LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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pfla
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LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:07 am

I need advice, please.

On 1/18/11, I sent an email to one of my professors from undergrad requesting a letter of recommendation. I was in her legal research, legal writing, and trial advocacy classes (+ got A's in all three). In my email, I told her that I believe my performance in said classes best demonstrate my commitment to academics, as well as my ability to succeed in law school and the legal profession.

On 1/21/11, I sent her a follow-up email, which included the following: "...if you don't think you can provide me with a letter, I will understand and appreciate your telling me." Additionally, I left a message for her with the receptionist in her department (which I felt insanely guilty about).

She had office hours yesterday in the afternoon, so I figured I'd receive a response sometime yesterday. I didn't. The next time she has office hours is tomorrow. Also, based off my own experience with this professor, I know she's difficult to get a hold of via email, as well as responding to them.

Given the aforementioned, would you attempt to contact her by phone? I'm considering it, but I'm worried I might annoy her. Also, there's a slight chance she: 1. hasn't seen my email(s) due to the amount she receives a day or 2. has seen my email, but hasn't had the chance to respond.

Oh, and I now live three hours away/work full-time, so I can't meet with her in person (unless I take a day off from work), unfortunately.

Heeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllppp! :cry:

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Bluben
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby Bluben » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:16 am

My professor took a month to respond because I emailed him on his school email address and that's not his primary email account. Right when i was about to give up and ask someone else to write the letter for me, he responded saying he would be honored to and that he normally doesnt check his school email as much which is why it took him so long. It wouldnt hurt to call, especially in case your prof didnt read the emails. They get a ton of emails a day too from what i hear.

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cinephile
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby cinephile » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:30 am

Are you applying for this cycle? It's kind of late for that.

You could call, but after contacting him/her twice this week already it might come off as annyoing.

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pfla
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:38 am

cinephile wrote:Are you applying for this cycle? It's kind of late for that.

You could call, but after contacting him/her twice this week already it might come off as annyoing.


Yes, I am applying for this cycle. Also, I probably should've mentioned this, but I already have 2 LORs; however, being able to research, as well as write well, is crucial for law school and practicing law (obviously), so that's why I want one from her so badly.

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TommyK
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby TommyK » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:45 am

I live two hours away from my undergrad, work full-time, and managed to take a day off and stop by to visit my former professor during office hours. It's an important conversation, one which you should be able to look the prof in his/her eyes.

You handled it the wrong way. If it's important enough to ask your professor to spend some of his/her time away from research, grading papers, family, it should be important enough that you speak to the person live. If that is truly impossible (for example, if you're teaching English in China), I would have seen if you could have scheduled some time on the phone with the professor.

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pfla
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:03 pm

TommyK wrote:I live two hours away from my undergrad, work full-time, and managed to take a day off and stop by to visit my former professor during office hours. It's an important conversation, one which you should be able to look the prof in his/her eyes.

You handled it the wrong way. If it's important enough to ask your professor to spend some of his/her time away from research, grading papers, family, it should be important enough that you speak to the person live. If that is truly impossible (for example, if you're teaching English in China), I would have seen if you could have scheduled some time on the phone with the professor.


I agree with you that I should've asked in person; however, my boss would never allow me to take a day off, especially when we have two trials coming up. Also, I apologized to her in my first email for not making my request in person. I don't think she really cares if the request is made in person or by email to be honest, though. If she does, oops.

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txadv11
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby txadv11 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:26 pm

You first contacted her 1-18 and its one week later ? It took mine much longer than a week to get written, sent, and scanned into my file. I'd just shoot off the two you currently have. At this point waiting around another week, two, three, month, etc is going to hurt more than the difference between a decent letter of rec and whoever this person is. I guess to answer the original question, no, if she hasn't responded to emails, nor a message left with the secretary, I'd bail and focus my time and energy on getting applications sent and expedited.

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TommyK
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby TommyK » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:40 pm

txadv11 wrote:You first contacted her 1-18 and its one week later ? It took mine much longer than a week to get written, sent, and scanned into my file. I'd just shoot off the two you currently have. At this point waiting around another week, two, three, month, etc is going to hurt more than the difference between a decent letter of rec and whoever this person is. I guess to answer the original question, no, if she hasn't responded to emails, nor a message left with the secretary, I'd bail and focus my time and energy on getting applications sent and expedited.


Yeah, this is good advice. If you already have two, I think the opportunity cost of waiting an extra month to get a LOR would be too great if you're going for this cycle. There is probably no possible LOR that would outweigh the negative effects of waiting to apply.

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pfla
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:44 pm

txadv11 wrote:You first contacted her 1-18 and its one week later ? It took mine much longer than a week to get written, sent, and scanned into my file. I'd just shoot off the two you currently have. At this point waiting around another week, two, three, month, etc is going to hurt more than the difference between a decent letter of rec and whoever this person is. I guess to answer the original question, no, if she hasn't responded to emails, nor a message left with the secretary, I'd bail and focus my time and energy on getting applications sent and expedited.


Yeah, that's what I was thinking, but one of my letters is already on LSAC's website, and the other one should be on there any day now. I'm totally fine with the schools I'm applying to basing their decision on the two that they'll have shortly; however, I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw one more letter into the mix, especially if it's uploaded to LSAC in (early-mid) February.

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pfla
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:46 pm

TommyK wrote:
txadv11 wrote:You first contacted her 1-18 and its one week later ? It took mine much longer than a week to get written, sent, and scanned into my file. I'd just shoot off the two you currently have. At this point waiting around another week, two, three, month, etc is going to hurt more than the difference between a decent letter of rec and whoever this person is. I guess to answer the original question, no, if she hasn't responded to emails, nor a message left with the secretary, I'd bail and focus my time and energy on getting applications sent and expedited.


Yeah, this is good advice. If you already have two, I think the opportunity cost of waiting an extra month to get a LOR would be too great if you're going for this cycle. There is probably no possible LOR that would outweigh the negative effects of waiting to apply.


I already have all of my applications in -- I'm just waiting for my second LOR to be uploaded by LSAC (which they received sometime last week).

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DeeCee
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:47 pm

txadv11 wrote:You first contacted her 1-18 and its one week later ? It took mine much longer than a week to get written, sent, and scanned into my file. I'd just shoot off the two you currently have. At this point waiting around another week, two, three, month, etc is going to hurt more than the difference between a decent letter of rec and whoever this person is. I guess to answer the original question, no, if she hasn't responded to emails, nor a message left with the secretary, I'd bail and focus my time and energy on getting applications sent and expedited.


TITCR. Typically you want to give your recommenders a good 6 weeks to write the letter before you get up their ass about it. If someone asked me for a recommendation and then bothered me 2 weeks later through multiple calls and emails I would think twice about writing them a letter. Example- I asked for mine around September 1 knowing I wanted to get them mailed to LSAC by November 15th. They were all posted to the LSAC website by Nov 8th. Send your current letters in and don't think about this one anymore, you're already extremely late in the cycle and every week you wait there will be less of a chance you'll get offers from schools, as they operate on a rolling basis.

EDIT: Glad to see you have in all your apps and you aren't waiting entirely on this person.
Last edited by DeeCee on Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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joebloe
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby joebloe » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:48 pm

Yeah, 1/18 is kind of late to be asking if you want to apply this cycle. Given it was so late, you really needed to telephone along with your e-mail.

Honestly, if your numbers are good you probably shouldn't wait for this prof. She is very unlikely to be able to turn out a good LoR on such short notice; such things do and should take time.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:49 pm

.
Last edited by Kilpatrick on Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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txadv11
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby txadv11 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:52 pm

Kilpatrick wrote:
Also serious question, you had a legal research class in undergrad? What did you do? Did you have Westlaw and Lexis accounts?



I know you were asking OP, but I had it and yes, we basically used Westlaw and learned Sheppard's citations, basic understanding of opinions, dissents, concurring etc... Plus a "bluebook" SCOTUS brief that was 25+ pages

Then again, I took Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Courts and Judges, Appellate Advocacy, Judicial Processes, Public Opinion, and independent study using most of these in research methods. lol...
/gunner

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pfla
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:04 pm

txadv11 wrote:
Kilpatrick wrote:
Also serious question, you had a legal research class in undergrad? What did you do? Did you have Westlaw and Lexis accounts?



I know you were asking OP, but I had it and yes, we basically used Westlaw and learned Sheppard's citations, basic understanding of opinions, dissents, concurring etc... Plus a "bluebook" SCOTUS brief that was 25+ pages

Then again, I took Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Courts and Judges, Appellate Advocacy, Judicial Processes, Public Opinion, and independent study using most of these in research methods. lol...
/gunner



We weren't allowed to use Westlaw or Lexis until the final, which was a bitch. So, yeah, a majority of the semester I spent my time in the library burried in casebooks (i.e., American Jurisprudence, etc.)

This fact alone is one of the major reasons why I want a LOR from her. Also, I got a perfect score on her final exam in legal research which, according to her, hadn't been done before up until that point. Moreover, in legal writing, we had to write a 14+ page trial brief, and I was the prevailing party against my opposing counsel. Anyhow, I guess if I don't hear back from her by the end of the week, I'll just forget about it.

Also, the professors at my university won't agree to write a letter of recommendation unless they have your final LSAT score, which explains the short notice.

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vanwinkle
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:09 pm

Aside from how late you're applying... you waited three days for a professor notorious for not responding quickly to E-mails to respond to you, then sent a followup basically accusing them of deciding not to do it without telling you, and also left a message with their receptionist to get them to respond? If I were a prof and you did that to me, I sure wouldn't be eager to respond to you either.

No, truthfully, I would eagerly respond at that point and tell you I'd do it. Then I would write an LOR about your impatience, lack of foreplanning, and inappropriate behavior.

FTR, I did drive three hours each way to request an LOR from a hard-to-reach prof, actually. And I did it in August, so there was no rush, and no need to rush them.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:09 pm

pfla wrote:
txadv11 wrote:
Kilpatrick wrote:
Also serious question, you had a legal research class in undergrad? What did you do? Did you have Westlaw and Lexis accounts?



I know you were asking OP, but I had it and yes, we basically used Westlaw and learned Sheppard's citations, basic understanding of opinions, dissents, concurring etc... Plus a "bluebook" SCOTUS brief that was 25+ pages

Then again, I took Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Courts and Judges, Appellate Advocacy, Judicial Processes, Public Opinion, and independent study using most of these in research methods. lol...
/gunner



We weren't allowed to use Westlaw or Lexis until the final, which was a bitch. So, yeah, a majority of the semester I spent my time in the library burried in casebooks (i.e., American Jurisprudence, etc.)

This fact alone is one of the major reasons why I want a LOR from her. Also, I got a perfect score on her final exam in legal research which, according to her, hadn't been done before up until that point. Moreover, in legal writing, we had to write a 14+ page trial brief, and I was the prevailing party against my opposing counsel. Anyhow, I guess if I don't hear back from her by the end of the week, I'll just forget about it.

Also, the professors at my university won't agree to write a letter of recommendation unless they have your final LSAT score, which explains the short notice.


Oh well that sucks. At least having some familiarity with Westlaw and Lexis will actually be beneficial in law school since research doesn't really vary by professor. Honestly though, don't wait for her. The cost of waiting another couple weeks to go complete will hurt more than another letter that says "so and so did good in my class." Everybody's LORs will say that. Unless she says "so and so won a pulitzer for the work done in my class" don't bother with it.

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vanwinkle
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:09 pm

pfla wrote:Also, the professors at my university won't agree to write a letter of recommendation unless they have your final LSAT score, which explains the short notice.

Did you know this was the case? If so, then you should've taken the LSAT sooner.

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DeeCee
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby DeeCee » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:20 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
pfla wrote:Also, the professors at my university won't agree to write a letter of recommendation unless they have your final LSAT score, which explains the short notice.

Did you know this was the case? If so, then you should've taken the LSAT sooner.


+1. You should have done your leg work and did what you needed to do (LSAT in June and/or October), rather than taking the test last minute for this cycle and then rushing your prof. Unless this person is very nice, you probably have rubbed them the wrong way now, and either they will give you a mediocre letter, or tell you they don't have time.

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pfla
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Re: LOR Question - Professor not responding!!!!!!! RUDE

Postby pfla » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:29 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
pfla wrote:Also, the professors at my university won't agree to write a letter of recommendation unless they have your final LSAT score, which explains the short notice.

Did you know this was the case? If so, then you should've taken the LSAT sooner.


Yes, I did know this was the case, but unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to perform as well as they'd like the first time they take the LSAT.

Anyhow, she has until the end of the week to respond. If not, I'll understand because I agree I am giving her pretty late notice. Plus, I already have two. Thanks for the advice, everyone!




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