Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

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tapenade

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Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby tapenade » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:27 am

So I graduated in 2013 and have been teaching English abroad since 2015. I'm planning on teaching for another year as I get my debt under control and study for the LSAT. I had LORs written just before I graduated and stored them with LSAC. While they should be valid for a couple more years, how would schools view them? And how is teaching abroad viewed generally? I'm concerned doing it for two years may look strange.

Also, at what point do I become a non-traditional applicant? I've been away from the TLS hivemind for years, but the general consensus is like 10+ years after UG, right?

Thanks! :wink:

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spqr351

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby spqr351 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:16 am

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Last edited by spqr351 on Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Blue664

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby Blue664 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:23 pm

I've been out of school for 6 years and using undergrad LORs has been fine - a couple of T14 acceptances under my belt, even as a splitter. I listened to a Yale webinar a couple months ago where the admissions person said using stored undergrad LORs was totally fine, and preferable to having a non-academic LOR.

I'm a total newbie to TLS and the terminology but I've even heard adcoms refer to applicants 3 years out referred to as non-traditional - not sure if this is school-specific or how it plays into admissions?

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:33 pm

You're pretty traditional and yeah it's fine to use those letters

Pozzo

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby Pozzo » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:34 pm

tapenade wrote:So I graduated in 2013 and have been teaching English abroad since 2015. I'm planning on teaching for another year as I get my debt under control and study for the LSAT. I had LORs written just before I graduated and stored them with LSAC. While they should be valid for a couple more years, how would schools view them? And how is teaching abroad viewed generally? I'm concerned doing it for two years may look strange.

Also, at what point do I become a non-traditional applicant? I've been away from the TLS hivemind for years, but the general consensus is like 10+ years after UG, right?

Thanks! :wink:


"Non-Trad" is a fairly nebulous term. Could be military, 10+ years out, second career, any number of diversity factors. I don't think 3 years out with teaching experience is necessarily non-trad, but I also don't think it matters much what you call it. Schools don't have a separate process for non-trads anyhow.

Most schools won't care about the date on the letter, but if you're concerned about that, you could always ask the recommenders to redate the letter and resubmit it.

e: TL;DR: what Zuck said.

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laqueredup

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby laqueredup » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:14 pm

Pozzo wrote:
tapenade wrote:So I graduated in 2013 and have been teaching English abroad since 2015. I'm planning on teaching for another year as I get my debt under control and study for the LSAT. I had LORs written just before I graduated and stored them with LSAC. While they should be valid for a couple more years, how would schools view them? And how is teaching abroad viewed generally? I'm concerned doing it for two years may look strange.

Also, at what point do I become a non-traditional applicant? I've been away from the TLS hivemind for years, but the general consensus is like 10+ years after UG, right?

Thanks! :wink:


"Non-Trad" is a fairly nebulous term. Could be military, 10+ years out, second career, any number of diversity factors. I don't think 3 years out with teaching experience is necessarily non-trad, but I also don't think it matters much what you call it. Schools don't have a separate process for non-trads anyhow.

Most schools won't care about the date on the letter, but if you're concerned about that, you could always ask the recommenders to redate the letter and resubmit it.

e: TL;DR: what Zuck said.


I don't think you need to redate the letters. I think you are fine with your academic letters. You could add an employer one if you have someone who you think would write an excellent value added LOR, but I wouldn't think you need to.
Last edited by laqueredup on Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:27 pm

I'd try to avoid employer and grad school letters if possible (especially for people so close to undergrad).

Just like all they care about is undergrad GPA, all they care about (insofar as they care, which approaches "Not at all") are undergrad letters of rec.

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Gitaroo_Dude

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:54 pm

I've been out of school for six years and used two professional LoRs (never got around to getting my academic ones after UG). My cycle is going fine so far.

Point being, you'll be fine with the LoRs you have right now. Rule of thumb seems to be that unless you've been out of school for 5+ years, you want to have two academic LoRs. Even if you wait a few more years they'll be fine.

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:37 pm

Why on earth would you avoid grad school letters? Adcomms are mainly concerned with your academic abilities, which is why they nearly always specify a preference for academic LORs. Insofar as grad school generally involves more independent research and writing than undergrad, and given that grad students necessarily work closely with their faculty advisor, I'd imagine grad school recommendations would be much more useful to the committee in estimating your probable success (or lack thereof) in law school.


BigZuck wrote:I'd try to avoid employer and grad school letters if possible (especially for people so close to undergrad).

Just like all they care about is undergrad GPA, all they care about (insofar as they care, which approaches "Not at all") are undergrad letters of rec.

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:12 pm

BobBoblaw wrote:Why on earth would you avoid grad school letters? Adcomms are mainly concerned with your academic abilities, which is why they nearly always specify a preference for academic LORs. Insofar as grad school generally involves more independent research and writing than undergrad, and given that grad students necessarily work closely with their faculty advisor, I'd imagine grad school recommendations would be much more useful to the committee in estimating your probable success (or lack thereof) in law school.


BigZuck wrote:I'd try to avoid employer and grad school letters if possible (especially for people so close to undergrad).

Just like all they care about is undergrad GPA, all they care about (insofar as they care, which approaches "Not at all") are undergrad letters of rec.

I think this assumes that they care about "academic potential" or some similarly nebulous/meaningless term and/or that the process is holistic in some sort of way.

I think they mostly couldn't care less. But if they're keeping it real about grad school they know it's mostly grade-inflated fluff.

"Little Johnny totes did a great job on his Comparative Psychology of Filmography thesis, I gave him 4 whole smiley faces and he gave us 40K a year for the PRIVILEGE to learn from other ESTEEMED SCHOLARS such as myself. He'll make a fine transaction cost someday."

If you're going to go non-UG then I agree that grad school is better than an employer letter. I'd still try to go with all undergrad letters though if you can swing it.

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:22 pm

BigZuck wrote:
BobBoblaw wrote:Why on earth would you avoid grad school letters? Adcomms are mainly concerned with your academic abilities, which is why they nearly always specify a preference for academic LORs. Insofar as grad school generally involves more independent research and writing than undergrad, and given that grad students necessarily work closely with their faculty advisor, I'd imagine grad school recommendations would be much more useful to the committee in estimating your probable success (or lack thereof) in law school.


BigZuck wrote:I'd try to avoid employer and grad school letters if possible (especially for people so close to undergrad).

Just like all they care about is undergrad GPA, all they care about (insofar as they care, which approaches "Not at all") are undergrad letters of rec.

I think this assumes that they care about "academic potential" or some similarly nebulous/meaningless term and/or that the process is holistic in some sort of way.

I think they mostly couldn't care less. But if they're keeping it real about grad school they know it's mostly grade-inflated fluff.

"Little Johnny totes did a great job on his Comparative Psychology of Filmography thesis, I gave him 4 whole smiley faces and he gave us 40K a year for the PRIVILEGE to learn from other ESTEEMED SCHOLARS such as myself. He'll make a fine transaction cost someday."

If you're going to go non-UG then I agree that grad school is better than an employer letter. I'd still try to go with all undergrad letters though if you can swing it.



You do seem a bit jaded about LS admissions process in general, and I'm certainly in no position to disabuse you of that.

However, you seem a bit confused about how most grad programs work. I know of exactly 0 people who paid out of pocket for their MS, MA or PhDs. Surely there are some that do, but they would have to be both independently wealthy and pretty shitty academically. I have many dozens of friends and acquaintances, mostly in the sciences but also some in the humanities, and they all got their degrees with no out of pocket expenses or loans, usually through a combination of tuition waivers, and stipends from teaching assistantships or research assistantships.

Of course, MBs, JDs, DVMs, and MDs usually require out of pocket investment, but that is because those professions generally pay more than the academic/research track that are the default for most MS and PhDs.

BigZuck

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:53 pm

Brej don't tell me I don't know how MA programs work. You can tell my friends' student loan debt it ain't real but they've still gotta pay it. I know LITERAL BUTTLOADS of people with student loan debt from grad programs. You even MPP bro?

I kindly suggest you go about checking yourself before you end up wrecking yourself.

DISABUSE THAT MISTER

BobBoblaw

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:22 pm

Admittedly, most of my friends are STEM grads, I myself am a PhD and a tenured professor, so yes, I do feel qualified to speak with some authority about how grad programs work, particularly in the hard sciences, but I also have a handful of friends in the humanities, none of whom were foolish enough take out student loans for a degree that really only qualified you for a future in academia or as a Starbucks barista.

But perhaps you have some qualifications of which I am unaware that can substantiate your claims.

In any case, this gets away from the actual subject of the thread, so....

</threadjack>

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:46 pm

Yo dawg I know people from funded PhD programs at top universities who ended up with some student loan debt because it's hard to live off of a TA's salary in a big city.

Good for you being an ESTEEMED LEARNED DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY though

And yeah, you caught me! Claims totally unsubstantiated! No qualifications of which you are unaware of over here! I'm totally lying! And/or every person I know with debt from a Master's program is independently wealthy and pretty shitty academically! You cracked the code! Can't get nothing past you, Doc!

(Seriously though dude, come on. Don't be this.)

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Re: Three+ years postgrad LORs and other concerns

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:06 pm

Dood, I never said folks don't acquire debt through loans in grad school, all I did was take issue with the assertion that grad school recommendations were not valid because "Little Johnny Totes... ....gave us 40K a year".

I don't know anyone who paid sticker to any grad program in the sciences, and taking out loans to cover living expenses is a different matter. I do, however, know tons of people who paid sticker for their undergrad. Your sarcastic mischaracterization of my argument doesn't do much to advance your assertions.

I'm still not convinced that grad school recommendations are in any way inferior to undergrad recs. On the contrary, I think grad school advisors are generally in a better position to assess one's academic abilities than undergrad profs.

At the end of the day, though, I think we agree that LORs don't make a whole ton of difference except at the extreme margins or unless your recommenders totally trash you. Is definitely not discourage the OP from using grad school recs, but then I've never been on a law school adcomm so...



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