How long is too long ago for LOR?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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chrisnashville
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How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby chrisnashville » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:30 am

I've searched and found quite a few topics about hesitancy in approaching bosses about letters of recommendations, either out of fear of being canned or otherwise. I'm not in quite the same pickle - I feel comfortable approaching both my boss and his boss (I have already), and I know they'll write solid recommendations - the latter went so far as to mention substantial salary bumps, etc., to convince me to stay.

That being said, I'm hearing over and over again about the importance of an academic LOR, and at best I'd be reaching for one. There is _a_ professor that helped me quite a bit as I transitioned into RL and practically landed me two jobs. But that was nearly four years ago.

Should I settle with two solid employer-based LOR or substitute one with what may be an academic LOR with (relatively) less punch? Or just submit three?

:shock: Any bit of advice would be much appreciated! Thanks.
(Ahem, if you're so inclined... 166/3.69)

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Hannibal
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Re: How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby Hannibal » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:36 am

The longer ago it was the less important an academic LOR is, especially at Northwestern.

Have you considered trying to improve your LSAT by a few points?

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jtemp320
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Re: How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby jtemp320 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:37 am

My two cents is to submit three - if the Prof took the time to help you before he will remember you. Best of all would be to sit down with him/her over a copy of coffee or lunch - explain what you've been up to and why you want to go law school remind and thank them for helping you before and give them your resume and PS and even a sample LOR. If its the weakest letter but still positive then it can only help. If you can't get it - the fact that you've been out 4 years will excuse the lack of an academic LOR. But go for it if you can, unless there is something you are not telling us about the Prof or your relationship - no way it can hurt.

Good luck

Hey-O
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Re: How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby Hey-O » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:37 am

Most schools accept three LORs. Any more than that is overkill, but three is usually okay. Check with each school and if one school says only two then use one employer and one academic. Definitely get the academic reference as many schools want at least one of those.

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jtemp320
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Re: How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby jtemp320 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:41 am

Hey-O wrote:Most schools accept three LORs. Any more than that is overkill, but three is usually okay. Check with each school and if one school says only two then use one employer and one academic. Definitely get the academic reference as many schools want at least one of those.


Actually many accept 4 - not that you need that many but if each show something truly different and positive about you then submit them all I say (im submitting 4 where allowed)

Btw OP I feel your pain - I've been out 2 years and I'm having a very hard time tracking down profs because it is summer and its been so long since I've been in touch with them

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chrisnashville
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Re: How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby chrisnashville » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:38 am

Hannibal wrote:The longer ago it was the less important an academic LOR is, especially at Northwestern.

Have you considered trying to improve your LSAT by a few points?


I have. I was PT'ing an average of about 160. 166 was a substantial surprise, to say the least (164 on one test, but 157 on the last I took - a grand total of 6, but nonetheless, I'm a little skittish about scoring lower on a second go-around). And I realize that it's in that "gray area" where 167 would lessen the dings... :/

jtemp320 wrote:My two cents is to submit three - if the Prof took the time to help you before he will remember you. Best of all would be to sit down with him/her over a copy of coffee or lunch - explain what you've been up to and why you want to go law school remind and thank them for helping you before and give them your resume and PS and even a sample LOR. If its the weakest letter but still positive then it can only help. If you can't get it - the fact that you've been out 4 years will excuse the lack of an academic LOR. But go for it if you can, unless there is something you are not telling us about the Prof or your relationship - no way it can hurt.

Good luck


Ha! I hadn't looked too much into the phrasing, but "transition into the RL" does sound a little scandalous, doesn't it. Nothing to see there.

Thanks for the advice guys :-)

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jtemp320
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Re: How long is too long ago for LOR?

Postby jtemp320 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:45 am

chrisnashville wrote:
Hannibal wrote:The longer ago it was the less important an academic LOR is, especially at Northwestern.

Have you considered trying to improve your LSAT by a few points?


I have. I was PT'ing an average of about 160. 166 was a substantial surprise, to say the least (164 on one test, but 157 on the last I took - a grand total of 6, but nonetheless, I'm a little skittish about scoring lower on a second go-around). And I realize that it's in that "gray area" where 167 would lessen the dings... :/

jtemp320 wrote:My two cents is to submit three - if the Prof took the time to help you before he will remember you. Best of all would be to sit down with him/her over a copy of coffee or lunch - explain what you've been up to and why you want to go law school remind and thank them for helping you before and give them your resume and PS and even a sample LOR. If its the weakest letter but still positive then it can only help. If you can't get it - the fact that you've been out 4 years will excuse the lack of an academic LOR. But go for it if you can, unless there is something you are not telling us about the Prof or your relationship - no way it can hurt.

Good luck


Ha! I hadn't looked too much into the phrasing, but "transition into the RL" does sound a little scandalous, doesn't it. Nothing to see there.

Thanks for the advice guys :-)


:lol: wasn't even implying that - but that is hilarious...




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