Targeted Vs. General LOR's

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
HeadToWall
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:09 am

Targeted Vs. General LOR's

Postby HeadToWall » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 am

I am an internationally educated student, and every professor I have approached requesting an LOR has told me that LORs must be specific to the program and that general letters are of no use. Considering my plan to apply to 10+ schools in hopes of increasing my chances at a top program, it seems a bit unreasonable to ask professors for so many different letters, even if all they need to change is a few school-specific sentences. So, my questions are:

Is it a significant disadvantage to send general letters?
(Next question directed to people who have received acceptances) What type of LORs (general/targeted) did you send that got you accepted into your top-choice school/s?

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Targeted Vs. General LOR's

Postby bp shinners » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:27 pm

Not at all. I have no statistics or studies whatsoever to back this up, but 95%+ of all LoRs are general letters.

Like you said, it's unreasonable to ask for 10 LoRs from each professor. On top of that, all law schools are looking for them to say more or less the same thing. The only time I'd recommend a targeted letter is if you have access to a prominent alumni (in which case, a phone call would be better), or there's something different about that school that you want to highlight (such as sending Pepperdine a letter from the priest who has watched you teach Sunday school for the past 15 years).

sarahlawg
Posts: 1001
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:59 pm

Re: Targeted Vs. General LOR's

Postby sarahlawg » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:32 pm

Stanford and NU are the only ones in the t14 that want something different than the form letter you send everyone else. And even then, you can get in to both by sending those form LORs.

HeadToWall
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:09 am

Re: Targeted Vs. General LOR's

Postby HeadToWall » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:42 am

Thanks, Now I begin the gentle art of finding a way to tell professors that they are slightly less than correct...




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