Letters of Recommendation

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

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Letters of Recommendation

Postby andymayne » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:51 pm

I plan on applying for law school next year, therefore starting law school September, 2018. I am in my final year of undergraduate studies with one semester lest until graduation. So I've realized I should secure some letters of recommendation now. BUT the big problem is that I never formed any kind of bond with any professor I've taken class with, although I aced most of the classes. Could you please answer the following questions/concerns, OR link me to a site that will give me all the details related to LOR that I should know.


How do I go about asking for these letters in my email to professors I've taken class with years ago? I did well in many classes, but I'm concerned how awkward it would be to email them when I never formed any kind of friendship with them, and just stayed silent throughout the class and got the As. Do I simply write in the email "Hey, I did great in your class in in semester of 2015. I know we never talked, but could you write me letter of recommendation and put in generic flowery bullshit about my exceptional abilities and great character, etc?" Would it be out of line for me to suggest to the professor that I write the letter myself and that he signs it?
ALSO, is the signed letter supposed to be on a physical piece of paper that I would stash away until I apply for law schools (and I make copies to send to each law school?) or is it supposed to be typed out and saved to some kind of database?

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sethnoorzad

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Postby sethnoorzad » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:01 pm

Your law school recommendations should be sent or uploaded to LSAC directly by your professors. You can send them an invite once you register for the Credential Assembly Service with LSAC. It's $175 and lasts for five years. They compile your materials and send them to law schools.

I would just aim to create relationships in your upcoming semester and then request recommendations when it is over. The best ways to do that are to show your interest in the subject with the professor and take opportunities to engage with them face to face. You can go to office hours to ask questions. Do that at least once a month per class and give your professor an opportunity to get to know you in an academic context. Since you will be a senior, you probably have the opportunity to write an extra honors paper for at least one class. You must take the initiative with writing an extra paper. See if your school has a program, like a one unit add-on for your courses and present an idea to your professor and see if they would be willing to work with you on it. That will show your interest and give the professor a great opportunity to see your academic work up close. At the end of the semester, they will have a lot of information about you which they can put into their letters of recommendation.

GL

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floatie

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Postby floatie » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:40 am

andymayne wrote:Would it be out of line for me to suggest to the professor that I write the letter myself and that he signs it?


Absolutely, yes. I don't know of many professors who would be okay with you offering to do that. I've heard of a few instances of professors asking a student to do that, but it's largely considered to be ethically questionable. What you can do is offer to write a list of traits that you're highlighting throughout your application (leadership, community service, etc) and ask if your professor can touch on any of those, based on his/her interactions with you.

andymayne wrote:ALSO, is the signed letter supposed to be on a physical piece of paper that I would stash away until I apply for law schools (and I make copies to send to each law school?) or is it supposed to be typed out and saved to some kind of database?


I made an account on Interfolio and asked my professors to send the letter to that account. From there, I could send it to LSAC. You can also ask them to send the letters directly to LSAC (instructions are on the LSAC website).

If you didn't form a close bond with any of your professors, they're going to have a hard time writing a strong letter for you. Acing the class isn't enough if they don't even remember who you are. Your best bet would be to 1) make sure you're forming strong bonds with your professors this upcoming semester, or 2) ask for letters from other faculty/staff that you were close to (maybe through an extracurricular) or from an employer (if you have one).



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