Letters of recommendation. When is the right time?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

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Letters of recommendation. When is the right time?

Postby Redla » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:11 pm

I am in the business management program at BYU, and I have three additional semesters left until I graduate. I am currently in an ethics class with a professor who is a lawyer. I feel that he sees my comments in class as insightful and intelligent, and I think he would be able to provide a good letter of recommendation. I have two questions regarding the issue.

1. When should I ask for a letter of recommendation?

I have never asked anybody for a letter of recommendation before and I don't know any details about how it usually works. Does the letter have to be directed to a specific law school? Can it be written a year and a half before I graduate? I don't think my professor will remember many of my noteworthy qualities if I asked he for a letter a year and a half from now.

2. How should I ask for a letter of recommendation?

The professor doesn't even know that I am interested in law school at this moment, so I plan on visiting him in his office sometime soon to ask him questions about law school and practicing law. After that I guess I could just pass by his office and bluntly ask him for one. I have time to do it right though so I want to convey the most positive image possible.

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Re: Letters of recommendation. When is the right time?

Postby Kikero » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:16 pm

If your professor is impressed with your performance in his class then I am sure that he would be happy to write you a letter of recommendation. All you have to do is ask, most professors expect students to ask them for letters of recommendation, so it's not really that big of a deal. However, if you have only had this one class with the professor in question, you have to ask yourself if you really want him to write one of your letters. If he only knows you through one class than ethically he can only write your letter based on your performance in that one class and what he knows about you solely from observation in that class. I'd recommend asking a professor that you have had several classes with or that is your academic advisor or something. Of course if he is someone you want to write a letter for you, go ahead and ask.

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