How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

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bigchiefhoho

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How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby bigchiefhoho » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:27 am

So, here's the situation. I've been a housewife for close to the past decade and have nobody to recommend me other than undergrad professors from a lifetime ago. I've reached out to the two professors that I worked closely with who might know me. One of them is happy to write me a recommendation, and I'm confident it'll be a good one. I can't get in contact with the other one. So my options are either to get probably a form letter from some professor who gave me an A but won't remember me, or to get a letter from a family friend. Obviously, both of those options suck.

However, I'm not shooting to get into any particularly amazing schools. I live in Georgia. My husband works here, my kids are growing up here, we like it, and we won't want to move. I want to ideally get an ADA job in Georgia somewhere, or, failing that, I'd be very happy working here in a small-medium jack-of-all-trades type firm. I don't want biglaw or a fancy clerkship or anything. So I'd really like to just go to UGA since it'd be cheap and would keep us in-state. I've got a 3.88 GPA, and based on recent practice tests, I expect an LSAT in the 172-175 range. Both those numbers are well above UGA's 75th percentile numbers.

So, as you may have guessed from the subject line, I'm wondering how much that shitty LOR is going to hurt my chances of acceptance or scholarship money. (also, just to make sure I'm right, a vague letter from a professor would look better than a letter from a friend or family member, yes?)

Rigo

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby Rigo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:32 am

A generic LOR won't hurt you. The only time a LOR would sink you is if the prof bad mouths you, but it sounds like that isn't what is going to happen here.

ponderingmeerkat

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:43 am

Recommend you take a look at mylsn.info and play around with your numbers on there. It'll give you a pretty decent idea of what your chances are.

Image

Long story short, looking at your numbers at UGA specifically, I'm struggling to find one example of someone rejected with a 165+ LSAT.

To put your mind even more at ease, even splitters with sub-3.0 GPAs and 165+ LSATs almost universally get in.

Image

So, since a sub-3.0 GPA won't sink a 165+ LSAT-taker's chances, I sincerely doubt a mediocre LOR will. If you were to rank order the relative weight items in your admissions package carry, LORs are toward the bottom and short of someone saying you are literally Satan, you'll be just fine.

Good luck! :D

goldenbear2020

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby goldenbear2020 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:36 am

As long as the LOR isn't negative, it'll be fine even if a bit generic. And definitely go for the vague LOR from a prof over anything from a friend or family member.

Also, why not aim for Emory instead? If you hit anything in the upper 160s, you'd most likely get a large ($100k+) scholarship there.

bigchiefhoho

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby bigchiefhoho » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:40 am

ponderingmeerkat wrote:Long story short, looking at your numbers at UGA specifically, I'm struggling to find one example of someone rejected with a 165+ LSAT.

To put your mind even more at ease, even splitters with sub-3.0 GPAs and 165+ LSATs almost universally get in.


Ah, thanks for that. I've spent a fair bit of time looking around on mylsn.info, but I never really thought about it like that. Definitely takes some of the pressure off.

bigchiefhoho

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby bigchiefhoho » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:45 am

goldenbear2020 wrote:Also, why not aim for Emory instead? If you hit anything in the upper 160s, you'd most likely get a large ($100k+) scholarship there.

Basically, we live much closer to UGA. If I go there, we won't have to move, and my husband can keep his current job and support the family with no issue, so we won't have to worry about living expenses. Plus, I've read a lot of places that Emory is only really better if you're going out-of-state - UGA has a better in-state network. And that seems to be true as far as I can tell by browsing the law firms and court websites in my area. Everyone around here went to UGA (with a small smattering of USC and GSU, and a couple old dudes from Mercer). It just seems much more practical for my situation and goals.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby Mr. Archer » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:08 pm

You can't really go wrong with UGA in your situation. The cost/benefit of UGA looks better for your living situation than Emory, although it would be tougher getting a job with the DA's office in Atlanta. It wouldn't be impossible though. UGA's in-state network is better overall because Emory graduates from out-of-state don't really stay in-state unless it's Atlanta or very close to Atlanta.

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pleasesendhelp

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby pleasesendhelp » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:17 am

bigchiefhoho wrote:So, here's the situation. I've been a housewife for close to the past decade and have nobody to recommend me other than undergrad professors from a lifetime ago. I've reached out to the two professors that I worked closely with who might know me. One of them is happy to write me a recommendation, and I'm confident it'll be a good one. I can't get in contact with the other one. So my options are either to get probably a form letter from some professor who gave me an A but won't remember me, or to get a letter from a family friend. Obviously, both of those options suck.

However, I'm not shooting to get into any particularly amazing schools. I live in Georgia. My husband works here, my kids are growing up here, we like it, and we won't want to move. I want to ideally get an ADA job in Georgia somewhere, or, failing that, I'd be very happy working here in a small-medium jack-of-all-trades type firm. I don't want biglaw or a fancy clerkship or anything. So I'd really like to just go to UGA since it'd be cheap and would keep us in-state. I've got a 3.88 GPA, and based on recent practice tests, I expect an LSAT in the 172-175 range. Both those numbers are well above UGA's 75th percentile numbers.

So, as you may have guessed from the subject line, I'm wondering how much that shitty LOR is going to hurt my chances of acceptance or scholarship money. (also, just to make sure I'm right, a vague letter from a professor would look better than a letter from a friend or family member, yes?)


Go dawgs! With your numbers you're in at UGA. You stand a good shot at harvard if you end up getting your predicted LSAT. Unless your LOR ends up saying youre scum, you've got nothing to worry about

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SixSigma

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby SixSigma » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:18 am

bigchiefhoho wrote:I've got a 3.88 GPA, and based on recent practice tests, I expect an LSAT in the 172-175 range...
So I'd really like to just go to UGA since it'd be cheap and would keep us in-state.


Your options in GA are good. Looking at this image showing the likelihood of you getting in which was computed from the LSAC's website it appears you could choose to go anywhere. If you're set on GA, though, you can probably name your scholarship numbers.

I do want to caution you. When you look through UGA's scholarship award information by year, that occasionally folks with numbers as high as yours get rejected from their chosen schools because the institution doesn't think they'll show up. Apparently, a lot of people with your problems can't decide which Top 14 law school to attend. I wish you all of the best as you struggle with this burden!

The letter? That's a mere formality for candidates like you.

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pleasesendhelp

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby pleasesendhelp » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:10 am

SixSigma wrote:
bigchiefhoho wrote:I've got a 3.88 GPA, and based on recent practice tests, I expect an LSAT in the 172-175 range...
So I'd really like to just go to UGA since it'd be cheap and would keep us in-state.


Your options in GA are good. Looking at this image showing the likelihood of you getting in which was computed from the LSAC's website it appears you could choose to go anywhere. If you're set on GA, though, you can probably name your scholarship numbers.

I do want to caution you. When you look through UGA's scholarship award information by year, that occasionally folks with numbers as high as yours get rejected from their chosen schools because the institution doesn't think they'll show up. Apparently, a lot of people with your problems can't decide which Top 14 law school to attend. I wish you all of the best as you struggle with this burden!

The letter? That's a mere formality for candidates like you.


I forgot to mention this. There's a practice by some low schools where they reject people with numbers way above their medians/75% because they don't think you'll actually go. To discourage this you should write a Why USA statement to show otherwise.

bigchiefhoho

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby bigchiefhoho » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:17 am

SixSigma wrote:I do want to caution you. When you look through UGA's scholarship award information by year, that occasionally folks with numbers as high as yours get rejected from their chosen schools because the institution doesn't think they'll show up.


pleasesendhelp wrote:I forgot to mention this. There's a practice by some low schools where they reject people with numbers way above their medians/75% because they don't think you'll actually go. To discourage this you should write a Why USA statement to show otherwise.


I'm actually a little concerned about this. I know my numbers are plenty good enough for a lot of the T14 (assuming my real LSAT matches up with my PTs), but my life situation makes it unrealistic for me to really move anywhere to go to law school. If it's not UGA, then it's likely not going to happen. I'm planning to write them a very enthusiastic "Why UGA" letter to convince them that I'm not just fucking with them, but then I'm worried that they won't give me a scholarship because I already told them point-blank that I fully intend to go there. First world problems, I know, but still.

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pleasesendhelp

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby pleasesendhelp » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:31 am

bigchiefhoho wrote:
SixSigma wrote:I do want to caution you. When you look through UGA's scholarship award information by year, that occasionally folks with numbers as high as yours get rejected from their chosen schools because the institution doesn't think they'll show up.


pleasesendhelp wrote:I forgot to mention this. There's a practice by some low schools where they reject people with numbers way above their medians/75% because they don't think you'll actually go. To discourage this you should write a Why USA statement to show otherwise.


I'm actually a little concerned about this. I know my numbers are plenty good enough for a lot of the T14 (assuming my real LSAT matches up with my PTs), but my life situation makes it unrealistic for me to really move anywhere to go to law school. If it's not UGA, then it's likely not going to happen. I'm planning to write them a very enthusiastic "Why UGA" letter to convince them that I'm not just fucking with them, but then I'm worried that they won't give me a scholarship because I already told them point-blank that I fully intend to go there. First world problems, I know, but still.


I wouldn't write the Why UGA statement so that it will be perceived in a way that you won't be going anywhere else. Include all the reasons you stated but leave out anything that tells them it's UGA or bust. I wouldn't worry about this either. If they accept you, they're very likely to give you a full ride even if you come across as having no other options.

That being said, even if you don't want to go to Emory apply there and to other regional schools that show you want to stay in Georgia and that though UGA is your top choice, you're not bound to it. If you don't end up getting as much as you want/need you can negotiate by leveraging other school $ offers. With your numbers, Emory and Georgia State will give you money (Emory also less likely to reject since it's ranked higher)

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SixSigma

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Re: How bad do the LORs have to be to sink an application for a school you're overqualified for?

Postby SixSigma » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:15 am

pleasesendhelp wrote:I wouldn't write the Why UGA statement so that it will be perceived in a way that you won't be going anywhere else. Include all the reasons you stated but leave out anything that tells them it's UGA or bust. I wouldn't worry about this either. If they accept you, they're very likely to give you a full ride even if you come across as having no other options.


If you call any school, you're likely to get a fee waiver with your numbers. That reduces the cost of application to only $30 each for John Marshall Law School, Emory University School of Law, University of Georgia School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law, Mercer University School of Law, Savannah Law School. Write the "Why Georgia," essay with no clear favoritism, articulating your love of the South and your feeling to be a person of privilege as a Georgian. Add your residence, marriage, offspring, and long-term community ties- that should sell it.

Now, bigchiefhoho, here's the part that gets me on your Christmas card list. Apply to Vanderbilt and Duke. If you've followed the links in my original post, you know that you're a certainty at both schools. Further, if you've done some homework off those links and seen numbers like these (e.g. 1, 2, 3) you know how much money to expect on UGA's first offer. Please, be of stout heart and good cheer. Because Duke and Vandy are going to offer you over $100K in scholarships and UGA is going to pitch $40K-80K at you. Contact their admissions department and make an appointment to tour their school. During your tour, a VIP like you will meet an admissions official. In your best 'concerned housewife being frugal with family finances' tone, explain that you really like UGA but those nice folks at Duke and Vandy have offered you so much more, and isn't there something they could do to encourage you to to stay in Georgia? You drag that extra money from the cold hand clutching their wallet with all your charm, because as much of a prize as they are to you- you're the bigger prize to them. Every school is buying numbers like the ones you have for sale, and yours fetch premium prices.



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