Choosing a recommender

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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onesmallstep
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Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:28 pm

Choosing a recommender

Postby onesmallstep » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:22 am

I'm having difficulty choosing my second recommender. The class was a seminar class (10-15 students), so it was small enough for the professor to get to know each student, but it was the TA who graded all of our papers, and therefore I visited the TA whenever I wanted to discuss a paper or needed help with writing a paper. The TA was also there for in-class discussions, but basically just sat next to the professor and kept quiet while the professor led the discussion. I've asked the professor to write a recommendation letter for me in the past for an honors program, which I got into. Given her past success in getting me into this selective program, I am pretty strongly inclined to ask the professor again, but for law school I heard that I should ask someone who has mostly observed me in an academic setting, which my TA could arguably fit the bill better. Who should I ask?

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txdude45
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Choosing a recommender

Postby txdude45 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:38 am

onesmallstep wrote:I'm having difficulty choosing my second recommender. The class was a seminar class (10-15 students), so it was small enough for the professor to get to know each student, but it was the TA who graded all of our papers, and therefore I visited the TA whenever I wanted to discuss a paper or needed help with writing a paper. The TA was also there for in-class discussions, but basically just sat next to the professor and kept quiet while the professor led the discussion. I've asked the professor to write a recommendation letter for me in the past for an honors program, which I got into. Given her past success in getting me into this selective program, I am pretty strongly inclined to ask the professor again, but for law school I heard that I should ask someone who has mostly observed me in an academic setting, which my TA could arguably fit the bill better. Who should I ask?


You professor definitely observed you in an academic setting. You sat in a small class with them and discussed academic topics, right? The TA may also have insight, but just bring the professor your grades and ask for another LoR for law school. Professors outrank TAs in almost every circumstance, with the other circumstance being profs who have a rule against writing LoRs for certain classes.

Ti Malice
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Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Choosing a recommender

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:14 am

Just ask the professor. Do you still have your graded papers for the class? You can give them to her when you ask for the LOR.

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jbagelboy
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Choosing a recommender

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:58 pm

Agree w everything above. An "academic recommendation" almost always means a university professor. You can provide examples of your written work, if necessary. Did you get an A, or at least A-, in the course though? Did you participate in class? You obviously want it to be an example of where you excelled.




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