Letters of Rec Advice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
taylorswiftfan
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Letters of Rec Advice

Postby taylorswiftfan » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:03 pm

How do you make the decision of who to choose to write your letters of recommendation if you aren't someone who has developed strong relationships or keeps in touch with any of your previous professors or employers? What factors do you consider at that point?

I've been out of undergrad for almost three years, and wanted to ask my undergrad professor for a recommendation. He wrote my recommendation for grad school and then wrote another recommendation for a fellowship i applied to (which I didn't get-not sure what factors it was due to). Now I'm thinking about asking him for another recommendation (for law school this time). I rarely contact him and feel guilty that I have to ask him again for a rec (especially since I don't keep in touch with him that much except to ask for a rec). I think he might get annoyed by my emailing him asking for a law school recommendation. Should I just consider other professors (like the ones in grad school) or perhaps even a former employer?

I felt like I should ask him for a rec because I don't know who else to ask for my second law school rec. . . I thought of a prof in grad school but am nervous he won't write a good rec for me. I just can't tell who would truly write a positive, supportive letter of recommendation for me.

I would appreciate any advice on this matter. Thanks

edit: Reason I asked this particular professor for LORs was because I took a lot of his courses and he was one of my academic advisors in college.

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mellow
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby mellow » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:11 pm

A lot of times professors you've already asked LORs from either have your old letter on file or will ask you for it (if they disclosed it to you) so it's really not a big deal to ask them for another one. In these cases, they're not going to go through the extra effort to edit it much; if they wrote, "She was the top of my class," I see no reason why they'd take that out unless your relationship soured since then.

But even if he didn't have your older letters, I think he's a safe bet. I highly recommend you get a second letter though from one of your graduate professors as well since it'll be much more recent and relevant and a lot of schools ask for two academic LORs.

taylorswiftfan
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby taylorswiftfan » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:47 pm

My plan is to ask my professors for recommendations right after the Dec LSAT. I'm really stressed and want to just focus on the exam. Is it okay for me to ask them for recs right after Dec 7? I"m hoping to submit my application in January, so that will give them one month to work on the recommendations. I'm not applying to T30 schools, so I figured it would be okay to do that.

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xylocarp
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby xylocarp » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:04 pm

Edit
Last edited by xylocarp on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

taylorswiftfan
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby taylorswiftfan » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:34 am

Xylocarp- Thanks for your input. In response to your question- Not really, I just am mainly nervous about the LSAT and wanted to put all my attention onto the exam first before emailing and asking professors for recommendations. I'm also not sure who to ask, and keep thinking about it --just nervous that i'll ask a professor who will end up not writing a supportive LOR for me and that my chances of getting in will decrease.

Not sure how to go about asking a professor for a recommendation without sounding desperate and annoying since I'm not in school now and don't keep in touch with any of them.

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xylocarp
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby xylocarp » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:03 am

Edit
Last edited by xylocarp on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

taylorswiftfan
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby taylorswiftfan » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:59 pm

Hey Xylocarp, thanks for your advice. Greatly appreciated.
I'm not aiming for any schools in the Top 20...decent schools but not HYS. I'm just worried about how to ask a professor for recommendations when I've asked them before twice -once for grad school and another for a fellowship. Since graduation a couple years ago, I've rarely spoken to the professor. I have no idea if they wrote good recommendations for me in the past since I wasn't able to look at them. I figured they must be good (but who knows).

I just am trying to email the professor and don't know what to say- do I say something along the lines of--I wanted to ask if you could update the letters of rec you sent when I applied to grad school so that you can send them to the law schools I am applying to? Or do I straight up ask them for a letter of recommendation for law school without having to mention if they could update the letter they wrote for when i applied to grad school?

I'm just nervous about asking profs -that a prof won't write a supportive one (because he thinks i just ask him for recs now and nothing else)/or if i ask another prof he won't write a supportive one either and then that'll screw up my law school app.

Would I be able to ask three professors for recommendations and if all three submit would I be able to pick two? How does that work? Do professors submit directly to the school or through LSAC (and then I am able to delete a rec to a school if i wanted to)?

I would be curious to hear anyone else's input and advice on this too.

bp shinners
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:28 pm

taylorswiftfan wrote:Hey Xylocarp, thanks for your advice. Greatly appreciated.
I'm not aiming for any schools in the Top 20...decent schools but not HYS. I'm just worried about how to ask a professor for recommendations when I've asked them before twice -once for grad school and another for a fellowship. Since graduation a couple years ago, I've rarely spoken to the professor. I have no idea if they wrote good recommendations for me in the past since I wasn't able to look at them. I figured they must be good (but who knows).


It would be a jerk move to agree to write a letter and then write a bad one. It's going to take the same amount of time either way.

For the profs you've asked before, they're going to want to know why a law degree will help you meet your goals on top of the things you've already done. Have an answer.

I just am trying to email the professor and don't know what to say- do I say something along the lines of--I wanted to ask if you could update the letters of rec you sent when I applied to grad school so that you can send them to the law schools I am applying to? Or do I straight up ask them for a letter of recommendation for law school without having to mention if they could update the letter they wrote for when i applied to grad school?


Thank them for previously writing a letter, describe the situation as to why you're headed to law school, and ask if they'd be willing to either write a letter or, if it would work, tailor the previous one to law school. But really, you should try to meet with/call the professor.

Would I be able to ask three professors for recommendations and if all three submit would I be able to pick two? How does that work? Do professors submit directly to the school or through LSAC (and then I am able to delete a rec to a school if i wanted to)?


Yep. Gauge how "excited" they are about writing the letter by their reaction and how quickly they get to it. Once you submit to a school, "deleting" one would require you contacting the office and asking to have it removed from your file - I don't know if they'd do that (I would think they wouldn't). However, you don't have to submit every LOR to every school - there's a pulldown menu you use to assign LoRs to schools.

quickquestion9
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby quickquestion9 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:59 am

Ok so my professors just emailed me my lor what would be the quickest way of getting this over with?

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Cicero76
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Re: Letters of Rec Advice

Postby Cicero76 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:58 am

quickquestion9 wrote:Ok so my professors just emailed me my lor what would be the quickest way of getting this over with?


They aren't supposed to do that, but I suppose you could put it in an envelope and mail it yourself to lsac.




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