Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

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jmac90
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Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby jmac90 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:19 pm

Hi all,

So I graduated in last May and am currently preparing for the October LSAT. I'm preparing to get my applications together and I was wondering would it hurt me to submit only one, albeit strong, recommendation that is academic, i.e from a professor. I'm pretty positive I can get a really strong good recommendation from him, seeing as I had him for Business Law during undergrad and he's written a previous recommendation for me for my study abroad semester.

However, I'm having trouble trying to find a second academic recommendation. I have one professor who I think may write me a recommendation, but I never really fostered as strong of a relationship. The class was small and I received a good grade but I'm just not sure if she would. I never really spent time outside of class with her, at least not as much as I did with the other professor. Of course, I will ask her, but I am worried that only having one recommendation from a professor may hurt my application, if worst comes to worst.

I already have two other recommendations coming from my supervisors at my internships who I knew pretty well. But, as I've been told, academic recommendations are usually better than those from previous employers.

What's the general consensus regarding recommendation letter strategy? Would only 3 letters hurt and one having only one be academic be detrimental?

Thanks!

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Cobretti
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby Cobretti » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:30 pm

I think since you just graduated in May you will probably want 2 LORs either way. If you had more WE in between you could easily get away with just 1 academic LOR, but you're a new graduate so you really don't have a choice.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby bernaldiaz » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:33 pm

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

Dean of admissions at Yale says:

Bad Idea Jeans: The Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Your Yale Law School Application...is applying without submitting two academic letters of recommendation...there are a few basic rules you can follow to increase your chances significantly. One of those rules is to submit two references from faculty members who have taught you in a class. Let me put that another way: Your chances of admission to Yale Law School go down drastically if you submit only one or no academic letters of recommendation. Or let me break it down even further: Your letters of recommendation will make or break your application.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby shifty_eyed » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:35 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/archive/2012/01/31/bad-idea-jeans-the-biggest-mistake-you-can-make-in-your-law-school-application.aspx

Dean of admissions at Yale says:

Bad Idea Jeans: The Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Your Yale Law School Application...is applying without submitting two academic letters of recommendation...there are a few basic rules you can follow to increase your chances significantly. One of those rules is to submit two references from faculty members who have taught you in a class. Let me put that another way: Your chances of admission to Yale Law School go down drastically if you submit only one or no academic letters of recommendation. Or let me break it down even further: Your letters of recommendation will make or break your application.



I don't think it will make a huge difference outside of HYS, but it shouldn't be hard to get a decent LOR from a prof since you didn't graduate very long ago.

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Crowing
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby Crowing » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:38 pm

Well, Yale is pretty much an anomaly in every possible sense. But I do think 2 academic LoRs are a good idea especially for such a recent grad.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:11 pm

If you have the numbers for Yale then follow bernaldiaz's advice. Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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GBPbb
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby GBPbb » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:13 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:If you have the numbers for Yale then follow bernaldiaz's advice. Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about it.


TITCR

jmac90
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby jmac90 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:33 pm

Thanks everyone!

My pre-law advisor at IU recommended that the one letter would be fine, however, two is always good. I suppose I will just ask and then see where it goes from there.

Ti Malice
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Re: Having only one, but strong, academic recommendation

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:19 pm

Get two academic letters. You don't have to be close to the second prof. If you did impressive work in the class, she should write you a strong LOR. Take old papers to jog her memory. You should also just pick what you think will be the strongest of your internship LORs and leave the other one out. (Actually, my real opinion is that you should leave both of the internship LORs out, since neither will reflect long-term WE, and since you say the supervisors just knew you "pretty well." More is not necessarily better. Avoid low-value filler.)

One last thing: roughly 97% of prelaw advisors are imbeciles. And that's a conservative estimate. Don't listen to them.




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