My girlfriend and I am in the same college, but different major. She is a law school master student.

She just graduated from the master program and wanted to transfer to juris doctor in the same college.

I am wondering if it is appropriate for me to write the dean of law school a letter in support of her application.

Also, I am not sure what to write in the letter if appropriate. I would imagine saying that I would love to be able to continue studying with my girlfriend in the same college and things like that. Would you have any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

  • 1
    I have done this for an ex-girlfriend. The recipient was a "friend" colleague of mine. I did not mention the fact that the recommended person was girlfriend, but just that I knew her very well and I was sure about her being serious and hard worker, which was the true. I made clear that I couldn't evaluate her in a more scientific way, though. Depending on the situation, this might inspire you. Of course in my case it was lot easier. Our discipline was, in a broad sense, the same. We had not real contact or interest at the moment I wrote that infornal letter -it could have been a mail or a call
    – Alchimista
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 12:56

4 Answers 4


You are "allowed to", but you would disserve her by doing so, for several reasons. First, unless by some chance you are a relatively senior person in her field, your opinions on her prospects for success are of little interest to people making admissions decisions. Second, the very fact that she would have no one more helpful than you to write a letter for her would signal to the admissions committee that she is not a good candidate. In fact, her apparent willingness to have such an unhelpful and inappropriate letter writer would signal a serious misunderstanding on her part about "how things work".

No doubt: don't do it. You "can" do it, but it would harm, rather than help, her case, in a huge way. There are indeed certain quasi-unspoken rules, if you like... and, whether or not one likes it, the game is played by rules not set by the novice players... and not so easily changed by any of them.


I think it would be a bad idea, actually. Letters supporting applications normally come from professors or employers.

The institution is interested in her prospects for success as represented by her previous record and what people in a position to evaluate those prospects have to say. Your personal relationship actually gets in the way of that.

At best it would be noise in the application process. At worst, they might look at her in a less favorable right.

Ethically, you would have to reveal your relationship and that would make it a bit awkward. Wish her well in her application, but keep out of the process.


Just say no. No, it's not appropriate. This is not even close. She might as well ask her mother to write the LOR. "She was such a good girl growing up."

It's possible it might not get discovered but if it is, I expect it would (should!) quickly tank her application before most admissions committees. She needs to find references who can speak to her qualifications without this obvious conflict of interest.


You may. But is it going to help? Usually, the recommender has a higher qualification than the person to be recommended. Apparently, this is not the case in your situation. Also, it would seem that personal distance is a factor as well -- of course one recommends friends and family members. In my opinion, the recommender should be related to the person to be recommended on a professional level. And finally, I doubt that it being nice and convenient if your girl friend could continue her studies is the reason for recommendation they are looking for -- it should be more about skills and experience.

As to what belongs into a letter of recommendation, there are several samples you can find on several help pages. In my opinion, the items mentioned above are the most important:

  • Where do you know the person from and how long? (Work, school, university, ...)
  • What is your relationship to the person? (Teacher-Student, Boss-Employee, ...)
  • What are the qualifications of the person and why can you recommend her?

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