Yet another letters of recommendation question

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Insomniac
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:41 am

Yet another letters of recommendation question

Postby Insomniac » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:43 am

Hey everyone, I have a quick question regarding the letters of rec. Obviously, I am in the process of trying to get my letters of recommendation together, but I am also trying to figure out who I want to write them for me. Currently, I have one of my professors that has written a strong letter for me, however I am having trouble deciding on the other recommenders. I have a U.S. Congresswoman, both the president and dean of student affairs at my college, as well as a circuit court judge who have all openly stated that they would like to write a letter of rec. for me. I keep seeing that people recommend getting 2 letters from professors, however I do not know any of my other professors that well. Should I be worried about that or would any of the people listed above be qualified recommenders? Thanks for your help!

bocastudent
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:41 am

Re: Yet another letters of recommendation question

Postby bocastudent » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:58 am

Congresswoman or judge?

I'm on the same boat as you, with very similar options!

Imagine you're the admissions people: If a judge gave you an advice that's different than the politician's advice, which one would you listen to? :P


That's how I would decide that one.. In fact, I'm in the process of getting one from a judge myself.. I'm gonna send him my resume (and basically what I've done with my life the past 4 years).. so maybe I'm a little biased.. But I still, I really think that a letter from a judge would look amazing.

In regards to getting 2 letters from 2 professors... you have excellent options, so there's no need to be redundant.

Conclusion: I suggest you have 1 letter from a professor that shows how you are in terms of academics and 1 from a judge that shows you have great character and are professional (assuming you worked for him, like I did).

Good luck to us!!!!

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nihilism is key
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Re: Yet another letters of recommendation question

Postby nihilism is key » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:29 am

We strongly prefer letters from at least two faculty members who know your academic work directly. Professors who have worked with you on an individual basis—such as a senior thesis adviser or an honors adviser—are usually the best sources. Letters from employers are also acceptable, particularly for applicants who have been out of school for several years. Additional letters from college deans, chaplains, summer employers, and colleagues may be helpful, but we are most interested in letters from people who can realistically assess your academic potential.
- Yale

The Statement of Instructor (Form C) should be given to instructors who have personal knowledge of your academic work, preferably those who have known you in a seminar, small class, tutorial program, or the like. Applicants who have been out of school for a significant period may substitute one letter from an employer or business associate.
- Stanford

The Admissions Committee has found that thoughtful recommendations that address the applicant's academic abilities can play a very useful role in the selection process. Two are required to complete the application file. A good reference choice is a college teacher who has first-hand knowledge of the applicant's scholastic abilities and work habits and is, therefore, able to write a meaningful recommendation. Applicants who have been out of college for several years and find it difficult to reach teachers should obtain references from employers, supervisors, or attorneys who are familiar with the applicant's qualifications for law study.
- U Cincinnati

The letters of recommendation you submit will be read by law professors, not potential employers. The letters should address your skills as a student and give specific examples of your academic abilities. If you have completed a thesis or special project, worked as a research assistant, or gone well beyond the basic requirements of a course, our admissions committee wants to read about these accomplishments. If you are far removed from undergraduate or academic life, letters from those other than professors are acceptable.
- U Oregon

If you are applying straight from undergrad you should be getting two letters of recommendation from professors/faculty members who can speak to your academic performance and capabilities. If you wish to send in an additional professional rec, choose the person you think would write the best letter. From discussions I've had with adcomms, if you spent 4 years in undergrad, there is absolutely no reason you should not have been able to develop some sort of relationship with 2 professors (especially considering the fact that from freshman year through junior year the average student has had about 20-26). When I spoke with the Columbia adcomm, they said that if you were at a school with large lectures and a lack of personal attention from professors a TA rec might be the way to go. The main point they highlighted repeatedly is: academic source that can speak to your performance in an academic environment.

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Rand M.
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Re: Yet another letters of recommendation question

Postby Rand M. » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:40 am

bocastudent wrote:Congresswoman or judge?

Imagine you're the admissions people: If a judge gave you an advice that's different than the politician's advice, which one would you listen to? :P


That's how I would decide that one.. In fact, I'm in the process of getting one from a judge myself.. I'm gonna send him my resume (and basically what I've done with my life the past 4 years).. so maybe I'm a little biased.. But I still, I really think that a letter from a judge would look amazing.

In regards to getting 2 letters from 2 professors... you have excellent options, so there's no need to be redundant.

Conclusion: I suggest you have 1 letter from a professor that shows how you are in terms of academics and 1 from a judge that shows you have great character and are professional (assuming you worked for him, like I did).

Good luck to us!!!!


Please don't listen any of bocastudent's advice. That is some of the worst advice I have seen in a while. To add to the above list, Cornell will not take your application with less than two academic recs. Nobody cares who writes your recs. Some of your classmates will be the children of the types of people you're fawning over. Adcomms do not care who you know, they care about what they have to say about you. If someone doesn't know your work intimately, I would look for a rec elsewhere. Trust me when I say adcomms are more concerned with the body of a rec than the header. Please don't fall into that trap. If someone important writes you a generic letter, that does nothing for you. Professors who can speak to the quality of your work are the recs they are looking for. If you've been out for a while, they are looking from the same thing from a boss.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Yet another letters of recommendation question

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:13 pm

bocastudent wrote:Congresswoman or judge?

I'm on the same boat as you, with very similar options!

Imagine you're the admissions people: If a judge gave you an advice that's different than the politician's advice, which one would you listen to? :P


That's how I would decide that one.. In fact, I'm in the process of getting one from a judge myself.. I'm gonna send him my resume (and basically what I've done with my life the past 4 years).. so maybe I'm a little biased.. But I still, I really think that a letter from a judge would look amazing.

In regards to getting 2 letters from 2 professors... you have excellent options, so there's no need to be redundant.

Conclusion: I suggest you have 1 letter from a professor that shows how you are in terms of academics and 1 from a judge that shows you have great character and are professional (assuming you worked for him, like I did).

Good luck to us!!!!


Someone take the font colour option away from this poster. Please.

Also, professors matter. You can send the judge/whatever/etc. in as an additional third though.




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