Lukewarm LOR request response

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
tskela

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Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:34 am

solved
Last edited by tskela on Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nebby

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby Nebby » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:40 am

Try your other options first, imo

ponderingmeerkat

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:32 am

This is called the "soft no" dude. Nobody likes to come right out and say no anymore, but I get the impression this prof wants you to go elsewhere. I'd oblige him.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby TLSModBot » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:41 am

ponderingmeerkat wrote:This is called the "soft no" dude. Nobody likes to come right out and say no anymore, but I get the impression this prof wants you to go elsewhere. I'd oblige him.

This. Get someone else duder

LikelyThrowaway

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby LikelyThrowaway » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:42 am

You don't really need a professor you've taken multiple or upper-level courses from. They just need to like you enough to make a semi-personalized letter about you. Sometimes all you need is a kind-hearted professor. Email around some more, even to longshots. Also, volunteer to come visit them in office hours to discuss things. Face-to-face gives you better odds, it might jog their memory of you a bit more, and you can give them a good impression of you again.

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stratton_oakmont

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby stratton_oakmont » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:19 pm

I agree with all the previous posts. You'd be better off choosing someone else that can write you a thorough letter.

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:42 pm

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Last edited by tskela on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

xnsch

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby xnsch » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:23 pm

tskela wrote:.


Do you at least know a TA or something like that who could write you a letter? LoRs as it is don't really do much to overtly help you in the admissions game and are, as I understand, mostly a neutral factor. But I think if you got a letter that basically said "I really don't remember this guy but my gradebook says he did well in the class" that's going to raise a red flag in admissions and, instead of doing nothing to help you, will very likely hurt you. I'd try to find a TA or some professor that (despite maybe not having prior work from him) remembers you or something
Last edited by xnsch on Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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landshoes

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby landshoes » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:30 pm

Only having one academic letter when you're that far out of school is not that bad unless the school explicitly insists on you having two academic letters. Ask some of the professors where you did well in their classes but don't have a writing sample, give them something from another class that you did that you're proud of, give them a transcript and resume, and thank them. See what happens. But in the end, you should be fine with one academic and one personal letter.

20170322

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby 20170322 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:31 pm

ponderingmeerkat wrote:This is called the "soft no" dude. Nobody likes to come right out and say no anymore, but I get the impression this prof wants you to go elsewhere. I'd oblige him.

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:32 pm

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Last edited by tskela on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:34 pm

SweetTort wrote:
ponderingmeerkat wrote:This is called the "soft no" dude. Nobody likes to come right out and say no anymore, but I get the impression this prof wants you to go elsewhere. I'd oblige him.


I'm surprised this seems to be the prevailing opinion, since I didn't get the sense from his email that he'd be unhappy to do it or that he'd write something less than mediocre :/

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:35 pm

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Last edited by tskela on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:38 pm

When a prof says "you should ask someone else," you probably should. It sounds to me like the other prof options you have aren't going to write anything worse.

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby 20170322 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:40 pm

tskela wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
ponderingmeerkat wrote:This is called the "soft no" dude. Nobody likes to come right out and say no anymore, but I get the impression this prof wants you to go elsewhere. I'd oblige him.


I'm surprised this seems to be the prevailing opinion, since I didn't get the sense from his email that he'd be unhappy to do it or that he'd write something less than mediocre :/



Here's the thing; it's absurdly easy to get a glowing recommendation. Why would you risk it on a lukewarm response? There has to be SOME professor out there more enthusiastic than this person.

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:43 pm

SweetTort wrote:
tskela wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
ponderingmeerkat wrote:This is called the "soft no" dude. Nobody likes to come right out and say no anymore, but I get the impression this prof wants you to go elsewhere. I'd oblige him.


I'm surprised this seems to be the prevailing opinion, since I didn't get the sense from his email that he'd be unhappy to do it or that he'd write something less than mediocre :/



Here's the thing; it's absurdly easy to get a glowing recommendation. Why would you risk it on a lukewarm response? There has to be SOME professor out there more enthusiastic than this person.


I'm really, really not confident in this. There certainly could be, but am I really willing to risk just not having a second letter at all?

Now I'm really freaking out.

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landshoes

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby landshoes » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:07 pm

Chill. Ask before you start freaking out. Tell the short-letter prof you need some time to decide. Ask 3-4 other people simultaneously. Ask your work, too. You will be fine.

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poptart123

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby poptart123 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:11 pm

Why don't you just ask all of the people you are considering, and then once submitted, you can choose the letters for each school? If nobody else submits, use this guy's if you are so worried.

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby LikelyThrowaway » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:12 pm

I think at most schools it's sub-optimal but acceptable to have one academic and one professional LoR. Yale's Dean did say only having one is a major mark against you for her school, and that might be true at the other top ones. So I'd keep looking, but if you need to submit with only one academic letter, it's probably okay.

Also: don't tell someone it's "insanely easy" to get an amazing LoR when it's obviously not for some people. Lots of people go to big schools with few small classes, lots of people are shy or whatever and don't participate, etc etc. This isn't that unusual of a problem and it's pretty unhelpful to just dismiss it.

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:21 pm

landshoes wrote:Chill. Ask before you start freaking out. Tell the short-letter prof you need some time to decide. Ask 3-4 other people simultaneously. Ask your work, too. You will be fine.


Ok, I've now got 4 requests out pending response. I'll let the first prof know I need some time. I think that's the best option

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bmathers

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby bmathers » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:28 pm

LikelyThrowaway wrote:Also: don't tell someone it's "insanely easy" to get an amazing LoR when it's obviously not for some people. Lots of people go to big schools with few small classes, lots of people are shy or whatever and don't participate, etc etc. This isn't that unusual of a problem and it's pretty unhelpful to just dismiss it.

True story. I am 6 years out of school and most of my classes consisted of between 150-800 students, without smaller discussion sections worked into those large classes. I had regular interaction with many of mt profs though, and would have had no problem getting quite a few letters of rec from them as an undergrad, but this far out, it was a crap-shoot. I ended up getting one academic, then a 2nd from one of my business clients who I have worked with extensively.

That being said, action kills worry. Get into action, email all of your profs, and if you don't get a single positive response (highly unlikely), come back and we can brainstorm. A lot of college profs would bend over backwards to help a former student when putting together a law school application, you may be very surprised. Heck, one of my former English teachers in high school volunteered to proofread all of my essays for grammar and structure.

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:47 pm

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Last edited by tskela on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bmathers

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby bmathers » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:53 pm

tskela wrote:
bmathers wrote:
LikelyThrowaway wrote:Also: don't tell someone it's "insanely easy" to get an amazing LoR when it's obviously not for some people. Lots of people go to big schools with few small classes, lots of people are shy or whatever and don't participate, etc etc. This isn't that unusual of a problem and it's pretty unhelpful to just dismiss it.

True story. I am 6 years out of school and most of my classes consisted of between 150-800 students, without smaller discussion sections worked into those large classes. I had regular interaction with many of mt profs though, and would have had no problem getting quite a few letters of rec from them as an undergrad, but this far out, it was a crap-shoot. I ended up getting one academic, then a 2nd from one of my business clients who I have worked with extensively.

That being said, action kills worry. Get into action, email all of your profs, and if you don't get a single positive response (highly unlikely), come back and we can brainstorm. A lot of college profs would bend over backwards to help a former student when putting together a law school application, you may be very surprised. Heck, one of my former English teachers in high school volunteered to proofread all of my essays for grammar and structure.
I just have fear of authority figures

Like a judge, perhaps?

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landshoes

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby landshoes » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:01 pm

how many lawyers never talk to a judge...

tskela

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Re: Lukewarm LOR request response

Postby tskela » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:46 pm

So just an update: I contacted 5 other professors. 1 replied saying no because she's retired. 4 pending responses, all of which sent this morning or early afternoon.

Y'all thought I was exaggerating about not having better options :wink:

Leaning towards not having a second academic LOR if the first professor's is gonna be like totally laughable. I wish I knew what "brief" meant. Any advice on how to move forward? My only goal is the LORs not hurting so I don't underperform my numbers. I'm beyond the point of wanting them to be ~glowing.

Also dealing with this has me slowly losing motivation to study for the September LSAT which is probably the opposite of what should be happening ugh



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