LOR question

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stej94
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LOR question

Postby stej94 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:51 pm

Hey all, long time lurker, finally decided to join. My question is basically how significant will the absence of a second academic LOR be. I will be applying this upcoming cycle as a senior, and I will have one academic letter and one letter from my law firm internship for sure. Most of my classes up until this point have been relatively large, so, while I may be able to get one more academic letter it would most likely just be a run of the mill general letter that doesn't add much. Just for context I am looking at the lower tier of the t-14 up until 25-30. Any responses are greatly appreciated.

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soj
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Re: LOR question

Postby soj » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:54 pm

You should have two academic LORs, particularly since you're still in UG. Maybe visit some profs whose classes you did well in and get to know them a little better? The letter from your internship won't have much sway.
Last edited by soj on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stej94
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Re: LOR question

Postby stej94 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:28 pm

Thanks for the reply soj, I know ideally I should have the two academic, and will attempt to get the second but if i am not able to, do you think it will keep me out of schools where my numbers would normally be good for.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: LOR question

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:51 pm

stej94 wrote:Thanks for the reply soj, I know ideally I should have the two academic, and will attempt to get the second but if i am not able to, do you think it will keep me out of schools where my numbers would normally be good for.


I doubt it, although I've heard some schools, like Cornell, demand two academic recs. Many schools say things like "at least one from an academic source" so you'll have no problem with them. If other schools are less clear your best bet is to call and ask.

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Opie
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Re: LOR question

Postby Opie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:24 pm

I wouldn't want to stand out in a negative way at all. I can imagine an adcomm saying "okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier." That's the kind of thing I do when I'm hiring people. If I'm looking for someone who can use the latest version of Office and I have 1500 applicants, I toss every resume that doesn't specifically mention that version of Office. Is it fair, probably not, but it's easy.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: LOR question

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:32 pm

Opie wrote:I wouldn't want to stand out in a negative way at all. I can imagine an adcomm saying "okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier." That's the kind of thing I do when I'm hiring people. If I'm looking for someone who can use the latest version of Office and I have 1500 applicants, I toss every resume that doesn't specifically mention that version of Office. Is it fair, probably not, but it's easy.


The law school numbers graphs say otherwise.

Adcomm: "Okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier."

[Dean walks in]

Dean: "Wait, what? Why are we cutting a bunch of people above our medians just because they don't have two academic LORs? How will this help us move up the US News rankings?"

Adcomm: "Well, sir, we are trying to make a difficult process easier. And it is important to know that students have shown the necessary classroom skill to succeed at our esteemed institution. Even if they are above our medians, we can't be sure they will excel here and contribute to society in a meaningful way unless they have proven, based on generic LORs from professors they had talked to once before, that they can make it in law school."

Dean: "Here's a box. Pack up your shit and don't let me see you in this office ever again."

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Samara
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Re: LOR question

Postby Samara » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:38 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Opie wrote:I wouldn't want to stand out in a negative way at all. I can imagine an adcomm saying "okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier." That's the kind of thing I do when I'm hiring people. If I'm looking for someone who can use the latest version of Office and I have 1500 applicants, I toss every resume that doesn't specifically mention that version of Office. Is it fair, probably not, but it's easy.


The law school numbers graphs say otherwise.

Adcomm: "Okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier."

[Dean walks in]

Dean: "Wait, what? Why are we cutting a bunch of people above our medians just because they don't have two academic LORs? How will this help us move up the US News rankings?"

Adcomm: "Well, sir, we are trying to make a difficult process easier. And it is important to know that students have shown the necessary classroom skill to succeed at our esteemed institution. Even if they are above our medians, we can't be sure they will excel here and contribute to society in a meaningful way unless they have proven, based on generic LORs from professors they had talked to once before, that they can make it in law school."

Dean: "Here's a box. Pack up your shit and don't let me see you in this office ever again."

lol +1

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Opie
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Re: LOR question

Postby Opie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Opie wrote:I wouldn't want to stand out in a negative way at all. I can imagine an adcomm saying "okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier." That's the kind of thing I do when I'm hiring people. If I'm looking for someone who can use the latest version of Office and I have 1500 applicants, I toss every resume that doesn't specifically mention that version of Office. Is it fair, probably not, but it's easy.


The law school numbers graphs say otherwise.

Adcomm: "Okay, lets cut everyone in this pile who doesn't have at least two academic LORs just to make this easier."

[Dean walks in]

Dean: "Wait, what? Why are we cutting a bunch of people above our medians just because they don't have two academic LORs? How will this help us move up the US News rankings?"

Adcomm: "Well, sir, we are trying to make a difficult process easier. And it is important to know that students have shown the necessary classroom skill to succeed at our esteemed institution. Even if they are above our medians, we can't be sure they will excel here and contribute to society in a meaningful way unless they have proven, based on generic LORs from professors they had talked to once before, that they can make it in law school."

Dean: "Here's a box. Pack up your shit and don't let me see you in this office ever again."


While that situation would never happen, I could totally see an adcomm doing something like that when say trying to decide which couple of people in a certain pile to take. Certainly not for a whole class though.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: LOR question

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:03 pm

I know I totally strawmanned the shit out of your argument Opie. I actually think for someone right on the bubble it could matter, but if he has the numbers to get in he'll get in. The OP did say that he will have one LOR from a professor, so he should be fine. But there could be a few schools out there (Cornell is one) who will require two from professors for someone straight out of UG.

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Opie
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Re: LOR question

Postby Opie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:17 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I know I totally strawmanned the shit out of your argument Opie. I actually think for someone right on the bubble it could matter, but if he has the numbers to get in he'll get in. The OP did say that he will have one LOR from a professor, so he should be fine. But there could be a few schools out there (Cornell is one) who will require two from professors for someone straight out of UG.


Totally correct about the numbers. Sometimes I think the most important numbers in the application process are how many people applied and how many they plan on accepting. If there are enough spots and you're above the line, you're in. And the people who are going to get money were pretty much always in if they paid any attention to LORs, softs, PS, etc.

stej94
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Re: LOR question

Postby stej94 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:19 pm

Hey guys thanks for the replies, and yeah I definitely understand it won't be favorable if on the bubble, and could hurt when looking at my softs, just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing myself in by not getting another LOR.

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SA1928
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Re: LOR question

Postby SA1928 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:20 pm

This is sort of along the same lines of the original question...(but I apologize and can re-post if anyone feels it doesn't belong!)

If you have been out of undergrad for at least 1-2 years, do you think it is more important to have a LOR from your employer or to have two academic letters?
I have two outstanding letters (outstanding at least according to the people who wrote them since I personally have not seen them), but one is from a professor and the other is from my manager. I am afraid that this could potentially hurt me since I have only been out of school for one year and should technically be able to get more academic letters.

However, I felt like maybe it would be worse to send in a LOR from a professor who really didn't know me well just because I needed two academic letters.

Or would it better to have that random academic letter and just send in 3 letters to schools that take them? Decisions, decisions...

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: LOR question

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:22 pm

SA1928 wrote:This is sort of along the same lines of the original question...(but I apologize and can re-post if anyone feels it doesn't belong!)

If you have been out of undergrad for at least 1-2 years, do you think it is more important to have a LOR from your employer or to have two academic letters?
I have two outstanding letters (outstanding at least according to the people who wrote them since I personally have not seen them), but one is from a professor and the other is from my manager. I am afraid that this could potentially hurt me since I have only been out of school for one year and should technically be able to get more academic letters.

However, I felt like maybe it would be worse to send in a LOR from a professor who really didn't know me well just because I needed two academic letters.

Or would it better to have that random academic letter and just send in 3 letters to schools that take them? Decisions, decisions...


I think you should be fine. Keep in mind that you can always submit 3 LORs, so if you are worried about it just get another generic one from a professor and submit it if a school requires two academic LORs.

FWIW, I'm 5 years out of UG and will be submitting zero academic LORs.

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SA1928
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Re: LOR question

Postby SA1928 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:31 pm

Thanks! I think I will just stick to the main letters I have already. I was going to get another recommendation form my boss throughout college (I had a full-time job throughout undergrad), but I thought submitting all these letters from employers might look a little odd without any other academic letters.

And with being 5 years out - I would think that your employer letters should hold more value than a letter from someone that hasn't worked with you in at least 5 years. I personally believe that a person that actually knows you, your work ethic, and intellectual abilities will be able to best determine your ability to succeed in law school.




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