Lowell House regularly provides advising services to alumni/ae. All Lowell alumni/ae applying to law school should contact the Lowell House Pre-Law Committee. 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.
Applying through the House and the Dean's Letter
Depending on when you graduated from Harvard College, Lowell House offers different levels of advising.
1) Alumni/ae Who Graduated Recently
If you graduated in the past five years, Lowell House will treat you just like a current undergraduate. We will assign you a pre-law advisor. 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, Lowell House will not assign you a pre-law advisor. Please contact the Pre-Law Committee if you have questions about the application process or would like to arrange a meeting.
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 pre-law advisor, and professors and TFs (whom they may ask to write letters of recommendation). However, Lowell House has advised countless alumni/ae, so we are very familiar with the process and unique issues alums face. In recent years, more than half of the applicants from Lowell House have been alumni/ae.
Just like for undergraduates, your pre-law 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 e-mail and telephone. We find many applicants have the opportunity to meet their pre-law 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.
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 over five years, academic letters may no longer be relevant. Therefore, you may choose to submit only one or no such letters.
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 wish 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.