Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
gocanes
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 11:59 pm

Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby gocanes » Fri May 11, 2012 12:13 am

I am applying for the Fall 2013 cycle and am trying to get a head start on my applications. When is the appropriate time to start asking for LOR? I am worried that I'll have all of my app materials ready to submit early on in the fall but that my file will be held up waiting for professors to send in the letters.

Thanks!

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri May 11, 2012 12:14 am

gocanes wrote:I am applying for the Fall 2013 cycle and am trying to get a head start on my applications. When is the appropriate time to start asking for LOR? I am worried that I'll have all of my app materials ready to submit early on in the fall but that my file will be held up waiting for professors to send in the letters.

Thanks!


Now.

User avatar
Jacky D.
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:56 am

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby Jacky D. » Fri May 11, 2012 12:17 am

acrossthelake wrote:Now.


+1.

83947368
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby 83947368 » Fri May 11, 2012 12:18 am

.
Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby minnbills » Fri May 11, 2012 12:19 am

Immediately, some of these professors can take a long time. Make sure you give them a deadline too.

gocanes
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 11:59 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby gocanes » Fri May 11, 2012 12:23 am

Great, thank you all very much.

gocanes
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 11:59 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby gocanes » Fri May 11, 2012 12:25 am

Planning on applying to Stanford... appropriate to ask for the Dean's Statement now too? The one that they have on their website specifically says "2011 Form B"

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby Br3v » Fri May 11, 2012 12:33 am

Anytime after 8pm tomorrow. Preferably, yesterday.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby 2014 » Fri May 11, 2012 12:54 am

gocanes wrote:Planning on applying to Stanford... appropriate to ask for the Dean's Statement now too? The one that they have on their website specifically says "2011 Form B"

Too early for that, let your school get wrapped up for the year and talk to them in August. It shouldn't take more than a week.

dolfan0516
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:26 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby dolfan0516 » Fri May 11, 2012 2:13 pm

2014 wrote:
gocanes wrote:Planning on applying to Stanford... appropriate to ask for the Dean's Statement now too? The one that they have on their website specifically says "2011 Form B"

It shouldn't take more than a week.


It shouldnt, but it does. Took my school well over a month, and have heard other people had to submit it multiple times before their school sent it in.

User avatar
Liquox
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:46 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby Liquox » Fri May 11, 2012 3:33 pm

gocanes wrote:Planning on applying to Stanford... appropriate to ask for the Dean's Statement now too? The one that they have on their website specifically says "2011 Form B"


depends. have you taken the lsat yet?

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri May 11, 2012 3:35 pm

dolfan0516 wrote:
2014 wrote:
gocanes wrote:Planning on applying to Stanford... appropriate to ask for the Dean's Statement now too? The one that they have on their website specifically says "2011 Form B"

It shouldn't take more than a week.


It shouldnt, but it does. Took my school well over a month, and have heard other people had to submit it multiple times before their school sent it in.


Yeah this. I'd wait for the semester to wrap up first because it'll probably get lost if you don't. If you're on semester system, I'd send it in early June. If on quarter system, late June.

User avatar
Paraflam
Posts: 472
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby Paraflam » Fri May 11, 2012 3:41 pm

This isn't directly related to the OP, but I didn't think it deserved its own thread, so I hope it's ok to ask here:

I'm applying in the fall too, and this summer I'm working as a law clerk at a boutique securities firm (with actually some pretty legitimate responsibilities, not just making copies or whatever). Would it be a good idea to ask my boss (it's a solo practice) for a LOR, or should I just stick to professors? I know LORs are far less meaningful than GPA/LSAT, but I wondered if schools would rather see letters from professors or employers (especially if the employer is a law firm).
Last edited by Paraflam on Fri May 11, 2012 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
banjo
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby banjo » Fri May 11, 2012 5:57 pm

Want to second the bit about setting a deadline. Professors procrastinate.

User avatar
DocHawkeye
Posts: 640
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:22 am

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby DocHawkeye » Fri May 11, 2012 6:12 pm

Right after finals is actually a pretty prime time to ask for letters from profs. Mmost have to have their exams graded within a week or so to get the grades in by the deadline and then have little to do in the early summer. Asking in August is a bad idea because the beginning of a semester is always an administrative headache (adds, drops, making copies of syllabi, committee meetings, and whatnot).

Unless you have been out of school for a really long time, I would resist the temptation to ask an employer for a letter. Academic letters are almost always preferred. When I applied, i had been out of graduate school for five years and still, only one of my letters was from an employer (who was also a dean, so it was sort of academic) and two were from profs I had in grad school. Even if you have to settle for a letter from an adjunct or TA who knows your work well, you will be better served by that than getting a letter from an employer. I distinctly remember the dean of Yale Law School addressing this point somewhere.

User avatar
Paraflam
Posts: 472
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby Paraflam » Fri May 11, 2012 6:26 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:Unless you have been out of school for a really long time, I would resist the temptation to ask an employer for a letter. Academic letters are almost always preferred. When I applied, i had been out of graduate school for five years and still, only one of my letters was from an employer (who was also a dean, so it was sort of academic) and two were from profs I had in grad school. Even if you have to settle for a letter from an adjunct or TA who knows your work well, you will be better served by that than getting a letter from an employer. I distinctly remember the dean of Yale Law School addressing this point somewhere.


Do you think this is true even if you don't really have any professors who really know you that well? Letters from any professors I could ask would probably just be superficial, generic BS that they probably write for anyone who asks for a LOR. But, my boss at work could speak to things like my resourcefulness and interest in the field, eagerness to learn from him, nights we've worked till 3 a.m. together to write a contract needed for the next day, you know, things of actual substance rather than just "Such-and-such is a great student, I know he'll succeed in law school, etc."

Thanks for your help! (And sorry to slightly derail the thread!)

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri May 11, 2012 7:06 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:Right after finals is actually a pretty prime time to ask for letters from profs. Mmost have to have their exams graded within a week or so to get the grades in by the deadline and then have little to do in the early summer. Asking in August is a bad idea because the beginning of a semester is always an administrative headache (adds, drops, making copies of syllabi, committee meetings, and whatnot).

Unless you have been out of school for a really long time, I would resist the temptation to ask an employer for a letter. Academic letters are almost always preferred. When I applied, i had been out of graduate school for five years and still, only one of my letters was from an employer (who was also a dean, so it was sort of academic) and two were from profs I had in grad school. Even if you have to settle for a letter from an adjunct or TA who knows your work well, you will be better served by that than getting a letter from an employer. I distinctly remember the dean of Yale Law School addressing this point somewhere.


Indeed. This entire question was dealt with in the Frequently Asked Questions thread.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=131727

For the record, (this is not directed at DocHawkeye), if it seems like a question that's not really all that unique to you, it probably has already been addressed there.

gocanes
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 11:59 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby gocanes » Fri May 11, 2012 8:13 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
dolfan0516 wrote:
2014 wrote:
gocanes wrote:Planning on applying to Stanford... appropriate to ask for the Dean's Statement now too? The one that they have on their website specifically says "2011 Form B"

It shouldn't take more than a week.


It shouldnt, but it does. Took my school well over a month, and have heard other people had to submit it multiple times before their school sent it in.


Yeah this. I'd wait for the semester to wrap up first because it'll probably get lost if you don't. If you're on semester system, I'd send it in early June. If on quarter system, late June.


We are on a semester system. After reading all of the responses, I think I'm going to ask in a week once all final grades are through. I know the Dean of Students very well and hope he will write me a letter to attach to the form. Thanks for the help!

User avatar
BuckinghamB
Posts: 457
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Letters of Rec: When to Ask Professors?

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue May 15, 2012 9:22 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
gocanes wrote:I am applying for the Fall 2013 cycle and am trying to get a head start on my applications. When is the appropriate time to start asking for LOR? I am worried that I'll have all of my app materials ready to submit early on in the fall but that my file will be held up waiting for professors to send in the letters.

Thanks!


Now.


This. I asked for mine at this exact time last year, and LSAC didn't receive the first until late-September and the other until mid-October. And that was after gently reminding them several times throughout the summer.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests