LOR Questions

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CheyenneGarrett17

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LOR Questions

Postby CheyenneGarrett17 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:32 pm

Hey TLSers, I have a couple questions about LORs. I will be applying fall 18 to begin in fall 19. But I will be taking a gap year, and I have already had some really great professors, so I am beginning to think about getting LORs now.

First, any downside to getting LORs early, or them being a few years old during application time? From what I have read here, it seems the general consensus is that this isn’t harmful in any way, but just want to confirm. I am worried as time passes they will forget about the details of our time together.

Secondly, how useful would it be to have three vs two LORs? I have three professors I really respect and enjoyed my time with, although I’m not sure how different they would be - although the classes were on very different topics, and the layout was different (discussion vs writing intensive).

Third, it seems that y’all generally say that the prestige of professors does not matter much, but can someone confirm this? I am considering asking three professors I have had: the Director of the Honors College, a Dean from the Law School at my University, and another Professor who works at the Law School and plays a large part in running the program I am enrolled in as an UG. I have had all of these professors as instructors for one semester, in classes of 10 people or less - so feel they know me on a more personal level. Could it in any way look bad to pick these individuals? Will it look like I’m just picking leaders at my U, since I only had them each for one class?

Also, all of these professors graduated from some of my dream/if only schools - UT, Penn, UVa. Will this be helpful when it comes to admission to these schools at all? Should I tell them that I am applying to their alma matters or have them tailor their LORs to those schools?

Lastly, I am concerned about my standing with one of those Professors. I had him as an instructor about a year ago now, and last year I asked him to write a Rec for a school program to study in DC. He did write an excellent letter, and I got offered the position, but had to turn it down due to family/financial reasons. I filled him in, and he seemed very understanding. But I am worried I burned that bridge. I know that’s kind of a unique situation, but any input there? Think it’s safe to approach him again for LS apps - at least get a feel for his reaction?


Bonus question: thinking about sub teaching during my gap year. That will allow me to focus on LSAT prep and Apps, choosing to work when I want. Any downsides to doing this instead of secretarial/unpaid work for a local firm?

So many questions, sorry but thanks for any input. Y'all have been an invaluable resource as I think about law school, I am sure TLS will only get more useful through this process.

cavalier1138

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Re: LOR Questions

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:49 am

Getting them early doesn't matter; it's actually better to get the letters now when the professors remember you than trying to jog their memory in the future. And there's almost no way that three professors will present three different viewpoints, so I don't think that having all three write a letter will make a huge difference.

Professor fame/prestige is unimportant. You want to pick the teachers who know you best, not the ones who you think will look good to [X] school. More importantly, the fact that a professor did their undergraduate/doctorate work at UVA (for instance) has no impact on a law school admissions decision. If you want to deal with the headache of sorting out the tailored letters when you're filling out apps, go for it. But it won't make a difference.

Your professor doesn't and won't care that you didn't take the job.

Finally, you should take a job that you want to do. There is no ideal job for a law school candidate.

studystudystudy

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Re: LOR Questions

Postby studystudystudy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:48 am

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Last edited by studystudystudy on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: LOR Questions

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:12 am

studystudystudy wrote:What's the consensus on LORs from professors vs. employers? I have noticed on here it's normally just 2, but that three LORs would not hurt. I have a Criminal Law prof that offered to write me a LOR but am also a legal assistant at a firm where I will have been there 2 years by the time I apply for LS (start Fall 2018). Do I ask one of the partners to write me one? Do I do 2 Prof LORs and 1 Work LOR? Thoughts and suggestions? Just don't know what the norm is so thank you in advance!


If one of the partners knows you really well, then sure, ask them to write one. But assuming that this has been your only job after school, it won't raise any eyebrows if you don't have an employer LOR.



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