How to collect recommendation letters
If your attorney asked you to submit recommendation letters, please follow these instructions. Find 3-5 people to write these letters for you.
Who should write your recommendation letters:
People who can tell the judge positive things about you should write your recommendation letters. They should also be able to say why you deserve to clear your record. Here are some people you might ask to write a recommendation letter for you:
- Case managers
- Bosses at work
- Family members
- Church members
- Members of organizations you volunteer at
- Other community members
Instructions for writing the letters:
Please tell the person who is writing your letter to follow these instructions. They should answer all the questions below in their letter and write at least 3-5 sentences in each paragraph.
- Write the date.
- Start the letter with To Whom It May Concern,
- First Paragraph (write 3-5 sentences):
- Introduce yourself to the judge.
- Explain how you know the person who is trying to clear their record.
- Second Paragraph (write 3-5 sentences):
- What are the positive character traits of the person who is trying to clear their record? For example, you can tell the judge if they are honest, trustworthy, hardworking, or other qualities you find admirable in them.
- Give some examples of when you have seen the character traits you have mentioned during your time spent with the person who is trying to clear their record.
- Third Paragraph (write 3-5 sentences):
- Why do you think the judge should allow this person should clear your record?
- How do you think clearing their record would improve their life?
- Write Sincerely,
- Print your full name.
- Sign your name.
Additional documents to include, if you can:
- Copies of certificates from programs you have completed
- Copies of diplomas from school you have completed
- Copies of awards you have received
- Copies of newspaper articles you have been featured in
- Any other documents you think show off your good character traits
Where to send your letters and documents:
Please send all of your recommendation letters to the county who requested them from you. You can find their contact information on the county Public Defender and legal aid contact page.