LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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MCFC
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LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby MCFC » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:03 pm

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Last edited by MCFC on Mon May 25, 2015 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:31 pm

MCFC wrote:Now that it's application time, I have no idea where to begin to try to get some half-decent LoRs. Should I email old professors detailing how I did in their classes and ask if they would be willing to write a LoR for someone they have never met or don't remember?


yea pretty much. pick one you got a perfect A in or whatever, especially if was a challenging class. Chances are they can check your grades in the class. Give them a writing sample and anything else you can to help them write a recommendation.

Ask in person, don't email.

bp shinners
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Re: LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:26 am

SaintsTheMetal wrote:
MCFC wrote:Now that it's application time, I have no idea where to begin to try to get some half-decent LoRs. Should I email old professors detailing how I did in their classes and ask if they would be willing to write a LoR for someone they have never met or don't remember?


yea pretty much. pick one you got a perfect A in or whatever, especially if was a challenging class. Chances are they can check your grades in the class. Give them a writing sample and anything else you can to help them write a recommendation.

Ask in person, don't email.


The best 'anything else' you can give them, since they won't remember you at all, is a cover letter detailing a few memories you have of their class that reflect a positive aspect of your scholastic personality you want to get across. Don't have them write about your awesome class participation (since it won't ring true); however, you can prime them to write about your writing abilities by saying, "I remember working very hard on the final paper because of the interesting subject material.' Something like that. Just prime them a bit to write about what you want them to write about. I guarantee you it will work its way into the letter.

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Birdnals
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Re: LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby Birdnals » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:29 am

I have to imagine you have had at least a few classes with ~30 people by your junior year. If that is the case, fine one you got an especially high grade in, do what the above suggest with cover letters, and maybe also provide them with a paper they gave you a very good grade on to boost their memory of who you are.

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rinkrat19
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Re: LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:53 am

All good advice.

Remember that professors are used to writing letters of recommendation as part of their job and (especially if they've been around a while and teach large classes) have probably written many letters for students they don't know particularly well and know how to make them sound ok. Different people will bring varying levels of enthusiasm to the task, but it's still possible to get decent LORs out of them.

A somewhat generic LOR isn't going to help a lot, but it shouldn't kill you.

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Favre4Prez
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Re: LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby Favre4Prez » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:49 am

MCFC wrote:So, I've gotten pretty good grades throughout undergrad (3.9ish), but I've managed to do this without building up any sort of relationship with any of my professors. I believe I've been to office hours a total of 3 times in my UG career. Attending a big public university with class sizes in the hundreds, it's not like I've stood out in terms of lecture participation either.

Now that it's application time, I have no idea where to begin to try to get some half-decent LoRs. Should I email old professors detailing how I did in their classes and ask if they would be willing to write a LoR for someone they have never met or don't remember?

Has anyone here dealt with a similar situation? Any advice?


Conventional wisdom is that professor recommendation letters are best, but have you held any meaningful or law-related internships?

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JenDarby
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Re: LoR Question - How much trouble am I in?

Postby JenDarby » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:28 am

LORs are one of the hoops of the application process. They're not going to make up for your numbers and they also won't break you, barring having LORs that say you are awful (since you should be screening for this).

I graduated UG in two years. When I wasn't in class I was working or having fun. I made zero connections with professors. A few years later when I applied to LS I was at a loss for who to contact. I literally had a TA of mine who was super accessible write one. My acceptances fell right in line with my numbers.




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