Letter of Reccomendation

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
seawulf
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Letter of Reccomendation

Postby seawulf » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi all! I had a question regarding letters of recccomendation. I just finished up two years of undergrad at one college and I'll be transferring to a new school this fall. Accordingly, I'll be taking the LSAT next March/June and applying next September in accordance with the usual schedule. However, I was wondering if I should ask for a letter of reccomendation for a professor from last semester now while he still has me (And the work) fresh in his mind. I wouldn't get a chance to see the professor anytime between now and next year, as the schools are far away from me and in completely different states. The big drawback to requesting the letter now would be that he wouldn't have my junior year grades or my updated resume for what I do over the next year. Of course, the drawback to waiting is that next year when I ask he goes, "Who are you again?" What are your thoughts? Thank you!

20141023
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Re: Letter of Reccomendation

Postby 20141023 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:31 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
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Re: Letter of Reccomendation

Postby bp shinners » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:35 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
seawulf wrote:Hi all! I had a question regarding letters of recccomendation. I just finished up two years of undergrad at one college and I'll be transferring to a new school this fall. Accordingly, I'll be taking the LSAT next March/June and applying next September in accordance with the usual schedule. However, I was wondering if I should ask for a letter of reccomendation for a professor from last semester now while he still has me (And the work) fresh in his mind. I wouldn't get a chance to see the professor anytime between now and next year, as the schools are far away from me and in completely different states. The big drawback to requesting the letter now would be that he wouldn't have my junior year grades or my updated resume for what I do over the next year. Of course, the drawback to waiting is that next year when I ask he goes, "Who are you again?" What are your thoughts? Thank you!

The professor shouldn't need your other grades or your resume. You might provide this just as food for thought, but what he should be writing about is how you performed in his class, and that's it. Your grades and resume will speak for themselves; what you want professors to do is to say that you were the best student in that class / the most brilliant student they've ever had / etc. Letters of recommendation last for a while (5 years) on LSAC, so I'd have him write it now if there's the possibility that he'll forget who you are.


I agree to an extent, but I do think it's important to give the professor a copy of your resume. If they can put something you did in class in context with an element on your resume, they can create depth that would otherwise be lacking. So if you have volunteered a lot some place, and the professor sees that, he might mention that you were particularly passionate about that area when you were in his class. That would reinforce that it isn't just a resume-booster, and if you then write about that volunteer experience in your personal statement, it comes across as more genuine.

This won't always work out, and this is just one example, but I always recommend people bring a copy of their resume to give to LoR writers.

To OP - I'd probably have him write it right now.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Letter of Reccomendation

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:40 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
seawulf wrote:Hi all! I had a question regarding letters of recccomendation. I just finished up two years of undergrad at one college and I'll be transferring to a new school this fall. Accordingly, I'll be taking the LSAT next March/June and applying next September in accordance with the usual schedule. However, I was wondering if I should ask for a letter of reccomendation for a professor from last semester now while he still has me (And the work) fresh in his mind. I wouldn't get a chance to see the professor anytime between now and next year, as the schools are far away from me and in completely different states. The big drawback to requesting the letter now would be that he wouldn't have my junior year grades or my updated resume for what I do over the next year. Of course, the drawback to waiting is that next year when I ask he goes, "Who are you again?" What are your thoughts? Thank you!

The professor shouldn't need your other grades or your resume. You might provide this just as food for thought, but what he should be writing about is how you performed in his class, and that's it. Your grades and resume will speak for themselves; what you want professors to do is to say that you were the best student in that class / the most brilliant student they've ever had / etc. Letters of recommendation last for a while (5 years) on LSAC, so I'd have him write it now if there's the possibility that he'll forget who you are.

Yeah, I agree with bp shinners that the resume is always helpful. Of course a professor is going to focus on how you performed in their class, but it helps to write an informed letter about an applicant if you know more about them. The flip side of the above is that if the only thing a recommender can say about you is "they got an A in my class" it's not going to be a very inspiring letter. (Grades can be useful, too, for context. If the recommender's class is a huge outlier in one direction or another, the prof might have something useful to say about it.)

20141023
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Re: Letter of Reccomendation

Postby 20141023 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:45 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Letter of Reccomendation

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:49 pm

Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, I agree the OP should ask now - if the prof really wants updates for some reason they can ask the student to do that.

bp shinners
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Re: Letter of Reccomendation

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:18 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:
seawulf wrote:Hi all! I had a question regarding letters of recccomendation. I just finished up two years of undergrad at one college and I'll be transferring to a new school this fall. Accordingly, I'll be taking the LSAT next March/June and applying next September in accordance with the usual schedule. However, I was wondering if I should ask for a letter of reccomendation for a professor from last semester now while he still has me (And the work) fresh in his mind. I wouldn't get a chance to see the professor anytime between now and next year, as the schools are far away from me and in completely different states. The big drawback to requesting the letter now would be that he wouldn't have my junior year grades or my updated resume for what I do over the next year. Of course, the drawback to waiting is that next year when I ask he goes, "Who are you again?" What are your thoughts? Thank you!

The professor shouldn't need your other grades or your resume. You might provide this just as food for thought, but what he should be writing about is how you performed in his class, and that's it. Your grades and resume will speak for themselves; what you want professors to do is to say that you were the best student in that class / the most brilliant student they've ever had / etc. Letters of recommendation last for a while (5 years) on LSAC, so I'd have him write it now if there's the possibility that he'll forget who you are.

Yeah, I agree with bp shinners that the resume is always helpful. Of course a professor is going to focus on how you performed in their class, but it helps to write an informed letter about an applicant if you know more about them. The flip side of the above is that if the only thing a recommender can say about you is "they got an A in my class" it's not going to be a very inspiring letter. (Grades can be useful, too, for context. If the recommender's class is a huge outlier in one direction or another, the prof might have something useful to say about it.)

Err yeah... sorry, I worded that poorly. It is actually kind of a douche move not to provide your resume or any other information to work off of, but what I was getting at is that I don't think that he needs your "new" resume a year from now or whatever; just give him the one you have now as he only knows the current "you" anyway. Waiting a year so that you can submit a resume with stuff that he had nothing to do with just doesn't make sense. :P


Agreed!




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