Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
TLS200
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:47 pm

Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby TLS200 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:42 pm

Hi guys and girls. I am a new member and I have been lurking around the website for a while. I really love the website and all of the useful information every one shares with each other. I am applying to law school this year and like many (not all of course :)) have my own questions and what ifs. So I thought I would join this great community and ask my questions here. Also if my questions seem a bit silly at times, please forgive me in advance and I hope you guys can bear with me ( blame it on my OCD :wink: ) .

Any ways short story my GPA for law school will most likely be somewhere around 2.7 to 2.8 more or less. I have been out of school for about 3 (BA in PS @ UCSB) years and did ask for letter of recommendation from some of my most favorite and awesome teachers and they accepted to write one for me which made me very happy. But I had this one question from you guys. Considering it's been such a long time since I got out of school, do you guys think would it matter (help my chances) if I took two summer classes with the same teacher at UCLA in my former major (political science) to ask for a letter of recommendation from the said teacher? Mainly to have a new letter to compare the me now to the me 3 years ago. I am confident I will get an A on both and will most likely go to the office hours a lot to make an impression. I am taking two classes because summer term is only 6 weeks and i want the teacher to get to know me as much as possible. I took one class with him ( as summer class) last year and i really loved the teacher. My top choices of law school at the moment are UCB, UCLA, UCD and LMU .

A little bit more background on me:

I used to be a bio major (for med school) but changed to political science because I realized it is what I loved. I love my major political science and more than that I love law related stuff. But due to many things that happened in my last 2 years of school I became very depressed and failed to focus on school. So really I wasn't playing around and having fun but rather I was just doing nothing but being depressed. Having had a cancer since I was like 15 and having to go through many surgeries and treatments was just one of many possible reason that might have lead to what accumulated to be my depression. So, what I am trying to say is I didn't do as well as I hopped. So what do you guys think? Should I take the two classes and hope for a letter of recommendation from the teacher as a form of update on how I am doing now compared to 3 years ago?
P.S. I am taking LSAT on October. My timed practice tests are at 166 to 171.
P.S.S. Thanks for all the help in advance :) .

suzige
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby suzige » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:50 pm

Have you kept in touch with the professor at all since you last saw him/her?

Edit: Also, do you have a letter of rec already from said professor or did they say back three years ago that he/she would write it in the future?

TLS200
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:47 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby TLS200 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:00 pm

suzige wrote:Have you kept in touch with the professor at all since you last saw him/her?


The 2 teachers at UCSB ( where i got my BA) are two of my favorite teachers. I didn't keep in contact with them as much i hoped but i was very active and engaged in their classes and in a way they were like friends to me. They are writing a letter for me. That would be for classes i took 3 and 4 years ago.

The teacher i took last at UCLA ( Post BA/summer class) was a really good teacher. I haven't talked to him since last year. But i am going to take two classes with him this year.

So basically i will try to obtain one more letter from the UCLA teacher ( if he agrees to write for me). I am will be taking two more classes with him in less than 3 weeks ( so the classes hasn't started).

So when i am done with the classes, i will have taken 3 year courses with him ( 1 last year and 2 will be this year).

Sorry if i wasn't clear enough :). and thanks in advance. I am mainly wondering if this will improve my chances or at least help them.
suzige wrote:
Edit: Also, do you have a letter of rec already from said professor or did they say back three years ago that he/she would write it in the future?


I talked to them this year( like 2 months ago). They said they would. I could have asked them to write it 3 years ago, but i was just too depressed and couldn't focus on anything. I was plagued by a really bad OCD anxiety attack which took me like half a year to recover from. But really i have that under control now as i have realized it's just OCD talking.
Last edited by TLS200 on Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby Br3v » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:01 pm

Im an 0L, but I doubt it matters. if your current LORs can say that you are a good student and comment on your academic abilities, then I dont think it is necessary to go takemoerclasseswith the other Proferssor.

TLS200
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:47 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby TLS200 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:10 pm

Br3v wrote:Im an 0L, but I doubt it matters. if your current LORs can say that you are a good student and comment on your academic abilities, then I dont think it is necessary to go takemoerclasseswith the other Proferssor.


Thanks for the comment :). Well the issue is it's been 3 to 4 years. i really hoped that i had worked on my letters of recommendations then but regretfully i didn't. I am just a little nervous that the letters might come out a bit general or maybe i didn't perform as well i thought i did then. Although the classes are from 3 to 4 years ago, i asked for the letters this year.

I do have faith in my teachers that they will write a good letter for me but i didn't exactly have an upward GPA trend back then.

suzige
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby suzige » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:11 pm

I think you could accomplish the "update" you seek simply by meeting with the professor in person and discussing what you've been up to since his class and what your plans for the future are. Taking extra classes for an LOR that you already have seems like its more effort than its worth, in my opinion.

I think if you really wanted to get a better punch out of LORs, do an internship or get some work experience and plan for an LOR from a supervisor. It'll diversify your experiences thus far more so than I think additional classes would.

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Br3v
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby Br3v » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:14 pm

TLS200 wrote:
Br3v wrote:Im an 0L, but I doubt it matters. if your current LORs can say that you are a good student and comment on your academic abilities, then I dont think it is necessary to go takemoerclasseswith the other Proferssor.


Thanks for the comment :). Well the issue is it's been 3 to 4 years. i really hoped that i had worked on my letters of recommendations then but regretfully i didn't. I am just a little nervous that the letters might come out a bit general or maybe i didn't perform as well i thought i did then. Although the classes are from 3 to 4 years ago, i asked for the letters this year.

I do have faith in my teachers that they will write a good letter for me but i didn't exactly have an upward GPA trend back then.


Seems like you will be less stressed if You just take the classes then. If you can afford it and have the time, then yeah. If it is going to severley impact your life in pretty much any way, I would argue it is not worth it. Get an employer letter to acompany the academic LoRs to comment on your work in last 3 to 4 yrs.

Also depending on your numbers, look into Northwestern if you have some significant w/e

TLS200
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:47 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby TLS200 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:05 am

@suzige and Br3v,

Thanks for your comments :). I am leaning toward taking the classes. I mean as long as it has some positive effects it's all i am looking for. I don't have work experience so that is basically out of question.

But i am still looking forward to seeing what others also think about this. I still have some time before deciding :).

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2014
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Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Taking summer classes for New Letter of recommendation.

Postby 2014 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:16 am

UCLA charges like 300 bucks a credit hour plus a mandatory activity fee from a quick google search. No way will that LOR be worth 2 grand in the big picture of things. That money would be better served reducing current or future debt.




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