Asking for LOR after long time from school

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HelloThere!
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:34 am

Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby HelloThere! » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:07 am

Hi,

I was just wondering if any of you guys also have this slight issue.

I've been away from school for more than 3 years now, and I am applying for law school next cycle.

I'm also done with my LSAT.

But the problem is the LORs. Since I didn't plan on going to law school and actually had a job right after college, I lost contact with professors or TAs. Adding on to that, I didn't even have a close prof back in school.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I should ask profs for a LOR? I think I can get one from work but seems like I also need one from an academic professor.

Thanks

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lawschool1741
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby lawschool1741 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:27 am

HelloThere! wrote:Hi,

I was just wondering if any of you guys also have this slight issue.

I've been away from school for more than 3 years now, and I am applying for law school next cycle.

I'm also done with my LSAT.

But the problem is the LORs. Since I didn't plan on going to law school and actually had a job right after college, I lost contact with professors or TAs. Adding on to that, I didn't even have a close prof back in school.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how I should ask profs for a LOR? I think I can get one from work but seems like I also need one from an academic professor.

Thanks

Yea, most non-KJDs have to work hard to get academic LORs. I ended up sending out three requests to some of my senior year professors and got them all back. I didn't have great relationships with these people or anything, I think they just understand the game as well. Be professional, courteous, and honest and they shouldn't have a problem helping out a former student. Definitely include a deadline in your request, made that mistake with an old work reference and still haven't received it back.

JFO1833
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby JFO1833 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:48 pm

If there are any professors that you worked closely with be sure to contact them. Also given you are applying next cycle you can offer to spend some time chatting with the professors, this might help them remember you and to come up with things to say.

I have been out of school a year longer than you and expected this to be a huge issue and it turned out to be no issue at all.

I wouldn't wait to arrange the letters though, if you can have them done in the next few months you can spend the remaining timing homing your personal statement and applications.

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fats provolone
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby fats provolone » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:00 pm

mine were really cool about it despite not hearing from me for years

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:21 pm

fats provolone wrote:mine were really cool about it despite not hearing from me for years


This. Everybody says to ask your butt buddy professor, and that's a great idea, but also consider the professors who are known for writing recs. The ones that everybody asks for recs. The super nice ones that give half the class an A. As long as you were above median in that class (got an A), he/she probably would happily write all kinds of accolades even though you never went to a single office hour.

You won't get a "literally one of the top 10 students in my life" rec, so maybe you won't get into Y, but it's good enough for everybody else if you're struggling to snag LoRs.

thisone2014
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby thisone2014 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:25 pm

It might help if you try to find any work you did for the class and attach it to your request to the professor to help jog their memory. I was out of school for less than a year when I asked for my LORs but one of my writers was extremely old and forgetful, and we hadn't worked together since my soph year, and I did this for him upon his request. Include something about the grade you received, any one-on-one work or feedback you worked on with the prof, etc. Something along the lines of, "I know it was a long time ago, so I've attached some of my graded work from the class, attached. I was especially proud of the A grade I received on my final paper on [subject matter of interest to the prof]."

I know that sounds kind of cheesy but you get the idea.

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Gray
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby Gray » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:28 pm

Same situation as you OP, but mine were not really cool about it for whatever reason. I had a couple of profs whose classes I really killed, and was just outright denied by one and just procrastinevered by the other. I applied with professional LORs only. My only advice is ask now. That way you'll have plenty of time to sort out a backup plan if something goes wrong.

thisone2014
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Re: Asking for LOR after long time from school

Postby thisone2014 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:40 pm

also, the LORs don't matter very much, so don't stress over it. Most of them are extremely generic ("Applicant was a good student who produced fine work and actively contributed to class"). Very rarely can they make or break an application. I'd imagine this is even more true for people who have been out of school for a while. So as long as you can get someone who will say you showed up, did good work, etc, you don't really need much more. Your LSAT/GPA will be the determining factors.




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