Yet another LOR question...

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Capitalist
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Yet another LOR question...

Postby Capitalist » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:47 am

Here's the situation: I have one LOR locked up from an undergrad professor who I have a good relationship with and who knows me very well. The question is regarding the second LOR. I have one professor in mind, but I'm not sure our relationship is close enough for him to really write a great letter, and the last thing I want is for him to write something that could be lukewarm or give adcomms pause.

The other individual I have in mind for the second LOR is a lawyer from my hometown. Now, I know that unless you've been out of school for a few years, the concensus is to get letters from profs, but I've known this man for 15 years of my short 22 year life and I'm 100% sure he would write a fantastic letter on my behalf. We have a very close relationship, and he has been one of my biggest inspirations and mentors throughout the years we have known each other.

So, what say you, TLS? The professor or the lawyer for the second LOR?

Thanks in advance.

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txadv11
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby txadv11 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:51 am

I'm in a very similar situation. I am going with a local lawyer who knows me very well over a professor that knows me pretty well but is quite busy and forgetful. I KNOW that the lawyer will write up a very good letter, while the teacher may be too busy. I think one very strong academic and one very strong professional is much better than one very strong academic and one iffy academic.

zephyr36
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby zephyr36 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:55 am

I'm in the exact same boat. I have a prof that I have a great relationship with, and others that I have a pretty casual relationship with. I was thinking of sending 3? 2 from professors and 1 from a lawyer that I've worked for for over three years who would write me a stellar letter of recommendation. Would that be a poor strategy?

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Marionberry
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby Marionberry » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:56 am

There's a difference in a professional LOR and a LOR from a professional. If the lawyer wasn't your boss or coworker, it will probably be of little if any help.

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St.Remy
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby St.Remy » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:00 pm

Yale requires 2 academic LORs, the consensus is that most other schools prefer them as well. That being said, I think in almost all cases a great LOR from an employer would be preferable to an okay LOR from a prof.

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Capitalist
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby Capitalist » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:07 pm

Marionberry wrote:There's a difference in a professional LOR and a LOR from a professional. If the lawyer wasn't your boss or coworker, it will probably be of little if any help.


Marionberry, I appreciate your response, but you're saying that a letter from someone I've had that kind of relationship with would not be of any help?

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Marionberry
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby Marionberry » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:19 pm

That's my understanding, but I may be wrong. It could very well depend on the individual school and admissions committee. Everything I've read about LORs suggests that letters from politicians, judges, attornies, or whoever that hasn't been an academic or work relation don't count for much.

This article should be pretty helpful if you haven't already read it.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/letters- ... ation.html

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Pleasye
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby Pleasye » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:06 pm

I read on a schools website that "letters from family members or family friends are strongly discouraged". I think your lawyer (since you didn't work for him) would fall under the friend or longtime family friend category. You should ask your professor.

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2ofspades
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby 2ofspades » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:51 pm

Marionberry wrote:There's a difference in a professional LOR and a LOR from a professional. If the lawyer wasn't your boss or coworker, it will probably be of little if any help.

+1

Go with the prof

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Capitalist
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby Capitalist » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:13 pm

So, the response I'm getting is go with the unsure letter from the prof instead of the sure thing?

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manbearwig
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby manbearwig » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:50 pm

Capitalist wrote:So, the response I'm getting is go with the unsure letter from the prof instead of the sure thing?


I'd say yes, go with the prof, if only because it sounds like your lawyer friend is just that, a friend. By non-academic, schools mean they want recommendation letters from bosses or maybe coworkers, not family friends. If you haven't worked for this guy, the letter's not going to look good. After all, I'm sure loads of people have friends of the family who happen to be lawyers.

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Pleasye
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Re: Yet another LOR question...

Postby Pleasye » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:09 am

Capitalist wrote:So, the response I'm getting is go with the unsure letter from the prof instead of the sure thing?


Yes, because even though it's a sure thing it is most likely going to be looked down upon. Unlike a letter from a professor that may be a little generic but still what the school asked for.




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