Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
framboozer
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Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby framboozer » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:06 pm

So I recognize that the awkwardness of this situation that I'm in is completely my fault. I've dropped the ball an unbelievable amount of times and have let the situation fester instead of dealing with it when it was a lesser problem. I just want to know what the best way is to make due with my situation. So if you'll follow me on my many-worded journey:

Basically towards the end of my final semester of undergrad (Spring 2011), one of my professors learned that I wanted to go to law school and wanted to practice an area of law directly relevant to the class. In fact, I was pretty much inspired by this class. To my surprise, she asked me if I wanted her to write a letter of recommendation. I said sure and thanked her. Eventually I realized from meeting with her a few times that she wanted to be really involved in the process, as she had helped many students over the years. She told me about them and their applications and where they wanted to go and where they ended up. She certainly had a successful portfolio, so I was very flattered that she wanted to help me out. However, she was moving a bit fast, since I hadn't even taken the LSAT yet, though the idea was that I was going to take it as soon as I could. The problem was that by then it was May and I was focusing my efforts on finding a job. Of course this was my primary concern. At the end of May, I moved back to my home area several hours away and from there I conducted my job search. I really wasn't thinking about law school much and certainly not about a personal statement. I didn't contact her, because the last thing she said to me was that I really should get a move on on my personal statement and I didn't want to contact her without at least a skeleton of one and I was nowhere near there.

I did eventually find a job a little later in the summer and moved to yet another city for that job. My job was really time-consuming and occupied the majority of my attention. I was still planning to go to law school the whole time, but there wasn't much time to study consistently for the LSAT and I really wanted to nail the LSAT when I took it. I had no illusions of walking in and nailing a 170 with little practice and ultimately that's the score I was aiming for. Also, I definitely still had no personal statement at this point and figured I wouldn't have anything to say if I contacted her. I didn't want to let her down. I ultimately decided to sit out that cycle anyway. I obviously should have contacted her letting her know that and my reasons for doing so. Ball dropped.

Fast forward to now. It's October of 2012 and I'm applying to law schools for this cycle and I would really appreciate a letter of recommendation from this professor. I've had some work experience in the area of law that I want to practice and as I said before, her class was directly relevant to this practice and to my motivations for wanting to practice it. I have not followed up at all with her since May of 2011. Unfortunately once I started work, I stopped using my old school e-mail and mostly stopped checking it and I forgot that my school e-mail would soon expire, meaning I can't even go back and check my old e-mails there. Ball dropped yet again.

Is there any way you think I can still ask this woman for a letter of rec or did I bury myself in a deep hole? Can I ego stroke my way out of this. I'm just extra nervous, because while she is nice, she has a very strong, no nonsense personality and I have not done anything to make myself look good. For another hint about what her personality is like, during one of our meetings in May of 2011, she insinuated that I was a bright girl who wasn't maximizing her situation. She said I seemed to be too focused on helping my boyfriend with his career. It hurt to hear, but I know now that that was a truthful observation and I wish I had listened sooner. My boyfriend is actually in law school now and at a T14 one to boot and I did help him get there. I didn't do anything shady or verboten. I just motivated him in college to work harder and reach his potential. He ended up raising his 3.27 GPA to a 3.75. He and his family do credit me with being the ultimate motivator for raising his standards and increasing his effort. I also did a lot of research on the schools to help him figure out where to apply and when and threw each incarnation of his personal statement into the garbage bin until it was sufficient in my eyes (Thank you TLS).

Please endow me with your wisdom TLS.

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englawyer
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Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby englawyer » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:10 pm

do not ask this lady. you blew her off, and there is a non-zero chance that she will write about it in the LoR. why risk it? adcomms will not give a crap about your intended practice area so just go for a safer vanilla LoR.

framboozer
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby framboozer » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:28 pm

I'm glad I asked here first. I'm curious if others concur though.

I've been trying to figure out who I can ask otherwise. I just kept thinking that I had no other options because I was never one to be buddy-buddy with my professors. I'm thinking that there is a professor for a course I took in Fall of 2010 who I could ask. I just hate the "Uh hi, do you remember me?" e-mail I will ultimately have to send even though I know this woman is super sweet. I did very well in her class and was clearly very passionate about the material, but who remembers students that far back?

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North
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Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby North » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:37 pm

Yeah, don't pursue that LOR. Sounds like you missed out. I wish I had the opportunity to have a recommender like that. Now you'll just have the same lukewarm LOR as most everybody else.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:38 pm

I'd spend a few weeks, or at least until your score comes out, trying to find someone else to write it. If you end up not being able to find anyone, then maybe contact her and ask if she would still be willing to write it. Her recommendation probably wouldn't be the best, but definitely better than nothing.

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englawyer
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Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby englawyer » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:59 pm

framboozer wrote:I'm glad I asked here first. I'm curious if others concur though.

I've been trying to figure out who I can ask otherwise. I just kept thinking that I had no other options because I was never one to be buddy-buddy with my professors. I'm thinking that there is a professor for a course I took in Fall of 2010 who I could ask. I just hate the "Uh hi, do you remember me?" e-mail I will ultimately have to send even though I know this woman is super sweet. I did very well in her class and was clearly very passionate about the material, but who remembers students that far back?


most professors (including law professors) will give you a rec even if they don't remember you if you have a good academic record. they have somewhat of a professional duty to provide LoR and want the school's alums to be successful. just email some profs from whom you got an A.

framboozer
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby framboozer » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:10 pm

North wrote:Yeah, don't pursue that LOR. Sounds like you missed out. I wish I had the opportunity to have a recommender like that. Now you'll just have the same lukewarm LOR as most everybody else.


Thanks for being positive dude. It's OK though. I needed a reality check and I'm glad I can finally accept this situation for what it is. I can console myself in the fact that I will at least have a sparkling LOR from a supervisor at work.

@englawyer, fortunately I did work my butt off in school and did manage to get an A in every class I took at my college except for my first semester, so I have a wide pool to choose from.


Edit: I really want to thank you all for your prompt replies. You guys are awesome.

guinness1547
Posts: 585
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Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby guinness1547 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:30 pm

Email the prof, explain what you've been up to, apologize for not keeping in touch and explain why, talk about where you're at in your application process, and thank her for the help when you were in undergrad.
From her response email judge if it would still be okay to ask for a letter of rec, or maybe you'll get lucky and she'll offer to write one without you asking.

Second option: If you're still in the area, apologize for not keeping in touch blah blah blah, ask to meet up for coffee and discuss your applications and etc.

She sounds like a professor I had in undergrad, if I'm correct in the comparison, you won't be getting a letter of rec.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Awkward Situation with Getting Letter of Rec

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:48 pm

I disagree with everyone -- e-mail her. Don't apologize. Let her know what you've been up to and thank her for her previous encouragement, and ask if she'd be willing to support you with a letter. Let her know you have supporting materials if she'd like you to send those to her (transcript, resume, etc.)

I looked up an old professor from college who had encouraged me to go to law school 10 years ago, and he wrote an awesome letter.




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