How important are LORs?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
senorhosh
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How important are LORs?

Postby senorhosh » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:56 pm

Outside of T6 and Berkeley (but still within T14), how important are LORs? I go to a pretty large university so it's pretty hard to get to know the professors (especially those who don't seem to care about students).

I'll probably have generic LORs. For example, I thought one of my professors would remember me but I'm getting the impression she doesn't (doesn't remember my name, anything we talked about). I don't blame her, as she teaches classes with 200+ students. I took her class a year ago, so that's probably the reason why.

So anyway, I'm looking at generic LORs.
Will that hurt me?

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Perdevise
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby Perdevise » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:02 am

It won't be as game-changing as your GPA/LSAT, but you should still maximize the quality of LoR you get. It can be the bit that nudges you into the acceptance pile, or that let's you beat out an applicant with equivalent numbers.

Approach the professor, and when you ask, offer to provide a cover letter summarizing what important things you think the professor could write about , a resume, a brief description of your law school goals, transcripts, and a writing sample from the class. This is the approach I took, and the professor will recognize the work you did and it will reflect in the letter.

Good luck.

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RonnyDworkin
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby RonnyDworkin » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:52 pm

Perdevise wrote:It won't be as game-changing as your GPA/LSAT, but you should still maximize the quality of LoR you get. It can be the bit that nudges you into the acceptance pile, or that let's you beat out an applicant with equivalent numbers.

Approach the professor, and when you ask, offer to provide a cover letter summarizing what important things you think the professor could write about , a resume, a brief description of your law school goals, transcripts, and a writing sample from the class. This is the approach I took, and the professor will recognize the work you did and it will reflect in the letter.

Good luck.


++1

LORs are important. They help shape your application.

hamsamitchguy03
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby hamsamitchguy03 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:58 pm

what year are you?

If you're a junior go set up an independent study for the summer or next quarter/semester.

SpoonForkSpork
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby SpoonForkSpork » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:13 pm

If you attend a large university, you need to go to office hours. A lot. Try to ask a couple of not-stupid questions while you're there.

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Nelson
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby Nelson » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:45 pm

Letters of rec are way overrated. Make sure you got a good grade in the class(es) you took with the prof. Go ask them in person so they can put a face to your name. Give them a resume and cover letter when you're there so they can crib off them when they write the letter. Rinse and repeat.

If you have a great personal relationship with someone, it's a bonus, but letters of rec are just a formality.

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mjd
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby mjd » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:53 pm

Outside of T6 and Berkeley (but still within T14), how important are LORs?


Their significance tends to be greater the worse they are. Great letters of recommendation, I suspect, are the norm, and so probably do very little to boost your candidacy (the exception being, I imagine, letters from very prominent professors/employers or individuals with relevant connections to the law school). Poor or mediocre letters can sink you. So, it's not accurate to say that letters are merely a 'formality,' but letters that gush over how amazing a student/employee you are/were don't do much work for you since it's likely most applicants have them. Adcoms are interested, I assume, in eliminating candidates who cannot secure decent recommendations.

fosterp
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby fosterp » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:55 pm

mjd wrote:
Outside of T6 and Berkeley (but still within T14), how important are LORs?


Their significance tends to be greater the worse they are. Great letters of recommendation, I suspect, are the norm, and so probably do very little to boost your candidacy (the exception being, I imagine, letters from very prominent professors/employers or individuals with relevant connections to the law school). Poor or mediocre letters can sink you. So, it's not accurate to say that letters are merely a 'formality,' but letters that gush over how amazing a student/employee you are/were don't do much work for you since it's likely most applicants have them. Adcoms are interested, I assume, in eliminating candidates who cannot secure decent recommendations.


+1

I think LORs are more likely there to provide them a reason to ding you rather than accept someone they would otherwise ding. I think they expect most LORs to be positive but fairly generic since there are lot of people in that same situation.

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ricking1288
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby ricking1288 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:59 pm

i went to a large university as well, and especially for my intro classes it was hard for the prof to get to know you. But in my upper level courses where the class size was about 20-30 students, i just participated my ass off and used those professors for my LORs

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20121109
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Re: How important are LORs?

Postby 20121109 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:03 pm

They're important for Yale, at least.

http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... ation.aspx




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