Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
JohnV
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Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby JohnV » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:26 pm

I'm applying to law school in a year and I'm having trouble finding people to write me decent letters of recommendation, my major and my school just make it very difficult to find a class that is small enough to get to know the Professor or for them to get to know your work. That being said, I was wondering if anyone knows if letters of recommendation from a working attorney that I work for (will have been over a year at this point) would be a decent place to get a recommendation or should I try to stay strictly from an academic source? If academic is better, how much better? I really only have the ability to take 2 classes at this point that would give me a class of less than 30 people and I'm worried that if either one of them says no I'll be in trouble.

iowalum
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby iowalum » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:41 pm

Academic is better, and you need to have at least one or two from an academic source, but more important than who your LOR is from is how well they know you. Adcomms can see through a fake or overly general LOR and want someone that really knows your strengths and interests. If your boss is someone who can go into detail about your positive attributes in a way that makes you look unique (and he will turn it in on time), then go for it. But you need an academic LOR as well. Just go into office hours every week next semester, ask a lot of questions, and make sure the prof knows your name.

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swilson215
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby swilson215 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:45 pm

I used two academic references (one prof and my academic advisor) and one LOR from the atty I worked for (almost 2 yrs). I think because I had been out of school for more than a year it was acceptable for me to use a professional reference, and you should be fine, but try to get academic LORs if possible.

JohnV
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby JohnV » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:49 pm

Follow up question. If I score very well on the LSAT and my GPA is above the schools median GPA would fairly general LOR's hurt me that much or would my stats render the recommendations more or less padding?

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danielhay11
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby danielhay11 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:23 pm

A bland LOR can hurt you as much as a glowing LOR can help you, which is to say not very much. LORs might matter at the margin, but #s matter a lot more.

Regarding your OP, were there any TAs who could speak better to your academic performance?

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swilson215
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby swilson215 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:57 am

danielhay11 wrote:A bland LOR can hurt you as much as a glowing LOR can help you, which is to say not very much. LORs might matter at the margin, but #s matter a lot more.


TITCR. If you're above median numbers, the LORs aren't going to be much help, or much of a detriment.

JohnV
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby JohnV » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:04 am

I do have a few TA's who could probably write better recommendations than any professors could, I just didn't think they would be very good due to their young age, but you're saying TA's can offer decent LORs as well? If so that would be fairly good news.

KingsBench
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby KingsBench » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:00 pm

I do have a few TA's who could probably write better recommendations than any professors could, I just didn't think they would be very good due to their young age, but you're saying TA's can offer decent LORs as well? If so that would be fairly good news.


Letters of reference are best written by those who've witnessed you or worked with you throughout your undergrad. If you had giant classes and the professor wasn't really available to meet students, having the TA who you visited during office hours, actively participated in their discussion or seminar groups and marked your work will go a longer way than a professor who doesn't know you at all.

bp shinners
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:34 pm

KingsBench wrote:
I do have a few TA's who could probably write better recommendations than any professors could, I just didn't think they would be very good due to their young age, but you're saying TA's can offer decent LORs as well? If so that would be fairly good news.


Letters of reference are best written by those who've witnessed you or worked with you throughout your undergrad. If you had giant classes and the professor wasn't really available to meet students, having the TA who you visited during office hours, actively participated in their discussion or seminar groups and marked your work will go a longer way than a professor who doesn't know you at all.


Definitely. You can also ask the TA to see if the professor will sign the letter as well.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby moneybagsphd » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:05 pm

bp shinners wrote:
KingsBench wrote:
I do have a few TA's who could probably write better recommendations than any professors could, I just didn't think they would be very good due to their young age, but you're saying TA's can offer decent LORs as well? If so that would be fairly good news.


Letters of reference are best written by those who've witnessed you or worked with you throughout your undergrad. If you had giant classes and the professor wasn't really available to meet students, having the TA who you visited during office hours, actively participated in their discussion or seminar groups and marked your work will go a longer way than a professor who doesn't know you at all.


Definitely. You can also ask the TA to see if the professor will sign the letter as well.

For whatever reason LSAC absolutely refuses to process letters of recommendation with more than one signature. I tried to get a joint LOR, and when I contacted LSAC they flatly stated that their policy was one signature per letter; if I wanted two signatures, I would have to obtain separate letters.
One way to get around this is having the professor sign off on a letter drafted by the TA. But I felt uncomfortable asking my TA and professor to commit what amounts to plagiarism. Instead, I suggested that the TA write a primary letter, and the professor write a supplement (to add credibility and add their own comments on your qualifications). Assuming you secure a LOR from another professor, this will leave you with 3 LOR, which will only be a problem for school that accept max 2 (e.g. UCLA).

bp shinners
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:06 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:For whatever reason LSAC absolutely refuses to process letters of recommendation with more than one signature. I tried to get a joint LOR, and when I contacted LSAC they flatly stated that their policy was one signature per letter; if I wanted two signatures, I would have to obtain separate letters.


Hmm, that's weird. I've had students send in letters like that before, and I've never heard of any problems with it. Suggestion suspended until I get in touch with LSAC.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Letter of Rec. from my Attorney Boss?

Postby moneybagsphd » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:33 pm

bp shinners wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:For whatever reason LSAC absolutely refuses to process letters of recommendation with more than one signature. I tried to get a joint LOR, and when I contacted LSAC they flatly stated that their policy was one signature per letter; if I wanted two signatures, I would have to obtain separate letters.


Hmm, that's weird. I've had students send in letters like that before, and I've never heard of any problems with it. Suggestion suspended until I get in touch with LSAC.

I called twice. Got the same person both times, and he was pretty adamant about it. But, I was surprised that they would even care/notice.




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