importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

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dabigchina
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importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby dabigchina » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:04 pm

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Last edited by dabigchina on Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

burtmacklin
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby burtmacklin » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:10 pm

I'm a year out with no academic LOR's an my outcomes thus far are in my profile, I'd say I'm performing how a normal candidate with my numbers (super splitter) would be expected to perform. I haven't heard back from any of my reach schools yet, but I do have a group interview for Georgetown as well

ETA: I absolutely wouldn't recommend doing this though, I've been a wreck over the chance that it would hurt my cycle, and some may argue that it has on scholly money

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malleus discentium
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby malleus discentium » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:31 pm

Good academic letters will always carry more weight than professional ones. Full stop. You're applying to school, after all. To the extent that schools are about LORs at all, these are the ones they want.
As you get further from UG, which has the result of making good letters more difficult to procure for various reasons, it becomes less of a red flag if you don't have them (it is definitely a red flag if you can't get academic LORs and you're in/close to UG). If you can't get good academic letters, then you want professional ones that speak to the same abilities an academic one would: critical thinking, analytical ability, writing skills etc.

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cron1834
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby cron1834 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:56 pm

I'm 2-4 years out of school, and I didn't use any academic LORs. The only school that I've heard back from thus far was an admit, and I'm close to their medians. So, it hasn't harmed me thus far. YMMV. I have reasonable softs.

USMarineLaw
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby USMarineLaw » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:08 am

My case may be different from most (military) but I used no academic LORs, was <25 GPA and >75 LSAT where I applied in the T14 and was accepted.

Again, YMMV but I think carefully choosing your LOR writers can slightly negate not having one from an academic source. Also, use the UVA guide for LOR writers and ask them to focus on how your professional qualities can contribute to being a student.

https://www.career.virginia.edu/prelaw/writing_rec_letters.pdf

kartelite
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby kartelite » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:44 pm

I think some schools explicitly request at least one academic LOR, so to be on the safe side I went with one academic and one workplace reference (8+ years out of UG).

kartelite
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby kartelite » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:46 pm

malleus discentium wrote:Good academic letters will always carry more weight than professional ones. Full stop. You're applying to school, after all.


Business school is still school, but they heavily discourage the use of "academic" rather than workplace references.

dabigchina
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:19 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
As you get further from UG, which has the result of making good letters more difficult to procure for various reasons, it becomes less of a red flag if you don't have them (it is definitely a red flag if you can't get academic LORs and you're in/close to UG). If you can't get good academic letters, then you want professional ones that speak to the same abilities an academic one would: critical thinking, analytical ability, writing skills etc.

I guess this is the crux of my question. What does constitutes "close to UG"? 1 year? 3 years? 5 Years?

akg144
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby akg144 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:50 pm

LOR's are important to get a sense of the candidate I wouldn't underestimate the value of a great LOR - that being said if great LOR's are not available to the applicant then professional recommendations are the next best option - though not a substitute they can certainly suffice if the rest of the application is otherwise strong.

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fringles
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby fringles » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:34 am

malleus discentium wrote:Good academic letters will always carry more weight than professional ones. Full stop. You're applying to school, after all. To the extent that schools are about LORs at all, these are the ones they want.
As you get further from UG, which has the result of making good letters more difficult to procure for various reasons, it becomes less of a red flag if you don't have them (it is definitely a red flag if you can't get academic LORs and you're in/close to UG). If you can't get good academic letters, then you want professional ones that speak to the same abilities an academic one would: critical thinking, analytical ability, writing skills etc.


very wrong. you dont need a lor to explain your grades. your grades are your grades and if you dont have an academic lor it wont say less.

of course they can say a lot about how a student will perform in an academic setting. but i didnt have a single academic lor, i overperformed my numbers, and i feel pretty confident saying an extra academic lor would not have impressed my school's adcomm any more

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Quest4Knowledge
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby Quest4Knowledge » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:45 am

From Asha at Yale in an interview with AdmissionsDean.com:

"Academic references are going to carry the most weight. Period. Particularly if you have a weaker part of your application, you really need to have phenomenal academic references who are willing to vouch for your performance as a student. If you’ve been out of school for a few years, I would suggest going back to your college professors and seeing if anyone would be willing to write one for you. If you think you’re going to be out of school for a while before you apply to law school, then plan ahead and get some professors to write you letters of recommendations now and place them on file with your undergraduate institution or set up an LSDAS account and let LSAC store them for you for up to five years.

I think only as a last resort -- you’ve been out of school for 10 years, none of your college professors remember you, etc. -- only then should you seek out employer recommendations that will speak to the kinds of things that an academic reference will. So, you’d want your employer to address writing and analytical skill, your intellectual curiosity, etc. Obviously, the closer they can be to the legal field, the better it will be for you. So if you’ve been a paralegal in a law office or worked for a judge, then that might be helpful, again, as a last resort."

https://www.admissionsdean.com/research ... terview/16

From this, I would say that at 2-4 years out of undergrad, you should get at least one academic LOR. And then the others as stellar LOR's from current employers.

Although I understand that it could be difficult to get academic LOR's once you're out of school at such a large institution, I'm sure if you went to their offices and explained your situation, provided them with samples of your work in their class, etc., one of them would help you out.

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cron1834
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby cron1834 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:27 am

I'm now 3/3 without using any academic LORs, including a T14.

DAT holistic review ...

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malleus discentium
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby malleus discentium » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:02 am

fringles wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:Good academic letters will always carry more weight than professional ones. Full stop. You're applying to school, after all. To the extent that schools are about LORs at all, these are the ones they want.
As you get further from UG, which has the result of making good letters more difficult to procure for various reasons, it becomes less of a red flag if you don't have them (it is definitely a red flag if you can't get academic LORs and you're in/close to UG). If you can't get good academic letters, then you want professional ones that speak to the same abilities an academic one would: critical thinking, analytical ability, writing skills etc.


very wrong. you dont need a lor to explain your grades. your grades are your grades and if you dont have an academic lor it wont say less.

of course they can say a lot about how a student will perform in an academic setting. but i didnt have a single academic lor, i overperformed my numbers, and i feel pretty confident saying an extra academic lor would not have impressed my school's adcomm any more

I didn't say anything about using academic LORs to explain grades. And the fact that you, a single data point, did well without academic LORs proves nothing and certainly is not evidence that my comment is "very wrong." My proviso (which should've said "To the extent that schools care about LORs at all :? ) was not gratuitous: In most admissions scenarios, LORs are only important at the extremes. If you got into HYS without a single academic LOR I would be very surprised, but barring that, your anecdote does not confute, or even weaken, my point.

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Cicero76
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby Cicero76 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:50 am

Having an academic LOR 5 years out is exactly as important as having one 1 year out. Which is to say required at Y, needed at HS, somewhat useful at T14, and utterly irrelevant everywhere else. You are probably not getting into HYS without academic LORs, but if that's not your goal then who cares who your letters come from. Most schools just want to make sure you're not utterly insane when they look at LORs, and employers do that just as well

dabigchina
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:19 pm

For those who did well without academic letters of recommendation, what schools did you get into? I am personally very interested in the lower T14 and would like to know if CCNMVP place the same kind of emphasis on academic LOR that HYS does.

TigerDude
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby TigerDude » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:09 pm

kartelite wrote:Business school is still school, but they heavily discourage the use of "academic" rather than workplace references.
But this isn't business school, it's law school.

dabigchina
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby dabigchina » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:00 am

So update to the thread. I managed to snag an academic LOR. I'm kind of skeptical about if it's going to be good or not because I have a feeling he might not remember me (he was very insistent I send him an up to date photograph). So with that in mind, should I submit this thing or take my chances and just submit 2 employer ones?

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cron1834
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby cron1834 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:59 am

Duder, when are your deadlines? It's getting pretty late with or without an academic LOR...

dabigchina
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:19 pm

cron1834 wrote:Duder, when are your deadlines? It's getting pretty late with or without an academic LOR...

I'm applying next cycle so it's cool.

BPlaura
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Re: importance of academic LORs 2-4 years out of UG

Postby BPlaura » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:53 pm

dabigchina wrote:So update to the thread. I managed to snag an academic LOR. I'm kind of skeptical about if it's going to be good or not because I have a feeling he might not remember me (he was very insistent I send him an up to date photograph). So with that in mind, should I submit this thing or take my chances and just submit 2 employer ones?


How much information did you send him? I'd operate under the assumption that he doesn't remember you well, unless you had a really good relationship with him while you were in school. So if, when you asked him for the LOR, you included info that he could use in the LOR (a sample of your work from the class, qualities about you/your work to jog his memory, etc.), I'd go ahead and use that LOR. If you didn't send him much information to go off, I'd assume the LOR is pretty generic - I'd probably still include it for schools that accept 3 LORs, but use the employer LORs for schools that only allow 2.




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