Letters Letters Letters (from whom?)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Letters Letters Letters (from whom?)

Postby beaglelegal » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:20 am

Hi all! I'm new to TLS but loving it so far. I won't be applying for a couple years but I just graduated from college and took the LSAT (yikes), I am trying to get everything in order before I start working. I'm interested in your opinion about who I should get letters from!

Letter 1: My senior thesis adviser - I didn't do an outstanding job on the thesis but she knows me well and it was good enough. She invited me to work on a research project with her post graduation and is actually paying me $$$ to do it, so I think her letter will be strong. I am also helping her to design an upper level undergraduate course that is tangentially law related.

Letter 2: From my boss at the job that I will have worked for 1-2 years at the time of applying. Don't know what this will say but I intend to work hard at this job so I think it will be good. The job is also somewhat legal related, though this person will not be an attorney.

However, I know that I ought to have a second academic letter to have 2 full letters reflecting my academic ability. Here's the dilemma:

Potential letter A: Professor that I had a really good relationship with sophomore year and he will say very good things. He is respected on campus and was at one point the director of our state's ACLU. However, I lost touch with him after some awkwardness and have only spoken to him a couple of times in the last couple years, though he did give me a copy of his book when it came out in the fall. Basically he can only speak about me as of 2 years ago, and only in the context of the class that I took with him. This prof writes narrative evaluations of everyone that are included on the transcript, so there is already a (very flattering) note from him about me that adcoms will see, and I expect his letter would be more of the same.

Potential letter B: Professor that I have had for 2 classes and earned A+ both times (though he gives everyone As) We have a friendly banter relationship, but I don't think that this letter would be specific. There is a decent chance that he would tell me to write it myself and he would sign it, but if not I think the letter would be mostly generic but good things. However, he will definitely ask me what to include and will be able to speak about my more recent self. He also went to Stanford for undergrad (one of my goal schools) but I'm not sure if this has any significance to a S adcom.

Any thoughts??? I appreciate any insight!

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Re: Letters Letters Letters (from whom?)

Postby Auxilio » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:32 am

I would ask both for a letter, sometimes they will show you them before sending it - which will make the decision easier. You can also judge based on their reaction and how long it takes them to write it (do you have to keep nagging them etc.).

At the end if you think they are both roughly equally good, you could always send 1 to half your schools and the other to the rest to hedge your bet.


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Re: Letters Letters Letters (from whom?)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:45 am

Both should be fine, although the "...I lost touch with him after some awkwardness." might need some further clarification. "Flirtation" or did you "try to burn down his house" awkwardness ?

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