Who to ask

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
xtrmriot
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Who to ask

Postby xtrmriot » Tue May 05, 2015 1:09 pm

Hi guys,
I've been having some anxiety about gathering letters of recommendation. I have one professor I have in mind but I'm at a loss for another. I go to a commuter school over an hours away so its difficult to get close to a professor and arrive at their office hours so I'm afraid I haven't gotten too close to any of my professors. Do you think I can ask any professor I got an A in their class? Additionally when should I ask? Im a current junior planning to take the October LSAT and apply for admission Fall 2016 if that helps. Thanks in advance for any help you may provide!

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Chris Manifesto
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Re: Who to ask

Postby Chris Manifesto » Tue May 05, 2015 2:10 pm

I would try to get that done as soon as possible. You'll find that it isn't uncommon for recommenders to take a while with the letters. Might even have to hunt a few down even after they have said yes. I had professors who exclusively provided letters to A students. some even required taking more than one class with them. I was able to get one via email since I was in a similar situation. The professor looked up my performance in her various classes and wrote it based on that.

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LET'S GET IT
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Re: Who to ask

Postby LET'S GET IT » Tue May 05, 2015 5:12 pm

Asking profs who's class you did well in is fine, but not preferred. The problem is that they don't really know you, so this often leads to very generic sounding letters of rec. But, since you don't seem to have any choice, I'd do one of three things: 1. ask a prof who maybe you didn't go to their office hours, but participated in class discussion and they know you through that, or 2. Go with one academic and one professional i.e. a boss if you have work experience, or 3. since you are a junior, make more of a point of going to office hours and cultivating these relationships next semester so you will feel comfortable asking, and the prof will actually know you well enough to have something to say. This is the best option imo.

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candidlatke
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Re: Who to ask

Postby candidlatke » Tue May 05, 2015 6:36 pm

Piggybacking onto his question, does it matter at all where the letter of rec comes from?

Like, would it carry more weight/compute for a stronger app if you were to ask a poli sci professor with a yale law degree vs. a random professor of computer science or some other major.

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LET'S GET IT
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Re: Who to ask

Postby LET'S GET IT » Tue May 05, 2015 6:46 pm

candidlatke wrote:Piggybacking onto his question, does it matter at all where the letter of rec comes from?

Like, would it carry more weight/compute for a stronger app if you were to ask a poli sci professor with a yale law degree vs. a random professor of computer science or some other major.


In all likelihood it won't matter. Numbers are king and your LSAT and GPA will be the vast majority of what matters. That being said, having a super impressive letter of rec may give you a small bump. Also, the general consensus is to get at least one from a prof from your degree area (ex: biz prof if you are a biz major). I wouldn't worry about it too much. Ask people who know you well enough to speak to what traits you have that will make you successful in law school and in the legal field.

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strugglebus
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Re: Who to ask

Postby strugglebus » Tue May 05, 2015 7:36 pm

How well the prof knows you and what they can say about you is going to be way more important than their title. One of mine was technically a lecturer instead of a professor and it was fine. I got letters from one in each of my majors, but they were the two who knew me best anyway.

xtrmriot
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Re: Who to ask

Postby xtrmriot » Wed May 06, 2015 12:10 pm

Thanks a lot for the information guys, I appreciate it. So would now be the time to ask (summer before applying to law school)?

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LET'S GET IT
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Re: Who to ask

Postby LET'S GET IT » Wed May 06, 2015 12:20 pm

xtrmriot wrote:Thanks a lot for the information guys, I appreciate it. So would now be the time to ask (summer before applying to law school)?


Yeah definitely. Most law schools have rolling admissions so people that apply early in the cycle tend to do better. You're going to want to get your apps in by October or November,and like someone mentioned, some profs are going to take their sweet time writing your letter.

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Octavius
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Re: Who to ask

Postby Octavius » Wed May 06, 2015 12:42 pm

One of my letters of rec was from a TA who I had two classes with. As long as the recommender knows you, your work, and can convey your strengths, titles don't seem to matter.

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strugglebus
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Re: Who to ask

Postby strugglebus » Wed May 06, 2015 12:44 pm

xtrmriot wrote:Thanks a lot for the information guys, I appreciate it. So would now be the time to ask (summer before applying to law school)?

Yeah, I asked in August and one of my recs didn't come in until mid-October

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LawsRUs
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Re: Who to ask

Postby LawsRUs » Wed May 06, 2015 1:00 pm

^^ Same. Both of my recommenders volunteered to write mine, and they still took two months. LoRs were the last thing in my application that prevented me from going complete. I agree with LGI: Ask now.

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KMart
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Re: Who to ask

Postby KMart » Wed May 06, 2015 2:10 pm

LawsRUs wrote:^^ Same. Both of my recommenders volunteered to write mine, and they still took two months. LoRs were the last thing in my application that prevented me from going complete. I agree with LGI: Ask now.

+1. It took me about 4 months for one of mine. I think the average was 2-3. It takes forever and it's hard to be persistent about them writing it and being patient so they write you a solid letter. Asking now will make your life easy when you're getting ready to apply. You don't need the extra stress.

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strugglebus
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Re: Who to ask

Postby strugglebus » Wed May 06, 2015 2:16 pm

Also, be sure to give them a deadline that's earlier than when you actually want to apply. That way if they miss it, you get a free non-impatient-looking follow-up without throwing off your timeline

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KMart
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Re: Who to ask

Postby KMart » Wed May 06, 2015 2:17 pm

strugglebus wrote:Also, be sure to give them a deadline that's earlier than when you actually want to apply. That way if they miss it, you get a free non-impatient-looking follow-up without throwing off your timeline

Solid idea. I actually wish I had used this for more of mine.




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