Are your recommenders just people you worked with closely, or people who also mentored you/had more than just a professional working relationship with you?

I still have a couple years but I’m worried that I haven’t done more to establish relationships with or show leadership to these people who know my work well.

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Mine were from a Partner in my practice and a high level client. Both are mentors, people I have close personal relationships with so know we really well, and have overseen my work. When I got accepted to a school, a few ad coms alluded to my recommendations as really good. AMA

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The most important thing is to have people who can speak, deeply and passionately (not to mention positively!) about you as a person, both for what you've done and your potential. Since this is framed through work experience, it's usually helpful if these people are bosses or colleagues, but I wouldn't say it's necessary. Anecdotally, some of the more impressive letters come from non-traditional mentor roles; all of my recs were from current/former bosses, but I made sure to pick people who I had very strong bonds with outside of work, and don't regret this.

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