Recommender Check-In?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Recommender Check-In?

Postby toph » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:33 pm

What's the protocol with asking a recommender if he/she is close with their letter? What about just making sure they didn't totally forget? One of my letters is in, but the other seems to be taking a while (6+ weeks since they said 'Yes'). I want to apply before Thanksgiving and don't want to be held up too long, especially when it's the only thing left incomplete.

Is it in bad taste to send an email to see how it's going or if something went wrong? How should I word it?

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby plenipotentiary » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:42 pm

6 weeks is actually not that long. You should have asked earlier.

What you should do now is make up a deadline. Like, "Hey, Professor X. Just wanted to let you know that the Early Action deadline for one of the law schools I'm applying to is December 1st. Hope your semester is going well, blah blah blah."

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby mst » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:45 pm

No, it's not in bad taste. Simply make sure you don't come off as an asshat. I was in this situation recently. 2 of mine got it done right away but the 3rd took 6-8 weeks. Despite my casual reminders and offers of "you anything else from me?" it still didn't get done.

I basically said: Hi. Hope everything's going well! How about that weather?! How's little Timmy? Hope he's good! Anyways...several of my deadlines are next week (they are if you hope to be complete by thanksgiving). Most of my applications are ready to be submitted, and I was curious as to when you expected to have my letter of rec complete? If there's anything I can do to help you, such as provide you with another copy of my resume or transcript, please let me know! Thank you!

If two weeks go by and you still haven't received the letter, send a more strongly worded one.

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:48 pm

Dear _____,

I just wanted to give you an update regarding my law school application journey. (LSAT, personal statement, school list) is completed and with every passing day I'm more confident about this next phase of my life.

All along I've had the goal of submitting my applications by Thanksgiving so I can concentrate on (finals, having a baby, backpacking through Kansas). Are you still able to provide a letter of recommendation by that time? Do you need any additional information or would you like to meet with me in person? I'm happy to provide my personal statement if you need a reminder of my writing style.

Thanks, again, for your willingness to advocate on my behalf.

Best wishes,


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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby toph » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:07 pm

Thanks guys, you've been most helpful.

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby runningzigzag » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:25 pm

How many LOR's do you already have in? If it was me, I would move onto someone else for a LOR. 6 weeks is an awful long time to wait on someone.

FYI: I was in a similiar situation as you...I moved on and found someone else quickly. It ended up being a VERY good decision on my's been almost 3 months and the LOR still isn't there! And my recommender promised me up and down that he would submit it. I even emailed him a couple of times about it. Lesson learned: ALWAYS have back matter what you do in life.

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby hokie » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:40 pm

I also had no contact with my recommenders for 6 weeks; then I sent them a friendly reminder stating ED application deadlines were quickly approaching (before I found out I bombed the October LSAT). Both of them mailed it in within that week. I would not be so haste to move on to another recommender and just shoot them a email; professors are busy and sometimes all they need is a friendly reminder!

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby runningzigzag » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:27 am

I did exactly that...and still nothing. That's why I moved on. I sent 2 emails and he knew the importance of it. I'm not going to take it personally--he probably did forget and got busy teaching--but I couldn't wait anymore and I had to moved on. Thankfully, I already had 2 high quality recommenders submit letters for me. So it all worked out in the end.

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby rcm2116 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:23 pm

I sent this to my recommender whose letter still hasn't registered in LSAC after two months--

Hey XXX!

I hope that you're doing well in MN and loving grad school! Have you
been enjoying the classes? Didn't you have some sweet internship set
up? I can't believe that the first semester is almost over.

I'm writing because for some reason or another, the LOR you wrote for
me still hasn't processed yet. I had my boss from this summer send
one in around the same time as you and his was in within a week of his
trip to the post office. A few schools are holding my application
because an LOR is missing.

Have you received a confirmation from LSAC that the letter has been
received? They send you an email when it does. If not, it may be a
good idea to go ahead and send it again. I can re-send you all of the
information, and send you a PDF to cut down on time and stamps.

Thanks again for writing on my behalf--I deeply appreciate it! I know
how busy you are, so thanks in advance.

It went over pretty well and turned out that she had forgotten to sign the right form. All is right in the world again!

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby whymeohgodno » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:25 pm

I feel like an ass since I basically asked my professors to write my letter in 3 weeks. One said yes and the other never said anything one way or the other but is still writing me a letter so w/e.

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Re: Recommender Check-In?

Postby runningzigzag » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:01 pm

I still haven't seen anything from mine :)

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