success in your

class given your knowledge of my

academic work ethic given your knowledge

of my work ethic so it would be just

like a general work ethic if it's not if

you didn't know them in class but you

knew them like for instance if you had a

research position with them or interned

with them you would begin that sentence

with you know given your observation of

my work ethic or based on your


with me in class and in office hours so

that's how you begin that sentence and

then you round it off by saying you know

will you be able to write effective

favorable recommendation for me or you

can say are you able to write a letter

recommending me to law school or to

college number three let them know what

schools you will be applying to again

this is just um some context some

background it just you know helps them

gather their bearings about you another

thing that it does is that it clues them

in on how many schools you're applying

to and so it can it can help direct

their letter of recommendation because

for instance if you're applying to like

five schools or ten schools or twenty

schools they aren't going to write that

many recommendations typically they're

going to write one minute recommendation

so that'll let them know that instead of

saying hey I recommend John to you know

Pepperdine it'll say I recommend John to

your institution and so you see how when

they say like your institution that

covers all of the schools so by telling

them what schools you're interested in

it just Clues them in on okay she's

applying to a lot of different schools

so this letter of recommendation needs

to be needs to be general number four

provide instructions on how to upload or

submit the letter of recommendation so

this is so helpful because you know say

you you know you send your request for a

letter and they don't start working on

in until like a month from now when they

go back to find that email where you ask

them that email should have everything

in it so so that after they write the

letter that can go back to that same

email and say oh okay I need to you know

upload it electronically here or I need

to they're going to come pick up pick it

up and I need to sign it and seal it

before they come and pick it up like you

don't want to send a letter asking for

the letter of recommendation

and then send another thing but send

another email saying oh yeah this is how

you upload it because then at that point

the email is just all over their inbox

no you want to send them one streamlined

email that I'm sorry one email that

streamlines for them everything that

they need to do so it's easily

accessible and they can write your

letter of recommendation and send it and

upload it or do whatever it is they need

to do to make sure you get recommended

to that school and number five attach

your transcript or resume this is just

another kind of goes back to number two

as far as you know providing background

in context gives them something concrete

to concrete to grasp to to hold on to to

review they can maybe make mention of it

and brag on you in ways that you know

yes your transcript and resume will but

maybe your transcript you know shows

them something that they forgot about

earlier or something that you didn't

mention in your personal statement or

maybe your resume shows them something

else about you that they didn't know and

you know it allows them to kind of like

point the admissions reader you know to

that aspect of your candidacy so

optional you can also attach your

personal statement

um or and and if you have an addendum

attach that to to the email when you're

requesting the letter of recommendation

the purpose of attaching like a personal

statement or addendum is like for

instance just it's just background

knowledge just if you want to give them

more information about you know what the

committee knows about you and so that

way they can fill in gaps between what

you've presented in your personal

statement in addendum and um if they see

a gap or something that has not been

mentioned they can mention that in your

letter of recommendation or you know

maybe you do send them the transcript

and you have an F on it but your

addendum addresses it you know you want

to send them that addendum so they can

read just like the admissions reader or

readers are going to read you know your

addendum explaining you know what

happened your recommender will be able

to you know read that to you just want

to make sure they have you know a

complete they're able to completely

review your file and see you know

to that point what the admissions reader

will be reading about you but you know

that that is totally optional you don't

have to send your personal statement or

addendum I didn't do an addendum to law

school I honestly can't remember if I

sent my personal statement or not I

don't think I did but sometimes I do

tell people you know yeah if you feel

comfortable enough with the professor go

ahead say your personal statement as

well and with that let's end with a

closing prayer god I thank you for every

viewer every subscriber everyone who has

read Harvard in hardship I just prayed

that you would silence the lives of the

imposter syndrome give them the

confidence to ask for letters of

recommendation let them know that if the

person says no help them to get back up

and keep pushing towards their goal of

college or loss or a law school and send

them another recommender who will you

know recommend them bring someone else

to their mind I pray that you grant them

favor with their recommenders I pray

that you give their recommenders you

know ideas and insight into what to say

to the college or to the law school and

how to pump them up and yeah I just pray

that you do exceedingly abundantly above

all these applicants can ask think or

imagine all these blessings we ask in

Jesus name Amen so if you want to read

more about my journey to Harvard Law and

read about you know uh behind the scenes

perspective of student life at HLS make

sure you check out my book Harvard in

hardship it's available

Amazon and Kindle if you need one-on-one

help with your college or law school

application make sure you head over to

Harvard in March a pedalo sitcom and for

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next time