原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)


干货集结(上)

原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)

所有的法学院申请者可能都面临这样的问题:学校所要求的推荐信,到底应该找谁去写?学术推荐信和工作/实习推荐信究竟应该如何搭配?推荐信的长短、内容究竟应该如何把控?推荐人究竟应该在推荐信中表达我的哪些特质?应该尽量避免哪些问题?……

所有的这些问题,对于一个要同时兼顾托福考试,实习,司考,文书撰写的申请者来说,很难在短时间的申请准备过程中有一个全局的、合理的、精确的、权威的掌控。“所以市面上所广泛流传的一些说法是否正确”、“我对于招生官倾向的揣摩是否靠谱”这些问题总是困扰着申请者。

小编并不能够对全部的这些问题给出明确、精准的回答,但小编希望能结合前人的一些权威意见,对这些问题进行一些高效的归纳和倾向性的总结。

值得注意的是,市面上并没有太多关于LLM(法学进阶课程/相当于中国的法律硕士学位)申请的权威书籍,本文所引用的语录和书籍段落也大多针对JD(法律博士)申请。

但小编相信,JD和LLM申请在推荐信这一点上有很大的共性。对于一些不尽相同的考量因素,小编则会以无数牛人的经验和理解做出相关说明,小编希望不管是JD,还是LLM的申请者,都能通过此文获得实质性的帮助。

1

问:


推荐信是不是真的没什么用?

原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)

Letters of recommendation are a great window into how your words translate into action and how you are perceived by people who interact with you on a day-to-day basis.

—Josh Rubenstein, Harvard Most letters will be positive, but not many will be substantive. On the other hand, a very large percentage of successful applicants will have had substantive letters of recommendation.

—Joyce Curll, Harvard

When it comes to reading letters of recommendation, they’re all pretty much positive. What we’re looking for is the depth of detail within the letter of recommendation. It’s important to us that the recommender really knows the student well, and can really speak to his or her ability as a possible law student, and/or work ability.

—Johann Lee, Northwestern Not all recommendations are that useless, but many of them come close. The sad truth is that the vast majority of recommendations make no real difference in the application process, because they are complimentary but too generic and bland to convey anything meaningful about the applicant or anything that makes him or her stand out in any way.

—Anna Ivey, Chicago

从上述各位师兄师姐的话语中不难看出大多数情况下你的推荐信是没有用的!如果你的推荐信“不顶用”,那么你不应该责怪录取委对于它们不够重视,而应该反思自己在这一流程出了什么问题。

推荐信是否有用,并非取决于他们是否对申请人做出了“正面的”评价,而取决于你的推荐人能否对你的各项能力给出“个性化的”“详细的”“有意义的”的评价。

如果一封推荐信能够做到上述要求,那我们乐于相信,这封推荐能够起到积极的作用。相反,你提交的将会是一封“没卵用”(“make no real difference”)的推荐信。

2

问:


推荐信到底应该找谁写?

原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)

You should cultivate two substantive letters, from people who can discuss your academic potential. Usually that is a professor or a teaching assistant. The second best letters come from people at work, supervisors who can comment on your research, analytical skills and writing ability in particular. Letters from famous people whom you met once, friends of the family, or a judge for whom you babysat are not helpful.

—Edward Tom,U.C.Berkeley The best recommendations are written by people who know the candidate well for a sufficient period of time and in a capacity to have something to say about personal characteristics or attributes important to success in law studies. Letters from people who barely know the applicant are usually not very helpful in assessing these attributes, and represent a lost opportunity.

—Todd Morton, Vanderbilt

Our preference is that we want to know who the student is now, as opposed to who they were then. Especially with folks with work experience who’ve taken some time off, we prefer the work-related over the academic. If you’ve worked for three years, there’s definitely some distance, and a person’s a different person now than they were then.

—Johann Lee, Northwestern

The obvious choice–which any school’s admission information will quickly tell you–is a professor who knows you very well.

—Richard Montauk, Stanford

同样从上面的陈述中我们不难得出两个结论:1,懂你的人比单纯的牛人更有用;2,学术推荐信的分量相当重。

可惜这些权威的发言只能给出一个大致的方向,而至于具体应该选择什么样的推荐人,并没有给出明确的指导,小编根据过往几年牛人们的经验,总结了以下几点选择推荐信的原则: 第一重要原则: 1.选择了解你的推荐人; 2.选择喜欢你的推荐人; 3.选择守时、合作度高、不坑爹的推荐人; 4.选择撇清亲属朋友关系的推荐人。 第二重要原则: 1.选择写标题写的很牛、级别高的推荐人; 2.选择目标学校校友推荐人; 3.选择和你的兴趣方向相关的推荐人; 4.选择和你说同一国语言的人(就是老乡)。 在满足第一梯队原则的情况下,第二梯队的因素也非常重要。但是如果不能满足第一梯队原则,这些就变成了空中楼阁。一个可控性非常低的不准时的推荐人,小编建议你要么尽早要他的推荐信,要么直接把他拉入备胎名单。

另外值得一提的是,在中国特色社会主义国情下,我们的推荐人选择也存在着一些独特的考虑因素,尤其是国内的教授和老板极少自己撰写推荐信。申请者自己撰写加推荐人配合度比较高的情况给我们的推荐人选择增加了一些微妙的变化,这里我们避过不谈。

至于那些已经工作多年的同学,我们仍然建议准备至少一封学术推荐信。

那么,是不是说工作/实习推荐信就不重要了呢?当然不是。西北就直说,我们注重现在的你,而不是过去的你,所以如果你已经你工作了好几年,最好提供工作推荐信。另外伯克利方面表示工作推是“第二好的”。而且小编认为,LLM申请者对于工作推荐信的倚重程度,要大于JD申请者。毕竟,作为一个实践性更强的学位,就读期间的表现固然重要,毕业后的发展也不可小觑。

3

问:


推荐信到底应该写多长?

原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)

The best letters of recommendation are long(2-3pages), glowing, detailed accolades from a university professor who knows a student well, has the highest regard for his or her intellectual capabilities, and praises the student as “one of the best students I have ever seen in my long career”

www.top-law-school.com Anything less than five hundred words is too short. If your recommenders really know you well, and if they are offering anecdotes and not just adjectives, what they have to say should take up more than a page.

—Anna Ivey, Chicago

关于推荐信写多长,坊间流传甚广而且已经被广泛接受的说法是:一页纸以内,太长了比较假,推荐人没时间写而且录取委没时间看。之前,小编也接受这一说法。但是近年,随着经验的积累,小编发现较多的权威发言都表示推荐信应该更长。

比如Richard Montauk在他的著作HOW TO GET INTO THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS-FOUTH EDITION中,非常有趣地列举了两个软硬实力背景类似的申请者“John”和“Laura”,并提供了他们两人的推荐信。

其中“Laura”同学的推荐信甚至达到1300个文字。小编第一反应是这封推荐信长的有些离谱。然而Richard对Laura千余字的推荐信却大加赞赏,并表示相比“John”两百多字的推荐信,Laura更轻易的就胜出了。

在录取委是否真的有时间看下去这一问题上,曾任芝加哥录取委主任的Anna说道:“They shouldn’t worry about a letter being too long–if they really know you and are passionate enough about you to write more than a page, that can only work to your benefit. An admission officer might not read to the very end–so recommenders should put the good stuff first–but she will know that your recommender thinks you are someone special based on the time commitment alone. I have rarely seen a recommendation that was too long–most of them are too short to be helpful.”

言下之意,很长的推荐信如果录取委没有时间可以选择不看,但是推荐信内容的充实性是他们评判推荐人对你有多么的了解与重视的一个考量因素。

但是,小编并不期望通过此文传达出“推荐信就是越长越好”的概念,在小编看来,推荐信内容的重要性是远大于长度的。有一些书籍中给出的Sample推荐信也在四五百字上下。尤其是国内的申请者撰写的推荐信,维持一页纸的内容的充实性和真实性都有些力不从心,何况更长呢?

小编认为,并非所有优秀推荐信都很长,但是所有优秀的推荐信,都有非常充实的内容,能够帮助录取委更清晰的看到申请者的特质。

原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)

因此《干货集结下》

小编将针对本文核心内容(推荐信如何书写)

详细讲解

原文始发于微信公众号(EasyGPA学园):原来法学院的申请推荐信这么写(上)
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