LOR Dilemma

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

LOR Dilemma

Postby 2014 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:55 pm

Ok so here is my dilemma.

I had 3 LORs lined up.
1. From a professor who I studied abroad with who is not an instructor at my UG, but is fairly well known in his field and who was eager to write the letter for me. He completed it and sent it in within a week of when I asked him, a month before I requested he be done by.

2. From a long time family friend who is a dean at a large state school that I do not attend. She most certainly wrote me an exceptional letter and has an academic title to give some credibility, but without having actually taught me, I understand this one won't be looked at the same way as an academic LOR. She turned it in on time, it is processed.

3. From a professor at my UG who I have taken 2 courses from and who I also traveled abroad with. This one should be the most relevant one given that he teaches at my UG and I have had multiple courses with him, however it will also come across as the most generic since he was the least willing to write it. I asked him to send it by the first week of October, and gave him everything by the end of August. It is NOT received, and I'm not sure what to do. I know that I could just go to his office and ask, but the thing is, I sent an email last week offering to give him anything additional he needed, and obviously subtly reminding him, but that email has gone unanswered. I am now afraid to go to his office and come across as nagging.


I am HOPING that what happened is that it slipped his mind and he saw my email and decided to write and send it and then reply after to say it was done. That is obviously an unknown though.




So anyways, what to do.
Assuming his letter isn't in before the October LSAT posts, should I submit applications with the 2 LORs I have in and then update with his later either proactively or in the case of waitlists?

Should I risk looking deseperate and irritating and go look for him in person, potentially adversely affecting the quality of the letter?


Honestly at this point I'm leaning toward just writing him off as a letter writer and if he submits it great. I know schools want academic letters, but would 2 strong letters, one of which is academic really hurt me?

User avatar
im_blue
Posts: 3276
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:53 am

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby im_blue » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:15 pm

LOR #2 is going to hurt you, since the writer is neither a faculty member who taught you nor a full-time employer. Assuming you have no other options, I'd say you really need LOR #3 even if it may be mediocre (as long he doesn't say anything negative, of course).

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby 2014 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:44 pm

im_blue wrote:LOR #2 is going to hurt you, since the writer is neither a faculty member who taught you nor a full-time employer. Assuming you have no other options, I'd say you really need LOR #3 even if it may be mediocre (as long he doesn't say anything negative, of course).

What's the difference between that and someone having their UG advisor for example write one, which a fair amount of people do?
I certainly don't see that letter helping me as much as a strong academic one, but you are saying that a very positive character LOR from someone with knowledge of academia would in fact be a negative?

Additionally, I have a couple of semesters on my LSDAS transcript from the institution that she is a dean at, so there is some sort of academic connection present there, she just never instructed me.

kehoema2
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby kehoema2 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:50 pm

Why not just go to his office and remind him? The way I look at it is if you don't, you are going to write him off anyway. At least in that case you have the best chance of getting it in. If you are unsure if he finished it, see if there is some way you can hint at if it is ready to go or he simply didn't do it.

Also, I feel for you. I actually knew my one prof real well, did well in his class and even helped him out with some stuff. Every time I ask the fucking guy about the letter he always says he means to do it "he's just been so busy". It's a huge pain and I'm not sure if he will get it in on time. Luckily he is my 3rd letter.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby 2014 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:53 pm

kehoema2 wrote:Why not just go to his office and remind him? The way I look at it is if you don't, you are going to write him off anyway. At least in that case you have the best chance of getting it in. If you are unsure if he finished it, see if there is some way you can hint at if it is ready to go or he simply didn't do it.

I'm still somewhat holding out hope that he is writing it now having received my email and will send it. If that is the case and I go in after emailing and not hearing back, I feel like I run the risk of coming off as annoying and impatient and his letter ending up bad.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby 2014 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:05 am

Bump - still curious for more opinions

User avatar
lalalawya
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:34 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby lalalawya » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:58 am

The difference is they have their UG advisor write it. You are having the dean for a school you don't even attend write it. While I am sure the letter is impressive, I think the adcomms will question the type of relationship you guys have, considering you have never taken a class with them, are not employed by them, and do not attend the UG in which they are employed by. I think it will (This is just my opinion, by the way) be clear that the relationship you guys have is not professional or academic, but merely friendly. All of my school apps have made a point in saying that they strongly discourage any LOR coming from a family friend.

In regard to your third letter, I would give him until the end of the week and then stop by his office. If you haven't already. I know you don't want to feel like you are nagging, but you def. don't want to be waiting for him if he really has no intention of writing one and is just leading you on!

2014 wrote:
im_blue wrote:LOR #2 is going to hurt you, since the writer is neither a faculty member who taught you nor a full-time employer. Assuming you have no other options, I'd say you really need LOR #3 even if it may be mediocre (as long he doesn't say anything negative, of course).

What's the difference between that and someone having their UG advisor for example write one, which a fair amount of people do?
I certainly don't see that letter helping me as much as a strong academic one, but you are saying that a very positive character LOR from someone with knowledge of academia would in fact be a negative?

Additionally, I have a couple of semesters on my LSDAS transcript from the institution that she is a dean at, so there is some sort of academic connection present there, she just never instructed me.

RTFM
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:45 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby RTFM » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:30 pm

2014 wrote:2. From a long time family friend who is a dean at a large state school that I do not attend. She most certainly wrote me an exceptional letter and has an academic title to give some credibility, but without having actually taught me, I understand this one won't be looked at the same way as an academic LOR. She turned it in on time, it is processed.


I guess it's ultimately up to you, but it's a pretty bad idea to use this letter. I was recently at a panel with Deans of Admissions from Michigan, Chicago, and Penn, and all three of them said that they hate to see LORs from family friends. In the Levine admissions book, she says to never ever EVER use a LOR from a family friend. There is pretty much no way that this letter is going to help you, and, depending on the person who reads it, just putting in a letter from a family friend could hurt you.

There is a pretty big-name professor at my undergrad who never writes LORs for students before November 1, even if they ask for it earlier. It's kind a jerk move, but lots of people he's written for have gotten into good schools (read: Harvard), so it's not impossible that LOR #3 will still be a decent LOR. Go to his office and ask him about it. You'll be able to tell when you talk to him in person what the quality of the letter will be.

wjun15
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:09 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby wjun15 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:01 pm

i heard if you've been out of school for a while you can get former employers LOR. But what if I worked 5 months ago, can I still get it from them?

I have 2 from professors already.

User avatar
eandy
Posts: 2725
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby eandy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:04 pm

I would not send LOR 2. That makes it look like you couldn't get someone who has actually taught you to write one. LOR 3 may just be taking a while to post. Why not ask your professor to fax it? That is what I did. My professor was more than happy to fax my letter for me since it was taking so long to process.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: LOR Dilemma

Postby 2014 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:02 pm

eandy wrote:I would not send LOR 2. That makes it look like you couldn't get someone who has actually taught you to write one. LOR 3 may just be taking a while to post. Why not ask your professor to fax it? That is what I did. My professor was more than happy to fax my letter for me since it was taking so long to process.

Still can't get ahold of the guy.
Since I posted this I have stopped by his office I think 7 times to no avail and sent him another email. The only class I have right now that is small enough to ask for a letter is one where we don't have tests, so my professor has very little to judge me on. Also only knowing her for 2 months now, it would seem bad to ask for a time sensitive letter.

It's kind of all or nothing on the other one now, here's hoping he gets back to me.
(Not going to have him fax either given the recent thread that basically claimed that faxes are getting rejected now)




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: malysh, TriSapien, vintageblazers and 7 guests