Targeted Letters of Reccommendation (Stanford, etc...)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Targeted Letters of Reccommendation (Stanford, etc...)

Postby nnoble14 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:19 pm

Hi All–

If you’ve ever gotten a targeted LOR, did your recommender just address the letter to the law school rather than “To Whom It May Concern” or did he/she actually go into detail about why you would be a good fit for the particular school? If the latter, did your recommender have any prior knowledge of the law school’s programs (or law school in general) or did you just tell him/her what to say?

Also, how many targeted LORs did you get? One of my professors wrote four targeted letters. I'm thinking of asking another professor to write, say, three more so I can have one targeted letter for each of my top choice schools. Do you think this is overkill?

As a bit of background, my recommenders are academic professors with no alumni status at the schools to which I'm applying. They also don't have a legal background, so they don't necessarily have authority to discuss my qualifications for a specific program.

If you happen to know anything about targeted letters, I’d really appreciate any wisdom you have to offer!!

Thanks so much, everyone!

Ti Malice
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Re: Targeted Letters of Reccommendation (Stanford, etc...)

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:17 pm

Targeted letters will have no effect, especially if the targeting consists only of pasting the school's name in a few times. Just send the same generic letter to every school. The only time a targeted letter would be better than the usual letter is if the recommender had significant substantive knowledge of the law school to which you're applying and could explain convincingly why you're a particularly good fit for that school. Otherwise, don't waste your and your professors' time.

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Re: Targeted Letters of Reccommendation (Stanford, etc...)

Postby Cicero76 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:16 pm

One of my recommenders taught at Yale College for a few years and was familiar with the culture and people of the Law School, so when he wrote a targeted letter to YLS for me he talked extensively about how he thought I was a perfect fit for Yale's culture, from what he had seen and experienced himself while he was there.

I don't think that targeting a letter is very useful if the extent of the 'targeting' is your LOR writer name dropping the school once or twice without going into specifics of why he/she is tailoring the LOR to that school.

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Re: Targeted Letters of Reccommendation (Stanford, etc...)

Postby NoodleyOne » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:39 pm

It probably has the same effect of a Why X essay. I can't see it doing a ton of good unless that person is going to donate a building.

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