Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
ip_law_app
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Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby ip_law_app » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:29 pm

I graduated '09 and haven't been in touch with my professors since graduation. I live across the country from my undergrad, so can't really "stop by" and get back in touch. What's the best way to ask former professors for LOR? I'm sure they will remember me and have nice things to say, but I'd imagine any letter they write will lack the specifics or personal touch, just because its been so many years, that one of my managers could write based on my work experience. Are academic LOR really preffered to professional, even if the professional one likely could be more detailed and more relevant to what I've been working on lately?

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Nova
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby Nova » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:06 pm

Since you have been out of UG a few years, its perfectly acceptable to have 1/2 professional recs and 1 acedemic letter. I suggest writing them a pleasant email. Explain your situation, include your resume, remind them how well you did in their class, and attach any essays/research papers you did well on, in order to refresh them.

ip_law_app
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby ip_law_app » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:51 am

Thanks! A couple more questions ...
How early should you ask for LOR?
Would a LOR from a Dean carry any more weight than a LOR from a professor?

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cinephile
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby cinephile » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:07 am

I was out of school 4 years when I applied, and I don't think the letters were too generic. I basically sent a letter to the profs saying what I had done for the past few years, why I wanted to go to law school, etc. And included a resume and paper written for their classes so they could comment on my work.

Also, earlier is always better. Do it now before they're wrapped up in other things. And a LOR from someone who knew you personally is best, can the Dean comment personally on the quality of your work?

bp shinners
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:49 pm

ip_law_app wrote:Thanks! A couple more questions ...
How early should you ask for LOR?
Would a LOR from a Dean carry any more weight than a LOR from a professor?


You should ask for a LoR now. Yesterday. A month ago. Seriously, ask as early as possible, as professors drag their feet.

A good LoR will carry more weight than a mediocre LoR. Who writes it won't really matter much.

As far as professional vs. academic, 3 years is too short to go for more than 1 employer recommendation (I'd even still recommend just academic ones). If you can find professors that you know will say nice things about you (as it sounds like you can), just send them an e-mail to arrange a phone call and talk with them about it. If you're worried about it not being personal enough, send a follow-up e-mail with a few moments from class you remember (discussions, papers, etc...). I guarantee you that they'll work their way into the letter. This will not only make the letter personal, but also give you some control over the content.

meandme
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby meandme » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:56 pm

I have asked on of my professor to write a LOR and he gladly agreed but I don't think he knows what to write. Most of my professor don't really seem to bright. I mean they were excellent professor and very knowledgeable about the subjects. I am trying to sound mean or anything but for some reason I don't think could write a good LOR well at least not for law school. Any tips?

Thanks
God bless

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:56 am

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Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

swoozie
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby swoozie » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:59 am

meandme wrote:I have asked on of my professor to write a LOR and he gladly agreed but I don't think he knows what to write. Most of my professor don't really seem to bright. I mean they were excellent professor and very knowledgeable about the subjects. I am trying to sound mean or anything but for some reason I don't think could write a good LOR well at least not for law school. Any tips?

Thanks
God bless

It says on the form they have to sign for LSAC (at least it did last year) the qualities and traits that should be highlighted in a letter of recommendation. I emphasized those points to them and explained why I thought I could succeed in law school, then it was basically just up to them to back me up.

cornleef
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Re: Asking for Letters of Recommendation from Former Professors

Postby cornleef » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:05 pm

I am in sort of a similar situation - I graduated in 2008 and asked my professors at the time to help me write generic letters of recommendation for graduate school through my university's credential services. It looks like LSAC is ok with using the school's forms if I also attach the LSAC LOR forms, but given that my professors did not use the exact same criteria and ranking systems as specified by LSAC, do I need to get new academic LOR's? I also think that getting LOR's from my current job would be more indicative of who I am today, but I understand the importance of having academic LOR's. Thanks a lot!




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