Have you been asked to write a recommendation letter on behalf of someone you know? Here are a few tips for writing a recommendation letter.
Who should write this letter
Family friend, co-worker, someone you know at church. A family member should not write this letter.
Date the letter
This is an important part of the letter. The court must see that this is a recent letter that has been written.
First, the letter should inform the reader how you know the person. Use the first paragraph to build credibility and answer the following questions:
- 1. How long have you known the person?
- 2. How did you come to know the person (work, church, family friend, etc)
- 3. If you know the person through work, this is a good place to add your position or role that allowed you to get to know the defendant.
Tell a story
This section of the letter is to provide a direct view of what a person is like. Instead of merely describing the accused in general terms as good, responsible, reliable, or well respected; provide examples that will show the court how this person demonstrated these qualities. Use specific examples of when you observed this person’s good character. Describe a time you saw them go out of their way to help someone, receive a special achievement, volunteer, show good character, etc.
Use the third paragraph to let the court know that you can be reached to confirm the facts of the letter. Include a phone number and an email address.
If possible sign the letter along with typing out your full name.
Example Format for a Character Letter to the Judge
Name of Person Making the Recommendation
Title of Person Making Recommendation (if a co-worker)
To whom it may concern,
First Paragraph: Explain who you are. Explain how you know the person you are making the recommendation for. Mention how you the know the person you are writing the letter for and how long you have known them.
• What is their general character and reputation in the community?
• What sort of person are they?
• Has the person contributed to their community by doing voluntary work, or had special achievements in their job or schooling, or sporting activities?
Third paragraph: Let the reader know that you are available to confirm the facts in this letter by email or phone.
Your Printed Name