Difficulty with LORs?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
aviatrixsteff
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Difficulty with LORs?

Postby aviatrixsteff » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:16 pm

The unanimous decision of every article and thread that I have read is that your LORs should come from professors.
I understand the reasoning behind and I agree. Except, I don't really have professors that I feel would write a good letter. A lot of my classes were online; I never met or spoke with the professor. The only professor I have that I had more than once in person and that knows me well is a very nice man and would oblige, but he isn't particularly good at writing. It would not be an eloquent or well though out letter. He doesn't have a doctorate, I also wonder if that would detract from the letter.

I do have high school teachers , flight instructors, and volunteer connections who all could write much better and more personal letters.

So, a good letter from a bad source, or a bad letter from a good source?

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby WaltGrace83 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:35 pm

What schools will you be applying to? It matters.

Kimikho
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby Kimikho » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:21 pm

aviatrixsteff wrote:The unanimous decision of every article and thread that I have read is that your LORs should come from professors.
I understand the reasoning behind and I agree. Except, I don't really have professors that I feel would write a good letter. A lot of my classes were online; I never met or spoke with the professor. The only professor I have that I had more than once in person and that knows me well is a very nice man and would oblige, but he isn't particularly good at writing. It would not be an eloquent or well though out letter. He doesn't have a doctorate, I also wonder if that would detract from the letter.

I do have high school teachers , flight instructors, and volunteer connections who all could write much better and more personal letters.

So, a good letter from a bad source, or a bad letter from a good source?


Admissions committees know the LORs are (hopefully!) not written by yourself. They won't judge you for having a letter that isn't written beautifully.

One thing you can do is, in addition to (possibly) meeting with him in person, email him. In the email, use buzzwords that you think would be useful in the letter, to give him a jumping-off point. "Strong letters of recommendation are imperative to the law school application process..." etc etc. I even included Asha's quote about "excessively strong" LORs for one of my recommendation writers. Make it clear that, if he needs feedback on the letter, you can provide it--"please let me know if you have any questions about the process and what is expected of the letter of recommendation." etc etc.

aviatrixsteff
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby aviatrixsteff » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:34 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:What schools will you be applying to? It matters.


My dream school is Cornell. I'll throw an application at them and Duke to see if anything sticks.
Other than that- Southern Methodist, Ohio State, U of Colorado, and U of Hawaii.

Kimikho
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby Kimikho » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:40 pm

aviatrixsteff wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:What schools will you be applying to? It matters.


My dream school is Cornell. I'll throw an application at them and Duke to see if anything sticks.
Other than that- Southern Methodist, Ohio State, U of Colorado, and U of Hawaii.


...what are your stats and where do you want to work? Those are quite regional and disparate schools.

aviatrixsteff
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby aviatrixsteff » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:47 pm

scoobers wrote:
aviatrixsteff wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:What schools will you be applying to? It matters.


My dream school is Cornell. I'll throw an application at them and Duke to see if anything sticks.
Other than that- Southern Methodist, Ohio State, U of Colorado, and U of Hawaii.


...what are your stats and where do you want to work? Those are quite regional and disparate schools.



3.4 GPA by LSAC standards ( I know, low) and projecting a 170-173 on the June LSAT.
Solid softs.

I've lived or have family in several of those places and wouldn't mind returning. I want to be an aviation lawyer. Probably end up working for the FAA.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby malleus discentium » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:07 am

His lack of doctorate won't matter. As for whether it would be a strong letter, it's presumptuous of you to say it wouldn't be "well thought out." Poor style does not always equate to poor thinking; he may surprise you. In any case, unless you've been out of school for a very long time, not having any academic LORs is a huge red flag and is probably one of the only times LORs can hurt you (outside HYS).

Don't ask HS teachers. Unless you did something truly extraordinary (like Olympics extraordinary) HS has no place in law school applications. Flight instructors and volunteer coordinators can write you a letter, but they need to be able to speak to your academic abilities and intelligence; you're applying to a school, after all. This is doubly true if you have a weaker academic LOR.

aviatrixsteff
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Re: Difficulty with LORs?

Postby aviatrixsteff » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:25 am

malleus discentium wrote:His lack of doctorate won't matter. As for whether it would be a strong letter, it's presumptuous of you to say it wouldn't be "well thought out." Poor style does not always equate to poor thinking; he may surprise you. In any case, unless you've been out of school for a very long time, not having any academic LORs is a huge red flag and is probably one of the only times LORs can hurt you (outside HYS).

Don't ask HS teachers. Unless you did something truly extraordinary (like Olympics extraordinary) HS has no place in law school applications. Flight instructors and volunteer coordinators can write you a letter, but they need to be able to speak to your academic abilities and intelligence; you're applying to a school, after all. This is doubly true if you have a weaker academic LOR.


He wrote an LOR for a schoalrship for me. While it was nice, it was extremely cliche and generic. It also had a few grammatical errors. I can try to kindly emphasize to him what law schools are looking for in LORs, I just can't feel confident in what will be produced. I'm a splitter and really want good LORs to help overcome the gap.

I agree that the others aren't a good source. I'm just sort of stuck. Even if I do get one from my professor, that leaves another one that I have no idea who to use. No, I did not win the Olympics in high school, but I did survive cancer and graduate in 1.5 years- which is more personal than anything my online college proffs could attest to. Idkkkk it seems like a lost cause.




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