Letter of Recommendation for LLM: How to Write LOR for Law Students?

Yocket Editorial Team

Students interested in pursuing a Master of Law (LLM) degree overseas may need to produce something called a “Letter Of Recommendation” (LOR). A letter of recommendation for LLM is a type of letter requested at the time of your law school application process. We, at Yocket, are here to help you with all you need to know about a letter of recommendation for LLM sample and how to draft one. So whether you are a student or a recommender, get ready.

A letter of recommendation for LLM, also known as a reference letter, is a 500 words document, required by the universities, from people associated with the candidate. The universities refer to this document to gauge what others think of the applicant.

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) or any other essay generally tells the story, journey, accomplishments, etc, from the candidate’s perspective. However, a LOR gives an outlook of the same journey from a third-person perspective. Thus, having a positive and approving LOR from people the candidate has worked closely with is a must.

Wondering how to draft an impressive letter of recommendation for law students? We have put together a few guidelines to help you draft an effective LOR. But before getting into that, let’s discuss the type of LORs that are required for LLM.

Types of LOR Required for LLM

There are mainly two type of LORs—professional and academic. Therefore, ask a recommender to write among them depending on the relationship/affiliation they have with the student.

Types of LOR Required for LLM

1.  Academic LOR

An academic LOR is mostly written by a professor, mentor, project guide, or HOD. It highlights the academic life of the student and talks about their progressive journey. It also focuses on the projects, classroom behavior, and co-curricular participation of the student.

2.  Professional LOR

A professional LOR is provided by students who have prior work experience. This letter is mostly signed by a supervisor, employer, or a colleague. At times, even clients are approached to write a professional LOR.

An LLM program generally requires three letters of recommendation. We recommend a mix of academic and professional letters of recommendation. Commonly, universities give academic letters of recommendation more preference for LLM programs. In no way does that mean that a professional LOR is not important. Further, let’s explore…

Letter of Recommendation Guide for MS, MBA, and Others

How to Write a LLM Letter of Recommendation Sample?

Now that we have discussed the different types of LORs, let's get to drafting them. A LOR for LLM can be broken down into 3 sections—introduction, body, and conclusion…


To start with, the recommender should introduce themselves, stating the purpose of the letter to recommend the applicant for the program. While mentioning their names may not be necessary, they must disclose their experience in the domain, along with their relationship/affiliation and overall development of the candidate. That gives credibility to the letter and establishes the groundwork for the rest of the LOR.

Body Paragraph

The recommender needs to discuss the performance, skills exhibited, relevant experiences, qualities, etc, that made the applicant stand out and made them a good choice for the LLM program. It is necessary to emphasise the skills and qualities relevant to the program, backed with suitable examples. These examples give credibility to the statements made by the recommender and improve the overall impact of the LOR.

Additionally, the recommender can also talk about a specific research project that the applicant was part of if they were directly involved with it. In such a case, it is necessary to mention the applicant’s role in the project and how their involvement was critical to its success. But be mindful that the project discussed must be relevant to the program.

Furthermore, the recommender may also talk about the applicant's social, organisational, and other soft skills by discussing their participation in extracurricular activities and events.


Here, the recommender needs to summarise the LOR, emphasising why they think the applicant is the best candidate for the program. They can also mention how the candidate will benefit from the program and vice versa. To sum it up, they need to express willingness to answer any further questions that the admission committee may have, and sign off in the traditional formal letter format with the recommender's name, designation, and contact details at the end.

How to Write an SOP for LLM/Law Students?

LOR Requirements of Top Universities for LLM

We have consolidated a list of top universities where candidates can study LLM. The below table provides a basic idea of the LOR requirements of the top ten LLM universities.

University Name

LOR Requirement

Harvard University

2 LORs from professors and others who know the student’s work

University of Oxford

3 LORs with minimum 2 academic references

University of Cambridge

2 LORs required (academic preferred)

Yale University

Minimum 2 and Maximum 4 LORs

Stanford University

2 LORs required

University of Melbourne

No LOR required

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

2 academic LORs required

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

2 LORs with at least 1 academic

Columbia University

2 LORs, preferably 1 academic and 1 professional

New York University (NYU)

Maximum 3 LORs with at least 1 academic reference

Sample LOR for Masters (MS)

Important Tips for Writing LLM Letter of Recommendation Sample

While drafting your academic or professional LLM letter of recommendation sample, it is imperative to remember the small details shared below:

  • The information that is written should be genuine and precise.
  • Reviewing the recommendation letter for law student document for grammatical and structural errors is important before submission.
  • The sentences should not be copied from websites or any other sources.
  • The LORs should have a positive and formal tone.
  • No two LORs should have the same information. Each LOR should mention a separate project and highlight different skills.
  • The skills that are discussed should be relevant to LLM. The common skills that can be included in a sample letter of recommendation for LLM program are as follows:
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Good Judgement
  • Research Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Team Management
  • Time Management
  • Creativity
  • August Language Skills
  • Listening Skills
  • Patience
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Work ethic
  • The LORs should be added to the official letterhead.

Common Do’s and Don’ts for Recommendation Letter for Law Student

Following are the common factors to keep in mind while choosing a recommender.



Select a recommender whom you know personally and have interacted with on a greater level.

Select a recommender who did not have any direct communication with you.

Approach a recommender who holds you on higher grounds and has something positive to say about you.

Approach someone who will not put in a good word for you in your LOR.

Reach out to someone who is willing to be further contacted beyond the LOR for additional information.

Reach out to somehow who will simply write the letter and provide no additional support.

Make sure the recommender is from a law background, either a professor, professional, or practitioner.

Approach someone who has no relation to the field of law. For example, getting a LOR written from your residential committee president would not be relevant for a graduate program in law.

We understand writing a LOR can be daunting. With so many steps, a student or recommender can get confused about what to include and what not in a LOR. But don’t worry, Yocket is here to help you understand the nuances and draft a succinct sample LOR for LLM programs in terms of format and guidelines.

However, to enjoy our end-to-end guidance or a customised service plan you will have to choose Yocket premium. In this, our well-qualified and trained counsellors will mentor you for a successful study abroad ride.

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