If you want to know how to get into Harvard Law School, you cannot overlook your letters of recommendation. The two most important things to remember with letters of recommendation are who they come from and when you ask for them.
When I attended Harvard Law School, I learned from one of my roommates that he discovered-after the fact-that one of his letters of recommendation was not a positive endorsement! This fact cannot be overlooked. Do not request a letter from a professor who you do not know with absolute certainty will write a glowing recommendation for you. This level of certainty requires a deep familiarity with that professor. Therefore, you should begin forming relationships with professors as early as your freshman year!
That's right. If you are wondering how to get into Harvard Law School, here is what you must do. Identify three professors within your major who have prestigious pedigrees (of the Ivy League variety) and credentials and take courses with them as early as the curriculum allows. Do well in their courses. (This goes without saying.) Get an A in each course, and participate in class. Above all, make sure they know who you are in class. In addition, develop a relationship with them. Choose one as your advisor when selecting courses for the following semester. Stop by their offices to ask questions about the course material. The point is to give them material that they can draw on when writing your letter of recommendation.
Professors receive numerous requests for letters of recommendation. You do not want to be just another item on their to-do list. If you want to get into Harvard Law School, you will have to do better than that. In order to get a good recommendation from them, you have to make it easy and enjoyable for them to write you one. After knowing you for two or three years, seeing you in class, and grading your work, they should find it fairly easy to write a good letter for you.
I chose three English professors: one Harvard graduate and two Yale graduates. I had taken a course with the Harvard graduate my sophomore year, and he was both, my advisor for selecting courses and my advisor for my senior thesis (which I was already working on and visiting him about while he was writing my letter of recommendation). In addition, I casually stopped by his office from time to time to talk about other things, like life, other literature, and movies. I had also taken one course each (one my sophomore year and one the first semester of my junior year) with the two Yale graduates and participated extensively in both classes. I got A's in all three courses.
This process involves a lot of work, but it is not redundant or additional work. Getting into Harvard Law School simply requires you to work smarter, not harder. Working hard to secure good recommendations entails working hard in these classes. That effort will simultaneously help you attain a high GPA. In addition, placing yourself on a healthy schedule of studying and comprehending will help you slide right into a similar schedule of studying for the LSAT when that challenge arrives.
You should ask for your letters from these professors in the spring of your junior year. The earlier, the better. They should have enough time to complete them, preferably several months. Asking for them this early is another reason why you should forge relationships with these professors as early and as effectively as possible.
This advice about letters of recommendation is critical if you are wondering how to get into Harvard Law School.