How much do LORs really matter?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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How much do LORs really matter?

Postby jetsfan1 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:14 am

3 questions here... from your average professor, how much do they really matter?

Secondly, and what I'm more curious about- what about letters from former grads of the law school? are they viewed more favorably?

Lastly, just for fun, what about letters from prominent, recognizable academics, politicians, etc. for example, hypothetically, if obama wrote someone a letter, how much would that really help?

Thanks all.

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Richie Tenenbaum

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Re: How much do LORs really matter?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:32 am

I doubt that LoRs provide any sort of significant boost. I imagine bad ones could have a negative impact. As for who should write it, it's better to have someone who knows you and who can write a strong letter for you as opposed to someone famous who doesn't know you. (If you can have someone well-known and respected write a strong, personal letter for you, then go for it though.) Take-away: LoRs probably won't help you, but may hurt you if yours suck.

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Re: How much do LORs really matter?

Postby Br3v » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:48 am

I think minimal. An overtly bad one could hurt, but I'd venture to say maybe less than 2% of applicants have LOR's that would fall in that category.

Ti Malice

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Re: How much do LORs really matter?

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:20 am

I know that Y takes note of very strong LORs. Asha has said as much. I would imagine that strong LORs are also of non-negligible importance to S and B. For just about every other school, the preceding posts apply.

As to the recommender, to the extent that law schools care at all, they want to read credible and specific assessments of your academic achievement and potential. Accordingly, they will prefer letters from professors for whom you did significant written work over letters from people with fancy titles who have never graded your papers. The professor's title and level of prominence are also unimportant.


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Re: How much do LORs really matter?

Postby 094320 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:22 am



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Re: How much do LORs really matter?

Postby eerie_erie » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:23 pm

The question you ask is a factual one, so I'm not surprised by the different answers here. I would say to try to make each part of your application as strong as possible, even if you think that it will be ultimately insignificant. If you have the luxury of reaching out to your professors and talking to them generally about why you want to go to law school before they write your letters, by all means do it. It shows initiative and the professors might remember things about you that they might not have otherwise.

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