Taking classes to get academic LORs

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lollylon
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:10 pm

Taking classes to get academic LORs

Postby lollylon » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:13 pm

I've been out of school for a number of years and haven't kept in touch with any of my professors. There are probably a couple who would remember who I am, but I'm not sure they would be able to write glowing LORs about my academic abilities at this point. I've been thinking that I should just enroll in a couple of classes as a non-degree student (Harvard Extension is my most attractive option right now) in order to cultivate relationships with a couple of professors and/or TAs. Has anyone else done this? I know most law schools allow LORs from employers if an applicant has been out of school, but academic recs are nearly always preferred, especially at t14. Would this be worth my time and money in order to get better LORs?

tourdeforcex
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Re: Taking classes to get academic LORs

Postby tourdeforcex » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:30 am

[answer to 2d q:] first instinct is no.

if you've been out of school for that long, i doubt the law school will really care about academic recs.

if you actually haven't been out of school for that long, reach back out to your professor, set up a coffee or a chat, get a LOR. Profs are always getting LOR requests. You didn't and don't have to be besties w/ the prof to ask for one.

from my understanding, i don't think LOR really make that much of a difference relative to LSAT and GPA in admissions

finally on non-degree studies: i think the whole point of a LOR is that it is an evaluation of your commitment and ability while you are pursuing either a degree or competency at a workplace. taking classes in a non-degree program, just does not seem to be worth the effort. law school is long. no need to take more classes just to take more.

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TripTrip
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Re: Taking classes to get academic LORs

Postby TripTrip » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:58 pm

tourdeforcex wrote:reach back out to your professor, set up a coffee or a chat, get a LOR. Profs are always getting LOR requests. You didn't and don't have to be besties w/ the prof to ask for one.

from my understanding, i don't think LOR really make that much of a difference relative to LSAT and GPA in admissions

finally on non-degree studies: i think the whole point of a LOR is that it is an evaluation of your commitment and ability while you are pursuing either a degree or competency at a workplace. taking classes in a non-degree program, just does not seem to be worth the effort. law school is long. no need to take more classes just to take more.

+1 to all that.

Just get some sort of LOR from two professors. Doesn't need to be glowing, but you need some academic recommendations. Maybe you can get in tough with a TA or something. Don't go take classes just to get better LORs.

Then you can add a third glowing LOR from an employer.

Ti Malice
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Re: Taking classes to get academic LORs

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:39 pm

Depends upon your aspirations and realistic possibilities. What are your stats, roughly? Assuming you could guarantee yourself a glowing LOR from a prof in a high-level, writing-intensive class (or two), it could be worth it for Y and S (and perhaps B). Beyond these schools, though, LORs carry substantially less weight (unless they're portraying you negatively).

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dawyzest1
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Re: Taking classes to get academic LORs

Postby dawyzest1 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:47 pm

Ti Malice wrote:Depends upon your aspirations and realistic possibilities. What are your stats, roughly? Assuming you could guarantee yourself a glowing LOR from a prof in a high-level, writing-intensive class (or two), it could be worth it for Y and S (and perhaps B). Beyond these schools, though, LORs carry substantially less weight (unless they're portraying you negatively).


This is right. A big reason I didn't even apply to Yale (besides the fact I am wholly unqualified for admission) was that I had zero chance of coming up with a second academic LOR. I definitely thought about some kind of class around my city to get an LOR.

lollylon
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:10 pm

Re: Taking classes to get academic LORs

Postby lollylon » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:55 pm

Ti Malice wrote:Depends upon your aspirations and realistic possibilities. What are your stats, roughly? Assuming you could guarantee yourself a glowing LOR from a prof in a high-level, writing-intensive class (or two), it could be worth it for Y and S (and perhaps B). Beyond these schools, though, LORs carry substantially less weight (unless they're portraying you negatively).


I have a 3.64, and my first LSAT was more than 5 years ago so that score won't even be seen. Studying for October now with a goal of high 170s. I've been sort of wondering how much these LORs will actually affect my chances (I'm definitely not applying HYS, though I am aiming for t14). After thinking about it, I think I do have one prof who could still write a pretty good LOR for me, although he no longer teaches at the same school so I'd have to track him down. Thanks for everybody's input--it's definitely better financially if I don't take classes that won't necessarily do me any real good.




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