Advice for Letters of Recommendation

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
englishfire3
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Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby englishfire3 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:55 pm

Hello all! I'm in my last semester of my senior year and have been thinking about going to law school. As such, I've been researching many schools. However, I started thinking about the process for applying and remembered the letters of recommendation. I've obviously missed the deadlines for fall 2010, so I'm looking towards fall 2011. My question is, should I ask my professors to write recommendations for me now or wait until it's more relevant? Only thing is, I don't want my professors to forget about me and not remember why they liked me or if I did good in their class, etc.. But I also don't know if LSAC would "hold" those letters until the next application phase? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! I am very unsure of this and am not sure what I should do. Thoughts, advice, anything? Thank you! :)

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voice of reason
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby voice of reason » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:15 am

LSAC will hold the letters.

englishfire3
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby englishfire3 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:59 pm

How long will LSAC hold them for?

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superserial
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby superserial » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:05 pm

I think 5 years, but I also could be making that up.

BenJ
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby BenJ » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:12 am

Much longer than you need them held for, certainly.

wjun15
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby wjun15 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:56 am

okay so this might be a dumb question:

I just want to make sure: do I HAVE to use the LSDAS site for letters of recommendation? Or do people get the letters from their teachers and send it themselves?

BenJ
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby BenJ » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:47 am

wjun15 wrote:okay so this might be a dumb question:

I just want to make sure: do I HAVE to use the LSDAS site for letters of recommendation? Or do people get the letters from their teachers and send it themselves?


The vast majority of schools will only accept LORs through LSAC. You could ask the schools to which you're applying, but they will almost certainly say to send the LORs via LSAC.

englishfire3
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby englishfire3 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:02 pm

Thank you for the responses so far! Silly question, but how does one actually go about submitting the letters via LSAC? Do you do submit them or do your professors do it?

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MoS
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby MoS » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:06 pm

0You should go to the lsac website it will explain this whole process. But the short version is, you go to the letters of recommendation section. Add a recommender, fill out their info. It will give you a form to sign that says you will not ask to look at the letter, sign it (you don't have to but it looks bad if you don't) give it to the recommender, maybe give them a preaddressed envelop with a stamp, or you can look up the fax number and have them fax the form and the letter.

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Bert
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby Bert » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:12 pm

I believe LSDAS holds your LORs until your LSDAS account becomes de-activated (whenever that may be). In your LSDAS file you can de-activate LORs, but they never really go away -- they just kind of hang around your file forever.

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MURPH
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby MURPH » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:30 pm

The first step is to go to LSAC.org and set up an account. Send your transcripts now and an update after graduation.
Then browse through for a while and read about LORs. It is easy. You will ask teachers for one general LOR and title that letter PROFESSOR JONES GENERAL. You should also ask him/her for school specific LORs to send to the school where she/he works, his alma mater, a school like Stanford that asks for a school-specific LOR and any other school where her LOR can specifically say something relevant to the school. Label them PROF. JONES STANFORD, etc.

The next easy part is to get the prof to agree to write it. Ask someone whom you've taken more than one class and with whom you've gotten straight A's. If the prof worked closely with you for a senior project, for example, that is good too. If you saved the prof's child from drowning or babysit his dog that is good too.

The hard part is getting them to write the damn thing. It will take twice as long as you ask them. I'd say you need it by June. It will maybe be done by August.

Take the June LSAT.
Write your Personal Statement in June and July. I would edit about thirty or so PS's from the PS thread on this website first. It will help.

Finally, have everything ready to go in mid August. Submit your application on the first of September. Then start working on financial aid.

Oh, yeah, if your GPA can be improved by taking easy summer classes then don't graduate in spring. Bump that GPA, you'll never have another chance.

YEM
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby YEM » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:36 pm

englishfire3 wrote:... My question is, should I ask my professors to write recommendations for me now or wait until it's more relevant? Only thing is, I don't want my professors to forget about me and not remember why they liked me or if I did good in their class, etc. ...



Semi-off the main point, but important nonetheless: Try to get recommendations from professors who won't forget you in twelve months. Those tend to be better LORs.

englishfire3
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby englishfire3 » Tue May 04, 2010 10:10 pm

So I've had a change of plans. I will be working for a few years before going to law school. Even if I get letters of recommendation now from professors, would the schools I apply to be considering those letters or the letters from my supervisors? (which would be much more current years from now). Any advice would be appreciated! :)

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MoS
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Re: Advice for Letters of Recommendation

Postby MoS » Tue May 04, 2010 10:23 pm

They will consider those letters and any from a supervisor, but unless you have an established career they prefer letters from professors, and even if you do work for 5 or 6 years its good to have letters from professors. If you get them now you won't have to worry about them not remembering you later and them just writing a form letter recommendation for you. Lsac will save them if they are submitted to the LOR service.




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