Old LORs?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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P.J.Fry
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Old LORs?

Postby P.J.Fry » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:56 pm

I finished my undergrad in 2008, and went through the 2007/2008 admissions cycle. I decided I did not want to matriculate at that time. I'm now revisiting the idea of going to law school, however my situation might be a little tougher.

I saw on my LSAC account that my two LORs from my professors are still listed on there from 2007. Will it be a major detractor if these are used in my applications? Getting new LORs from an academic source isn't really an option as I've been out of school for five years now. I've also spent the better part of those five years traveling and working jobs of a transient nature, so previous employers' letters would likely not be very strong either.

What would be my best option in this scenario? If it makes a difference, I'm aiming for T-14.

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altoid99
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Re: Old LORs?

Postby altoid99 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:03 pm

Since you've been out of school for some time, you really should have a letter from someone you've worked with/for in that time since you've graduated from undergrad. I think it's fine to use your old LOR's, but I would also include a more recent one. Doesn't necessarily have to be glowing. Even if it's neutral or not all that strong, it's better than not having one and having people who read your application assume you've been up to no good in the interim.

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P.J.Fry
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:15 pm

Re: Old LORs?

Postby P.J.Fry » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:16 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'm really even having trouble figuring who would be good for a neutral letter. By jobs of a very transient nature, I meant I would work a couple of months in one city, then move to another (or another country). There really aren't many people who would "know me well." I'd probably have difficulty contacting a good majority of them, let alone convincing them to write on my behalf.

I'm really hoping my reasonable GPA and (hopefully) stellar LSAT will shine through for me. On that note, instead of starting another new thread, I've got a second question. My 2007 score has expired now so I have to re-write. I don't feel between now and October is long enough to properly prepare for the LSAT, so I will am going to take in December and will start applying as soon as the scores come back. Am I disadvantaging myself a lot by having to submit applications relatively late in the cycle? Will I still get fee waivers?

Ti Malice
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:55 am

Re: Old LORs?

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:58 am

altoid99 wrote:Since you've been out of school for some time, you really should have a letter from someone you've worked with/for in that time since you've graduated from undergrad. I think it's fine to use your old LOR's, but I would also include a more recent one. Doesn't necessarily have to be glowing. Even if it's neutral or not all that strong, it's better than not having one and having people who read your application assume you've been up to no good in the interim.


I respectfully but adamantly disagree with this. Only include an employer's LOR if it's going to (1) be very positive and (2) speak in something more than bland and trite generalities. A lukewarm letter is much worse than no letter.

OP, just stick to your academic LORs.

Scotty. wrote:I'm really hoping my reasonable GPA and (hopefully) stellar LSAT will shine through for me. On that note, instead of starting another new thread, I've got a second question. My 2007 score has expired now so I have to re-write. I don't feel between now and October is long enough to properly prepare for the LSAT, so I will am going to take in December and will start applying as soon as the scores come back. Am I disadvantaging myself a lot by having to submit applications relatively late in the cycle? Will I still get fee waivers?


You are disadvantaging yourself a bit with apps submitted that late, but this concern is much less grave than it used to be due to the collapse in applicant numbers. If your numbers are strong for the school, you'll generally be fine. There are a couple of exceptions, though. Berkeley admits the majority of its class very early; an early January app there is at a serious disadvantage. Chicago has historically admitted the majority of its class fairly early as well.

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altoid99
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Re: Old LORs?

Postby altoid99 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:31 am

Ti Malice wrote:
altoid99 wrote:Since you've been out of school for some time, you really should have a letter from someone you've worked with/for in that time since you've graduated from undergrad. I think it's fine to use your old LOR's, but I would also include a more recent one. Doesn't necessarily have to be glowing. Even if it's neutral or not all that strong, it's better than not having one and having people who read your application assume you've been up to no good in the interim.


I respectfully but adamantly disagree with this. Only include an employer's LOR if it's going to (1) be very positive and (2) speak in something more than bland and trite generalities. A lukewarm letter is much worse than no letter.

OP, just stick to your academic LORs.

Scotty. wrote:I'm really hoping my reasonable GPA and (hopefully) stellar LSAT will shine through for me. On that note, instead of starting another new thread, I've got a second question. My 2007 score has expired now so I have to re-write. I don't feel between now and October is long enough to properly prepare for the LSAT, so I will am going to take in December and will start applying as soon as the scores come back. Am I disadvantaging myself a lot by having to submit applications relatively late in the cycle? Will I still get fee waivers?


You are disadvantaging yourself a bit with apps submitted that late, but this concern is much less grave than it used to be due to the collapse in applicant numbers. If your numbers are strong for the school, you'll generally be fine. There are a couple of exceptions, though. Berkeley admits the majority of its class very early; an early January app there is at a serious disadvantage. Chicago has historically admitted the majority of its class fairly early as well.


Either way, I doubt the substance of your LORs will play any determining factor in the outcome of your applications unless they are down right awful. Since they rarely play a huge factor in admissions, I'd submit a recent lukewarm LOR in addition to your old academic LORs over not submitting a recent one at all. My reasoning is that I wouldn't want anyone reading my application to make any unwarranted assumptions about why my LORs are from 5-6 years ago. A so-so LOR would at least not significantly hurt my application, if it has any effect at all. But that's just me. Like I said, I doubt it matters all that much except at HYS probably.




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