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Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:12 pm
by Darmody
I am planning on applying in the next cycle (2014) but I want to ask one of my professors for a LOR now because I had her class last semester and waiting another year will just make her forget more. How do I go about this?

I am planning on:
1) Meeting her in person to ask for a recommendation
2) (Assuming she says yes) I will schedule another meeting where I provide her my resume, list of schools I am interested in, and some of my work from her course.

Questions:
1) Do I tell her certain things I want in the letter or do I just let her write it on her own? We have a pretty good relationship.
2) Also, how do I go about submitting it to LSAC? Do I just invite her thru email or provide a link? What is this Credential Assembly Service? Do I pay for this service?
3) And how long is the recommendation good for?

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:14 pm
by dowu
On my phone, but bring all your shit in advance. She may ask for it on the spot.

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:15 pm
by midwest17
Darmody wrote:I am planning on applying in the next cycle (2014) but I want to ask one of my professors for a LOR now because I had her class last semester and waiting another year will just make her forget more. How do I go about this?

I am planning on:
1) Meeting her in person to ask for a recommendation
2) (Assuming she says yes) I will schedule another meeting where I provide her my resume, list of schools I am interested in, and some of my work from her course.

Questions:
1) Do I tell her certain things I want in the letter or do I just let her write it on her own? We have a pretty good relationship.
2) Also, how do I go about submitting it to LSAC? Do I just invite her thru email or provide a link? What is this Credential Assembly Service? Do I pay for this service?
3) And how long is the recommendation good for?


Have all the materials ready to give her at the first meeting. If she doesn't agree, just don't give it to her.

You need to pay for CAS in order to submit letters to it. Your registration is good for 5 years, and they'll store the letters that long. Once you've registered you can either print out a form that she can mail in with the letter or have the system email her with a code to set up an account and upload the letter directly.

It's also possible that the pre-law office at your school will hold the letter on file so that you don't have to sign up for CAS yet.

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:52 pm
by Darmody
Thanks for the replies.

How much is CAS? And if I she mails in the letter, does she need to mail them to each school? I would rather just do it online then to make it more convenient for her and me.

Also, can someone answer my question on whether to request how the letter should be written (ex: ask them to highlight certain characteristics) or to have my professor write it on her own? Not sure what the process is so I am confused. I have a very good relationship with this professor if this makes a difference.

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:57 pm
by Darmody
Also, what do you guys mean by having all the materials ready?

I was thinking my resume, list of schools I am planning to apply, and some of my work from her course? Am I missing anything? I don't have my personal statement or anything yet because I am applying for next cycle.

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:11 pm
by Clearly
Step one: ask for recommendation.
Done.

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:18 pm
by midwest17
I'm sure that LSAC's website lists the CAS price. I don't remember off the top of my head. >$100 definitely.

They only have to mail one copy to LSAC; then LSAC sends it out to schools in a packet along with your transcripts.

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:20 pm
by dowu
Darmody wrote:Also, what do you guys mean by having all the materials ready?

I was thinking my resume, list of schools I am planning to apply, and some of my work from her course? Am I missing anything? I don't have my personal statement or anything yet because I am applying for next cycle.

Copied this directly from a professor whom I asked for a letter:

Hi, dowu,

I would be very glad to help you. Here's what I will need:

--copies of all of your papers from my classes with comments and grades attached
--resume
--transcript
--personal statement (if you have a draft of it--not crucial, but it can really help)

My office hours are on Thursdays from 3:30-5:30. You should also feel free to leave everything in my mailbox in the philosophy department.

Glad to hear know you are doing so well and making your plans for the future.

best,
Professor

Re: Steps to asking for a LOR

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:50 pm
by bp shinners
dowu wrote:
Darmody wrote:Also, what do you guys mean by having all the materials ready?

I was thinking my resume, list of schools I am planning to apply, and some of my work from her course? Am I missing anything? I don't have my personal statement or anything yet because I am applying for next cycle.

Copied this directly from a professor whom I asked for a letter:

Hi, dowu,

I would be very glad to help you. Here's what I will need:

--copies of all of your papers from my classes with comments and grades attached
--resume
--transcript
--personal statement (if you have a draft of it--not crucial, but it can really help)

My office hours are on Thursdays from 3:30-5:30. You should also feel free to leave everything in my mailbox in the philosophy department.

Glad to hear know you are doing so well and making your plans for the future.

best,
Professor


On top of this, include a cover letter thanking the professor for writing the letter and mentioning a few things you enjoyed about the class that would highlight specific strengths you want highlighted. For instance, if you want her to write about your writing ability, mention how much you enjoyed your final paper. If you want her to mention your participation, mention the lively classroom debates. This way, you can prime her to write about something you want written without explicitly asking her to write on it, which can put some people off.