LOR Dilemma!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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LOR Dilemma!

Postby kemiller13 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:21 pm

I have taken a slightly different path to law school, and I am in a bit of a dilemma....

Graduated in 2013, and went straight into working for a Fortune 50 company as one of their commodity traders. I actually interned for this company in 2012, so I have more or less been working there the past 3 years.

I have 2 individuals from my company willing to write strong LORs, one was a previous manager and the other was a mentor/colleague who's now in a management position. I seem to get mixed reviews on the whole needing an academic one as well. Is it necessary? Am I going to look bad not including one?

The main problem is this, I reached out to the one professor who I thought would have a clear enough memory of me to write a LOR, and she doesn't. Since it's been almost two years since we last spoke, and my ambitions to go to law school weren't discussed with her, I've drifted out of her memory.


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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby PublicInterest2018 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:00 pm

You could enroll in a graduate course in an area that you are interested in and get a recommendation from that professor. I did this because I was in a similar position as you... ended up liking the program so much that I pursued a full masters as a result (really helped the softs) but you could get a similar effect with just one or two courses.

Realistically, though, I doubt it would matter much since the fact that you are removed from undergrad could justify the lack of academic reference, as long as your GPA/LSAT is above the median.

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby swampman » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:48 pm

What schools are you applying to and what are your stats?
Your work recommendations will probably be fine. It would be better to have academic recs, but probably not worth taking more classes just for a rec -- sounds like you're busy as is. The answer might change depending on your stats and school range though..

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:51 pm

You aren't far enough removed from undergrad for a lack of academic letter to not hurt you. 5-6 years out, it's different.

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:39 am

Some schools like Yale I think REQUIRE two academic letters iirc

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby kevgogators » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:53 am

When in doubt, falsify? :?

Just kidding... maybe.

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby PublicInterest2018 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:55 am

Of course not having an academic letter will hurt, but it is a question of how much. Realistically if your numbers help the school's medians the references won't matter. If you anticipate trying to get accepted off the waitlist, or if applying to Yale, I would try to secure one.
Last edited by PublicInterest2018 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby middlebear » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:04 am

Would this prof be willing to have a phone call or somehow let you the two of you sort of... work through the letter together?

Like everyone said, depends where you're looking at, but some schools it will hurt not to have any academic letters.

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Re: LOR Dilemma!

Postby malleus discentium » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:20 am

To the extent schools care about LORs at all, they want exactly two academic references. You are not far enough removed from UG to understandably have no academic LORs. But it may not ultimately matter that much, depending on what schools you are targeting. YS absolutely care about this, and H does to a lesser extent. Columbia also may require an academic LOR, and I suspect Berkeley would care. Other than these schools, no academic letters will be a mild negative but it is probably not insurmountable if you are above median.

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