Reference conundrum!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Keilz
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Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:03 pm

(update- question redacted)
Last edited by Keilz on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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hairbear7
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby hairbear7 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:08 pm

Maybe I missed it but, when was the last time you contacted her?

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:11 pm

In October 2014. I'll edit to make that more apparent.

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:43 pm

I'm antsy, does anyone have any advice? :cry:

Tomasz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Tomasz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:07 am

Professors are busy people. All the ones I've known have no problem with gentle reminders.

Send her an email. Remind her of your past correspondence, and respectfully remind her of your timeline.

There is a 99.9999% chance she will be fine with that

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hairbear7
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby hairbear7 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:08 am

Just send a friendly reminder email? It's been 2-3 months so it's not like you are hounding her everyday and she's just ignoring you.

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pylon
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby pylon » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:18 am

Agreed with the other posters, a gentle reminder e-mail is totally fine.

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:15 am

Great thanks everyone so far...Do you think it's unreasonable to ask her to submit it within the next few months (like before March), even though I won't need it until August? Do you think it is possible in anyway to mention to her about tutoring, or that I am going to mention my upward grade trend in my personal statement?

Tomasz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Tomasz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:23 am

I worked for a professor who wrote a lot of letters every year. Some things he liked: students who included long-term goals and resume (as you did I believe) and students who offered to remind him of any special characteristics.

You could phrase your email like this:

Dear prof:

nice greeting. As we discussed previously I'm applying to law school. My long-term goals are etc. Some of my strengths that I hope to demonstrate to the admissions committees are ______. I hope that i demonstrated these strengths in your class by _______. My timeline for applications is _____.

Thank you very much for your time on this matter.

Yours sincerely,
Name

Just keep it concise. Should be readable in under 1 min.

It is important to remind them of anything important you want in the letter. Professors very often don't remember students well. If it's something you want/need the adcomms to know, let them know.
Respect their time. Professors should be able to take your email and immediately write/submit your letter. Predict their questions (e.g. how to submit the letter, your goals, etc) and put it in the email. This will get you a better letter.
I can't stress the timeline enough. You need to gently give them a deadline. I know a couple professors who write letters on the deadline. Between grants/manuscripts/books/reviews/whatever they're doing, you're a low priority, so let them know when you need it.

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:33 am

Thanks for your help. What I'm unsure of is that I already told her my timeline, that I'm applying in Summer 2015. But I would like the letter earlier, which I had already mentioned lightly. Is that too much to ask? If not, how do I ask it, if I've already told her I'm applying in the summer?
Last edited by Keilz on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Gucci Mane
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Gucci Mane » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:36 am

Writing rec letters is part of their job, you don't need to be shy about any of that.

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:20 pm

Here is what I have drafted, how do I input the fact that she asked me to tutor another student into this email? Since I've been emailing her for months already, it's hard to just say everything I want mentioned out of the blue. I've already told her why I asked her, when I first asked her. Any other input on the draft is appreciated as well.

Hi Professor,

I hope you are well! I was just writing to see if you received the link from LSAC to submit the recommendation letter.

I have been thinking about my personal statement and the content of my applications. I wanted to mention to you that I will be discussing my upward grade trend in my personal statement, as I had a prominent upward trend, and I think that my grades from the end of my Sophomore year to my Junior and Senior year more accurately reflect my abilities. I also hope to demonstrate in my applications that ______________________. <- (here is where I would want to delicately remind her that she asked me to be a tutor and I would want that mentioned - how can I say it?)

I know I asked you very early in advance, and that it's been a few months since I've been your student, so please let me know if I can offer any more specific information about me that I can provide. Thank you again your help.
Last edited by Keilz on Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

moralsentiments
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby moralsentiments » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:37 pm

Lynnb wrote:Hi Professor,


Dear Professor __________,




Sincerely,

____________

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:12 pm

I will be replying to a chain where I first emailed her back in May when I was still a student, so I haven't been putting the most formal greetings, since I always emailed her saying Hi when I was a student since I emailed her/ saw her so often. But what about the content of the message? Now I'm worried that I've been too informal this whole time :'(

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:27 pm

Updated: (Should I add anything about a specific time I'd like the letter? Is the last paragraph okay?)

Dear Professor,

I hope you are well! I was just writing to see if you received the link from LSAC to submit the recommendation letter.

I have been thinking about my personal statement and the content of my applications. I wanted to mention to you that I will be discussing my upward grade trend in my personal statement, as I had a prominent upward trend, and I think that my grades from the end of my Sophomore year to my Junior and Senior year more accurately reflect my abilities.

I know I asked you very early in advance, and that it's been a few months since I've been your student, so please let me know if I can offer any more specific information about me that I can provide or would like to demonstrate in my application.
Last edited by Keilz on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby ChemEng1642 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:29 pm

Looks fine to me

Keilz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Keilz » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:04 pm

Great thanks. any feedback on the timeline or tutoring question?

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pylon
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby pylon » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:55 am

I would resend the LSAC form to your prof at the same time as sending the e-mail, so they don't have to dig through their inbox to find the original version. The easier you make it for them to submit, the better. Also, I personally wouldn't include them asking you to tutor because you didn't actually end up tutoring, but I'm sure others would have a differing opinion - go with your gut. :)

Paul Campos
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Paul Campos » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:30 am

Things in a law school applicant's file that are rarely if ever read by anyone:

Reference letters

Personal statements

Diversity statements

Resumes

You could C&P 1200 words from the Unabomber manifesto for your PS and 97.3% of the time it would have no effect on your chances of admission.*

*Does not apply to Yale and Stanford.

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Auxilio
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Auxilio » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:22 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Things in a law school applicant's file that are rarely if ever read by anyone:

Reference letters

Personal statements

Diversity statements

Resumes

You could C&P 1200 words from the Unabomber manifesto for your PS and 97.3% of the time it would have no effect on your chances of admission.*

*Does not apply to Yale and Stanford.


just for accuracy, I think you should include Berkeley and Harvard in that list as well. Although not as much as Yale and Stanford they do look at it.

Tomasz
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Tomasz » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:44 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Things in a law school applicant's file that are rarely if ever read by anyone:

Reference letters

Personal statements

Diversity statements

Resumes

You could C&P 1200 words from the Unabomber manifesto for your PS and 97.3% of the time it would have no effect on your chances of admission.*

*Does not apply to Yale and Stanford.


The 3 T14 that accepted me specifically referenced things in my personal statement/resume/references in the acceptance package. I was also contacted by professors and students who made references as well.

I think your statement is pretty overblown. If these things don't matter, then how the heck did I get into 3 T14 and waitlisted at 7 others with a crappy LSAT?

(student at NYU. <25 LSAT, <50 GPA, not a minority, crappy state school ugrad, few academic honors)

Paul Campos
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby Paul Campos » Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:29 pm

Tomasz wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Things in a law school applicant's file that are rarely if ever read by anyone:

Reference letters

Personal statements

Diversity statements

Resumes

You could C&P 1200 words from the Unabomber manifesto for your PS and 97.3% of the time it would have no effect on your chances of admission.*

*Does not apply to Yale and Stanford.


The 3 T14 that accepted me specifically referenced things in my personal statement/resume/references in the acceptance package. I was also contacted by professors and students who made references as well.

I think your statement is pretty overblown. If these things don't matter, then how the heck did I get into 3 T14 and waitlisted at 7 others with a crappy LSAT?

(student at NYU. <25 LSAT, <50 GPA, not a minority, crappy state school ugrad, few academic honors)


NYU and/or other T-14s are having professors and students contact non-URM's with sub-25th LSATS and sub-50th GPAs in an effort to recruit them?

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Reference conundrum!

Postby ChemEng1642 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:03 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
Tomasz wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Things in a law school applicant's file that are rarely if ever read by anyone:

Reference letters

Personal statements

Diversity statements

Resumes

You could C&P 1200 words from the Unabomber manifesto for your PS and 97.3% of the time it would have no effect on your chances of admission.*

*Does not apply to Yale and Stanford.


The 3 T14 that accepted me specifically referenced things in my personal statement/resume/references in the acceptance package. I was also contacted by professors and students who made references as well.

I think your statement is pretty overblown. If these things don't matter, then how the heck did I get into 3 T14 and waitlisted at 7 others with a crappy LSAT?

(student at NYU. <25 LSAT, <50 GPA, not a minority, crappy state school ugrad, few academic honors)


NYU and/or other T-14s are having professors and students contact non-URM's with sub-25th LSATS and sub-50th GPAs in an effort to recruit them?



Don't know about professors (can't imagine they would) but student organizations for non-URM but still ethnic groups definitely do send out emails that sound like recruitment. Not sure it matters what GPA/LSAT you have.




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