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Letter of Rec and Writing Courses Grades for Law School?

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Hi! I am currently an engineering major college student but would like to apply for law school JD programs.


Professors who are close to me are all engineering experts and I took many college required writing course with a grade of either "pass" or "not pass" to keep my GPA. I know there would be tons of writing await me in law school and I'd better to show the administration staff a letter has something related to the program.


I wonder will my engineering letters and non-letter-grade writing coursework affect my admission to law school?


Thanks for the help!

Edited by judy008

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Questions like this are tough to answer without the direct input of an admissions officer. I'll give my impressions (I'm a '14 law grad), but I'd encourage you to take a look at the various admissions FAQs for the schools you're considering applying to. Also, some admissions deans host blogs where they will answer admissions questions like this in more candid detail than you usually get from the admissions website boilerplate. (E.g. Michigan: Here's a post on recommendations that might be helpful; and Yale: (203) Admissions Blog )


Re: recommendations, the advice I've seen from nearly every school is to get recommendations from the people who know you and your work the best, who can say the best things about you. It's probably good if they can speak to your communication skills, but law schools have other ways of judging your writing skills (your PS, various other essays, grades, etc.), so I wouldn't worry too much about them being mostly engineering profs. It's still a balancing act, of course, but strong recs can come from any discipline.


Re: the pass/fail writing courses, I guess it depends how many of said courses you took pass/fail. If it's just a couple, you're probably fine. If it's more, I'd be concerned about adcoms thinking you were determined to avoid having your writing evaluated. But, again, that's something you can make up for a little bit with the essays you submit with your application.


On balance, I think the engineering background is probably helpful in law school admissions. Technical majors are a little less common, and I think admissions officers expect them to have a little less writing experience, but this is balanced by the relative scarcity and high value of hard science majors in law (generally a prereq for becoming a patent attorney) and the reputation of such majors for being rigorous.


These are just my impressions. My app cycle was a few years ago, and I can only speak from the advice I encountered. So, again, I'd encourage you to check out schools admissions websites and blogs for more info.

Best of luck!

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