When to ask for LORs

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
emoney8907
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When to ask for LORs

Postby emoney8907 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:26 am

I'm going to start applying to law schools starting this fall, although I am not certain which schools yet. When should I start asking my professors for LORs? I will probably ask my professors from this past semester, but I have no idea what they are doing, where they will be, and if they even will be returning in the fall to teach. Thus, should I contact them ASAP and give them a heads up that I will be asking them to write me LORs? Or do most people just wait until the applications are out and you know which law schools you will be applying to before contacting professors about LORs? Any input would be appreciated.

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dspit
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby dspit » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:28 am

now

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Kilpatrick
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby Kilpatrick » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:30 am

Get it as soon as possible. My applications went complete much later than I hoped because of an LOR writer who took forever to send it in. I think it really ruined my cycle, since people with my exact numbers who applied earlier got in a lot of places I got waitlisted or rejected at. But it's my own fault, I should have asked him earlier and I should have bugged him more to get it done. Don't let it happen to you! I would ask them as soon as your grades were in.

legalized
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby legalized » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:40 am

emoney8907 wrote:I'm going to start applying to law schools starting this fall, although I am not certain which schools yet. When should I start asking my professors for LORs? I will probably ask my professors from this past semester, but I have no idea what they are doing, where they will be, and if they even will be returning in the fall to teach. Thus, should I contact them ASAP and give them a heads up that I will be asking them to write me LORs? Or do most people just wait until the applications are out and you know which law schools you will be applying to before contacting professors about LORs? Any input would be appreciated.


I am applying in fall.

I am no longer in the town my UG is in, but I wanted them to remind them who I am in some kind of personal way so I tracked down their numbers, called them, shot the breeze for a minute, and then let them know my intention to attend law school, and that I need GREAT letters of recommendations, and asked if they felt comfortable writing me one, or didn't think they would be able to do it (when asking big favors I always phrase a nicely worded "out" so people who want to say no without being mean can use my words and not feel like the bad guy, and not lie to me and waste my time, either).

Then I verified the email address they actually use (which may not be the formal university email), and sent a zip folder with a couple of the articles highlighting what's needed in a law school LOR, what they should be looking at/I should be sending them to give them material and reminders for said LOR, and of course the things themselves, resume, unofficial transcripts (with their class(es) and grade(s) highlighted just cause I like to make things easy for people in cases like this), sample of a term paper or term project report I did for their class(es), etc.)...and a detailed letter set up like a cover letter explaining and emphasizing the qualities they need to address, and the logistics of mailing in an LOR to the LSAC. Reminded them to address a weakness, and gave an example of one to help them along.

I also went ahead and instructed them to send 3 extra letterhead copies sealed in their own envelopes to me (in one big manila folder so I can mail them out as is) for law school scholarship and other program applications, and asked them to please save the letter on their end in case I need more later.

One has already completed the entire process, one has the letter done and we are playing phone tag to walk him through the number of letterhead copies and the sealing/mailing requirements cause he wants to make sure he doesn't mess up, and one who had said "of course" to doing my letter cannot be found thus far by phone or email, and I am about to ask a fourth to write one as well because I don't trust that MIA behaviour.

I asked all 3 February 5, and asked for them to be in by the first week of March.

It is, obviously, nearly the end of April, and I still have two that are not in to the LSAC, only one of which I can be confident will actually be on its way TO the LSAC.

This is why I skipped the last cycle after starting research and said I need 12 whole months to do this right. Also because I tried to contact these folks about this last summer when I first started ls prep/research, and discovered that summer is NOT the time to try and find any of them, they either aren't teaching summer, are in irregular locations, or have irregular hours...all types of crap. Then I had a lot of things in my personal life to deal with last fall, no time to hunt them down. Looking at when I wish to/need to apply, I would have only the month of September at a maximum (and missing my "as the window opens" deadline for having my stuff together) for them to write these, get them on letterhead, and mail them in...I didn't trust that I could rush them through it without pissing them off, a month is not enough time, and not applying early will screw up my reasons for waiting for this cycle.

And keep in mind one of them, by the time i tried to find him this spring, had left the school and the state to go do his PhD...and the school had NO contact info for him, and his old email didn't work. Thank God for facebook and that's he's a relatively young professor who actually uses it. Another one who I intended to use originally, died. Which made me panic a little. lol.

So this spring made the most sense...they have a whole semester to skylark and still not mess ME up.

I made a list of about 6 to 8 possibles and their (known) contact info, ranked them by how outstanding I was in their class and how recent/law-school-worthy their class was as far as the KSAs they need to evaluate, and just stopped hunting after I got 3 yes's.

I gave you the story of what I went through to say, do not follow these articles that tell you to give the professor at least a month. Give them at least 3! 4 even!

Go call them, visit them, get all your paperwork ready right NOW and get them started! And make sure they realize this can't be the generic LOR, it needs to be 1.5-2 pages and GREAT! I learned that from an article. You might have to waive your right to see it, but setting the right tone for what should be in it (and knowing you did great in that prof's class) gives you more control over the quality.

And thank them when they accept the job, whenever you call or email an update, and when they're done! Once I get accepted somewhere I will send them a nice e-card or something letting them know what their help has gotten me and thanking them YET again.

rundoxierun
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:03 pm

Im applying in the fall and I asked for recommendations about 6-7 weeks ago. Even with that, Im still waiting on 2 letters from one recommender. Depending on your school list there may be a lot of random things(finding out where the hell you even get deans certs, school specific LORs[Stanford], deans certs from former schools, etc.) that have to be done so you might as well get what you can out of the way. Professors are notorious for taking a while to get recommendations done so def. give them 3-4 months.

emoney8907
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby emoney8907 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:06 pm

does that mean when professors write your recs they dont state the name of the specific school but just write a general rec to every law school? i don't have a problem with asking my professors for recs, it's just i don't know where i'm applying yet.

rundoxierun
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:15 pm

emoney8907 wrote:does that mean when professors write your recs they dont state the name of the specific school but just write a general rec to every law school? i don't have a problem with asking my professors for recs, it's just i don't know where i'm applying yet.


Correct, although you can ask for school specific LORs and label them as such. My LOR writers are each writing both a school specific LOR and a general LOR.

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CmonSD
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby CmonSD » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:17 pm

As soon as possible! I asked for one from a previous employer that I worked for for 10 years. NEVER sent it in, although she claimed to have sent it several times. Bitch.

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loomstate
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby loomstate » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:57 pm

Is there something I am not getting here? Why would you ask for LORs in March when you're applying to schools in later October? This seems like adequate time for a professor to shrug it off and forget...

Also I have professors who told me they have saved drafts of LORs for me. Should I be asking for them 6 months in advance?

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lovejopd
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby lovejopd » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:06 am

loomstate wrote:Is there something I am not getting here? Why would you ask for LORs in March when you're applying to schools in later October? This seems like adequate time for a professor to shrug it off and forget...

Also I have professors who told me they have saved drafts of LORs for me. Should I be asking for them 6 months in advance?

Sure, Process it as soon as possible. You do not have to wait for that.

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loomstate
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby loomstate » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:28 am

lovejopd wrote:
loomstate wrote:Is there something I am not getting here? Why would you ask for LORs in March when you're applying to schools in later October? This seems like adequate time for a professor to shrug it off and forget...

Also I have professors who told me they have saved drafts of LORs for me. Should I be asking for them 6 months in advance?

Sure, Process it as soon as possible. You do not have to wait for that.


Just seems silly..

acrossthelake
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:39 am

loomstate wrote:Is there something I am not getting here? Why would you ask for LORs in March when you're applying to schools in later October? This seems like adequate time for a professor to shrug it off and forget...

Also I have professors who told me they have saved drafts of LORs for me. Should I be asking for them 6 months in advance?


I applied to schools September 1st (or 15th).

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lovejopd
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby lovejopd » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:52 am

loomstate wrote:
lovejopd wrote:
loomstate wrote:Is there something I am not getting here? Why would you ask for LORs in March when you're applying to schools in later October? This seems like adequate time for a professor to shrug it off and forget...

Also I have professors who told me they have saved drafts of LORs for me. Should I be asking for them 6 months in advance?

Sure, Process it as soon as possible. You do not have to wait for that.


Just seems silly..

Yes You are :lol:

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coldshoulder
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby coldshoulder » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:19 am

I'll be applying to schools ED september 1st and then as soon as I get the answer back do it again (UVA then Penn).
I'm going to be asking for my LOR's as soon as the semester ends, so I've had more time to have some personal meetings with my profs.

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loomstate
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby loomstate » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:50 pm

coldshoulder wrote:I'll be applying to schools ED september 1st and then as soon as I get the answer back do it again (UVA then Penn).
I'm going to be asking for my LOR's as soon as the semester ends, so I've had more time to have some personal meetings with my profs.


June LSAT?

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coldshoulder
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby coldshoulder » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:51 pm

loomstate wrote:
coldshoulder wrote:I'll be applying to schools ED september 1st and then as soon as I get the answer back do it again (UVA then Penn).
I'm going to be asking for my LOR's as soon as the semester ends, so I've had more time to have some personal meetings with my profs.


June LSAT?


Yep.

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loomstate
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Re: When to ask for LORs

Postby loomstate » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:42 pm

Yep.[/quote]

Best of luck! Cheers.




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