I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
dcgbm
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:02 pm

I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby dcgbm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:35 pm

Thanks for checking, I'll make it short: I thought he'd be more than happy to write one but in the response email he said eh sure, i said thanks would you like me to send you some of the work i did for you, and some more details about myself (it's been a while) and he said uh nah i won't need that.

bottom line, he's currently writing it, but i don't want it because i'm pretty sure it will be mediocre at best. i'm not familiar with the process; is it possible that he writes it and i just don't send it to schools? or if it goes on lsac do the schools end up seeing it?

Also, my other academic LOR was from a TA, and my backup LOR (which i'll contact asap since this professor kinda blew up) is also a TA... is this a problem?

User avatar
kazu
Posts: 1602
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:35 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby kazu » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:37 pm

dcgbm wrote:Thanks for checking, I'll make it short: I thought he'd be more than happy to write one but in the response email he said eh sure, i said thanks would you like me to send you some of the work i did for you, and some more details about myself (it's been a while) and he said uh nah i won't need that.

bottom line, he's currently writing it, but i don't want it because i'm pretty sure it will be mediocre at best. i'm not familiar with the process; is it possible that he writes it and i just don't send it to schools? or if it goes on lsac do the schools end up seeing it?

Also, my other academic LOR was from a TA, and my backup LOR (which i'll contact asap since this professor kinda blew up) is also a TA... is this a problem?

You can not use it even if he sends it to LSAC - when applying LSAC has you assign specific LORs to each school you apply to, if you don't assign that particular letter than none of the schools will see it.

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

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby im_blue » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:37 pm

The prof can send in his LOR but you don't have to assign it to any schools. As for the TAs, some schools say it's fine as long as they know your work, but others insist on having faculty write them.

dcgbm
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby dcgbm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:37 pm

just thought of this btw, could I not sign the thing that says i'll read it, then read the letter, and decide myself if it's good enough?

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

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby im_blue » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:38 pm

How are you going to read it? The prof sends the LOR directly to LSAC and you can't view it, whether you signed the waiver or not.

User avatar
kazu
Posts: 1602
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:35 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby kazu » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:39 pm

dcgbm wrote:just thought of this btw, could I not sign the thing that says i'll read it, then read the letter, and decide myself if it's good enough?

If the prof doesn't show it to you, the "thing" means that the law school you get accepted at will let you read the letter after matriculating. They don't show it to you before applying.

dcgbm
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby dcgbm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:46 pm

damn, didn't know that. so i suppose the question now becomes risk a mediocre letter by a professor or get a decent letter from a TA (which would make my two letters both from TAs). which schools insisted that you get it form faculty?

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

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby im_blue » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:01 pm

Columbia (preferred)
Michigan ("most helpful" LORs from faculty)
Duke ("should come from" faculty)
Cornell (required)
Georgetown (faculty or employer)

Bankhead
Posts: 1124
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:50 am

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby Bankhead » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:05 pm

He's probably just using his standard form letter. Likely, it's passable. Did you do well in the class? Did you know the prof at all?

User avatar
Arbiter213
Posts: 2249
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby Arbiter213 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:06 pm

First off, never ask for a letter of recommendation via email. You should ask in person specifically so you can gauge their reaction.

Also, for TA's, see if the relevant professors will sign off on the letter if the TA writes it.

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

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby eandy » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:07 pm

Not going to talk to him in person to ask for an LOR was a HUGE mistake. You can't tell over email how "cold" his response is. If you go in person, you get a chance to assess how enthusiastic he is about it and it jogs his memory(if necessary as to who you are).

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

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby kehoema2 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:44 pm

Think you kind of put yourself in a hole. Only thing you might be able to do to judge his reaction a little bit better is meet up with him when you give him the LSAC coversheet and see how personable he is . This is probably a good idea as, in my opinion, it might be a little risky to only have TAs writing your LORs.

dcgbm
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby dcgbm » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:07 am

Thanks for the honest opinions. To add some more background I had to ask via email because I'm working overseas. I suppose I might be misinterpreting his enthusiasm level but for me the fact that he says he doesn't need any more info when it's been 2.5 years seems like a red flag. I doubt he'd write NEGATIVE things about me, but either way it doesn't feel right.

As for the prof. signing off on the TA's letter, should I ask the TA if the prof would be willing to do that, or should I ask the prof. if he'd mind the TA writing my letter? I know the TA pretty well, the professor DEFININTELY doesn't know me.

as a side note I really hate how the fact that I mostly had big classes and didn't really feel the need to get to know professors personally is biting me right now. I did well throughout college but I suppose I should have looked out for my LOR interests a bit more. DAMN IT!

User avatar
Arbiter213
Posts: 2249
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: I asked a prof for an LOR but his reaction was really cold..

Postby Arbiter213 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:11 am

dcgbm wrote:Thanks for the honest opinions. To add some more background I had to ask via email because I'm working overseas. I suppose I might be misinterpreting his enthusiasm level but for me the fact that he says he doesn't need any more info when it's been 2.5 years seems like a red flag. I doubt he'd write NEGATIVE things about me, but either way it doesn't feel right.

As for the prof. signing off on the TA's letter, should I ask the TA if the prof would be willing to do that, or should I ask the prof. if he'd mind the TA writing my letter? I know the TA pretty well, the professor DEFININTELY doesn't know me.

as a side note I really hate how the fact that I mostly had big classes and didn't really feel the need to get to know professors personally is biting me right now. I did well throughout college but I suppose I should have looked out for my LOR interests a bit more. DAMN IT!


Ask the TA about it, explaining the situation. I have a TA who wrote a letter for me, and when I said it was for law school (she had offered spontaneously, I think assuming I'd be going for a PhD), she hesitated and said she thought it should be a Professor. She proceeded to confirm with the Professor for the class and wrote the body of a letter he wrote for me (he did happen to know me too and probably would have also written me one, but I never actually spoke to him about it.)

Ironically this was the only letter that DIDN'T require chasing down.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], cooldog and 9 guests