Question about Letters of Recommendation

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nyvee
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Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby nyvee » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:31 am

I have 4 letters in all - 2 letters from direct supervisors in professional settings that I'm sure are very good (and also detailed, personal etc), and 2 letters from professors (one that I'm sure is good, the other is probably good, definitely at least decent but most likely the weakest of the four)
I know that schools prefer academic letters, but for those that have a 3 letter limit am I better off:

with 2 academic letters and 1 professional letter, which would mean excluding a letter I think would help my application in terms of content for the sake of including a letter (albeit an academic one) that I'm not equally sure about

OR

with 2 professional letters and 1 academic letter and all 3 would be excellent recommendations, but then I would only have 1 academic letter
?

(Same with schools with a 2 letter limit, to just use both academic letters, or 1 and 1?)


Really not sure how to approach this, any advice would help a lot!!
(Applying to all T14, in case different strategies might work better for different schools?)

Thanks!!!!!

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malleus discentium
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby malleus discentium » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:36 am

Unless you have been out of undergrad for 3+ years, or unless your work was the kind that your supervisors can speak directly to your writing or academic ability, go with just the two professor letters for all schools.

birdlaw624
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby birdlaw624 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:37 pm

Figured I would piggyback on this thread about LOR. I've been out of school for 3 years and have one LOR from an employer. I'm not sure what to do about the others since I don't have a professor from college that I was very close with or have stayed in touch with. Am I better off having more than one professional LOR or getting one from a professor that would likely be pretty weak?

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hillz
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby hillz » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:05 pm

birdlaw624 wrote:Figured I would piggyback on this thread about LOR. I've been out of school for 3 years and have one LOR from an employer. I'm not sure what to do about the others since I don't have a professor from college that I was very close with or have stayed in touch with. Am I better off having more than one professional LOR or getting one from a professor that would likely be pretty weak?


You should try to get an academic LOR if at all possible - is there any way you could go back to campus and try to talk to a professor with whom you took advanced/smaller classes? They might be more willing than you think to write you a good letter if you can provide them with your resume, transcript, and other info. People are usually more willing to do something like this if you talk to them on the phone or in person, so if you can do that it would be best.

birdlaw624
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby birdlaw624 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:18 pm

My academic advisor who was with me all 4 years I had in class once. I'm thinking about emailing her to ask when we could meet up to talk and asking her then. My undergrad was small (just under 3k students) so at least I shouldn't be totally an unfamiliar face.

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nyvee
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby nyvee » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:55 am

malleus discentium wrote:Unless you have been out of undergrad for 3+ years, or unless your work was the kind that your supervisors can speak directly to your writing or academic ability, go with just the two professor letters for all schools.



Thanks!!
Both of the professional supervisors can speak to my writing ability, as both were from internships that involved a lot of writing. Would you still suggest going with the two professor letters + 1 supervisor letter? Getting the general feeling that it might look bad to not have two letters from professors regardless of how good the non-academic letters may be?

capo
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby capo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:41 am

nyvee wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:Unless you have been out of undergrad for 3+ years, or unless your work was the kind that your supervisors can speak directly to your writing or academic ability, go with just the two professor letters for all schools.



Thanks!!
Both of the professional supervisors can speak to my writing ability, as both were from internships that involved a lot of writing. Would you still suggest going with the two professor letters + 1 supervisor letter? Getting the general feeling that it might look bad to not have two letters from professors regardless of how good the non-academic letters may be?


are you still in undergrad? how many years out of undergrad?

if you can submit only 2 i would go 1 and 1. ppl get hung up on this academic/professional rec question. but are you really going to submit a rec just bc its coming from a professor even though it's just decent/or just probably good . i hope not. are they going to sit there and say oh well this guy only submitted one professor rec he must of not done well in school. they'll look at your transcript and see thats not the case and if it is then they'll understand why you only submitted on academic rec. but they are not going to sit and say oh only one rec he must have not fostered many relationships with professors yea we dont want someone like that at our school.

best advice i could offer though is pick up the phone and call up the admissions office and ask them candidly here i have this rec i think is great i have this one i think is great and this academic one which i don't think is prob that great cuz not too detailed...blah blah and they will tell you straight up well jus send the ones you think are the best doesn't matter if its not two academic ones. or they might tell you otherwise. Yes we def want two. thats the experience i had with the U Miami office at least.

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nyvee
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby nyvee » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:54 am

capo wrote:
nyvee wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:Unless you have been out of undergrad for 3+ years, or unless your work was the kind that your supervisors can speak directly to your writing or academic ability, go with just the two professor letters for all schools.



Thanks!!
Both of the professional supervisors can speak to my writing ability, as both were from internships that involved a lot of writing. Would you still suggest going with the two professor letters + 1 supervisor letter? Getting the general feeling that it might look bad to not have two letters from professors regardless of how good the non-academic letters may be?


are you still in undergrad? how many years out of undergrad?

if you can submit only 2 i would go 1 and 1. ppl get hung up on this academic/professional rec question. but are you really going to submit a rec just bc its coming from a professor even though it's just decent/or just probably good . i hope not. are they going to sit there and say oh well this guy only submitted one professor rec he must of not done well in school. they'll look at your transcript and see thats not the case and if it is then they'll understand why you only submitted on academic rec. but they are not going to sit and say oh only one rec he must have not fostered many relationships with professors yea we dont want someone like that at our school.

best advice i could offer though is pick up the phone and call up the admissions office and ask them candidly here i have this rec i think is great i have this one i think is great and this academic one which i don't think is prob that great cuz not too detailed...blah blah and they will tell you straight up well jus send the ones you think are the best doesn't matter if its not two academic ones. or they might tell you otherwise. Yes we def want two. thats the experience i had with the U Miami office at least.



Thank you!!! This helps a LOT!
Sound like a good strategy, also it hadn't occurred to me to just call and ask
(And I'm 1 year out of undergrad)

Also curious about a separate question - I haven't really seen/read anything about this - does it matter/ carry more weight if an academic letter is from a prof at your UG institution as opposed to say a prof that taught a class in a study abroad or a summer course at another institution? (Like inherently, other than the greater likelihood that a prof from UG institution would have taught you in more than one class or over a longer period of time)

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hillz
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Re: Question about Letters of Recommendation

Postby hillz » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:35 am

nyvee wrote:

Thank you!!! This helps a LOT!
Sound like a good strategy, also it hadn't occurred to me to just call and ask
(And I'm 1 year out of undergrad)

Also curious about a separate question - I haven't really seen/read anything about this - does it matter/ carry more weight if an academic letter is from a prof at your UG institution as opposed to say a prof that taught a class in a study abroad or a summer course at another institution? (Like inherently, other than the greater likelihood that a prof from UG institution would have taught you in more than one class or over a longer period of time)


Most schools give more info on rec letters on their website or on their LSAC app.

As for your question, I don't think it matters. As long as the professor knows you well and is able to comment on the academic skills that would lead you to do well in law school, it will be a good letter.




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