Prelaw - Applying to Law School as an Alumnus/a

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Leverett House regularly provides advising services to alumni/ae. All Leverett alumni/ae applying to law school should contact Leverett House. Email the Prelaw Resident Tutors at leverettprelaw@gmail.com. We find many alumni/ae have had interesting experiences after graduation and have decided to apply to law school after significant reflection, so we are eager to help you. Even if you are not certain that you want to apply to law school, we are available to discuss the pros and cons with you. Below we address questions frequently asked by alumni/ae.

[edit] Applying through the House and the Dean's Letter

Depending on when you graduated from Harvard College, Leverett House offers different levels of advising.

  1. Alumni/ae Who Graduated Recently
    If you graduated in the past five years, Leverett House will treat you just like a current undergraduate. We will assign you a prelaw advisor, and we can draft a House Letter for you if it will help your application later in the admissions process. The focus of the Letter will be on your academic record and activities while at Harvard College. We will not speak in depth about your experiences post-graduation. Please follow the same procedures (including the timeline and deadlines) as current students.
  2. Alumni/ae Who Graduated Over Five Years Ago
    If you graduated more than five years ago, Leverett House will submit a brief letter on your behalf, certifying your academic standing. We will not draft a detailed letter as your experiences and record in college are less relevant to your law school package.

[edit] Benefits and Disadvantages of Applying as an Alumnus/a

We find many alumni/ae have clear reasons for applying to law school and are highly motivated. Some alumni/ae assume it will be more difficult to use the House system as a graduate. It is true that alumni/ae are physically distant from the House, their prelaw advisor, and professors and TAs (whom they may ask to write letters of recommendation). However, Leverett House has advised countless alumni/ae, so we are very familiar with the process and unique issues alums face. In recent years, approximately half of the applicants from Leverett House have been alumni/ae.

Just like for undergraduates, your prelaw advisor will serve as a sounding board for you. Unless you happen to be living in the area, you will communicate with your advisor via email and telephone. We find many applicants have the opportunity to meet their prelaw advisor in person. If you happen to be traveling to Boston for recruiting, a reunion, work, or a vacation, feel free to contact your advisor to meet in person.

[edit] Letters of Recommendation

Typically, we suggest that applicants submit two academic letters and one non-academic letter. However, this guideline varies, depending on how long you have been out of school.

  • For alumni/ae who graduated within the past two years, we suggest following the above guideline (two academic and one non-academic recommendation letter).
  • For alumni/ae who graduated over two years ago but less than five years ago, we suggest submitting at least one (possibly two) academic letter(s) and one or two non-academic letter(s) (likely from employers).
  • For alumni/ae who have been out of school for five years or more, academic letters may no longer be relevant. Therefore, you may choose to submit only one or no such letters.

[edit] Personal Statement

In general, you should follow the same guidelines we have set out for all applicants. Exception: If you have been out of school for some time (more than five years), you may want to directly address why you want to attend law school in your personal statement. We typically encourage applicants not to directly answer this question; however, because your readers may wonder why you have decided to apply to law school at this point in your life and professional career, it may be useful to confront this issue directly.