Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

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sangry2016

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Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

Postby sangry2016 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:29 pm

Hi all, this is my first time posting, as I'm very torn about my LORs and need some advice. I've been out of college two years and I keep reading that, in my case, it can be detrimental to not have two academic recommendations. In particular, this article was adamant about it:

https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admi ... pplication
(I know that Yale is a big stretch for me because of my gpa, but I'd love to have a chance, and I assume this also applies to other top schools)

I can get one academic LOR from an English professor who I'm close to but don't have a good option for a second academic LOR. There are two other professors I could ask (they both gave me an A in a high-level chemistry class), but neither knew me very well. In addition, one is too busy to write me one this month, and the other hasn't replied to my email. On the other hand, I've worked two years as a paralegal and I'm confident my boss will write me a good recommendation.

As I see it, that gives me four choices for my LORs:

1. Keep asking the professor who hasn't responded and hope she says yes;
2. Wait another month to submit my applications (November rather than October) to get a LOR from the professor who's busy;
3. Use my employer LOR; or
4. Use my employer LOR and options 1 or 2.

So, tl;dr, is having two academic LORs so important that I should use a weaker one, wait a month, or submit three LORs? Or should I just go with the employer LOR?

Thanks in advance to everyone who responds.

cavalier1138

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Re: Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:37 pm

If you have at least one academic LOR, I think having the other one be from an employer isn't going to be a huge issue. I wouldn't recommend using a professor who you didn't really know write a letter, but if Yale's going to be that ridiculous about it, there's no harm in adding one in.

That said, it's Yale, and you shouldn't be tailoring your entire application cycle to their whims.

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Delano

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Re: Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

Postby Delano » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:44 pm

Can you submit all of your apps except Yale with only two LoRs - one academic and one from your employer - and then submit your Yale app once you've got a second academic letter? My understanding is not having two academic LoRs is basically an auto-ding for Yale.

sangry2016

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Re: Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

Postby sangry2016 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:35 pm

That might be a good option. From my numbers I think I have a good enough chance at most of the top schools to not have to worry about the LOR. I've also read that the Yale admissions process doesn't favor earlier applicants ("[B]ased on the way we distribute files for review...your admission chances stay more or less constant throughout the season." (https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admi ... sions-dean)). Would having only one academic LOR hurt me at any other schools though? I'm especially concerned with maximizing my chances for HLS.

cavalier1138

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Re: Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:43 pm

sangry2016 wrote:That might be a good option. From my numbers I think I have a good enough chance at most of the top schools to not have to worry about the LOR. I've also read that the Yale admissions process doesn't favor earlier applicants ("[B]ased on the way we distribute files for review...your admission chances stay more or less constant throughout the season." (https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admi ... sions-dean)). Would having only one academic LOR hurt me at any other schools though? I'm especially concerned with maximizing my chances for HLS.


Harvard admissions are largely predictable based on numbers. I'd be more focused on gunning for big money at CCN, unless you think you'll qualify for aid at HLS.

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UVA2B

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Re: Mediocre Academic LOR v. Good Employer LOR

Postby UVA2B » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:45 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
sangry2016 wrote:That might be a good option. From my numbers I think I have a good enough chance at most of the top schools to not have to worry about the LOR. I've also read that the Yale admissions process doesn't favor earlier applicants ("[b]ased on the way we distribute files for review...your admission chances stay more or less constant throughout the season." (https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admi ... sions-dean)). Would having only one academic LOR hurt me at any other schools though? I'm especially concerned with maximizing my chances for HLS.


Harvard admissions are largely predictable based on numbers. I'd be more focused on gunning for big money at CCN, unless even if you think you'll qualify for aid at HLS.


I'd also extend this to the entire T13 because you might as well compare everything you can get in your shopping cart. There's no good reason to put every possible option on the table and compare goals and cost of options.



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