Non-traditional LORs

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delusional
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Non-traditional LORs

Postby delusional » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:20 am

I am having the devil of a time trying to get LORs. I have a non-traditional degree, and I've been out of school for a few years, and a lot of my work has not been as an employee (writing, tutoring, my own business). So I'm getting LORs from one academic reference, one former part time boss, and another boss for whom I worked for seven summers. Yes, seven.

Here's an odd question - The last guy, my boss for all those summers, knows me very, very, well. I am good friends with his whole family. Also, in addition to his summer employment, he is an educator and is employed in a field related to my major. He will write about anything I ask him to. Is it juvenile to ask him to include, along with an employment reference, his observations about my academic accomplishments? I have had many discussions with him over the years about my school work, and he is qualified to express opinions about it. And, my academic reference slate is not great without him. But I'm wondering if asking someone with whom I'm personally close, to write about something other than his "official" reference point will come across as desperate and out of place.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Non-traditional LORs

Postby delusional » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:27 pm

C'mon, people, you know the drill. if you don't know, make stuff up!

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kalvano
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Non-traditional LORs

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:42 pm

1 academic and 1 employer should be sufficient. It's your numbers, not your LOR's, that will carry the day.

If he wasn't your teacher, then I would avoid having him write about your academic achievements.

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fastforward
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:31 pm

Re: Non-traditional LORs

Postby fastforward » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:52 pm

Law schools look for specific content in LORs. Effusive praise with descriptive language (e.g. outstanding, excellent) is not helpful. If you have been several years out of UG, if by educator you mean faculty at a university, and if the potential recommender is familiar with the details of your UG work, then he is an ideal person to speak to your academic potential. Did he advise you on matters such as choice of classes, research paper topics, etc.? So much the better. He can speak both to your job performance and your academic potential. Still, if you can make contact with an UG professor who can speak with particularity to the content in the links below, that would be great.

I'm not clear what you mean by "non-traditional degree".

Here's a link from UC-Berkeley's UG site on choosing an LOR writer
https://career.berkeley.edu/law/LawLetter.stm

Here is a link with helpful information on specific content in a beneficial LOR, from the U-Chicago admissions dean
--LinkRemoved--

Hope this helps.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Non-traditional LORs

Postby delusional » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:42 pm

fastforward wrote:
I'm not clear what you mean by "non-traditional degree".

Here's a link from UC-Berkeley's UG site on choosing an LOR writer
https://career.berkeley.edu/law/LawLetter.stm

Here is a link with helpful information on specific content in a beneficial LOR, from the U-Chicago admissions dean
--LinkRemoved--

Hope this helps.

By non-traditional degree, I mean that I didn't have a single four year college-home where I sat in class and did work for professors. It involved a ton of self study, not much face time, and was also cobbled together from a number of different sources. I am led to believe that since the actual degree granting institution is a bricks-and-mortar school, it does not have the stigma of a online degree, but it still has the effect of not having much personal interaction upon which to base a LOR. Throw in the fact that it was a few years back, and it only gets worse.




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