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(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
ithurtstolive
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Postby ithurtstolive » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:31 pm

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Last edited by ithurtstolive on Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B
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Re: Recommendation from academic advisor

Postby UVA2B » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:36 pm

Your LORs need to show something positive about you. If you have two LORs that will do that, you've accomplished the goal. Every LOR question is a bit different due to your personal situation, but if you have two people who can write strong LORs about things you want to highlight in your application who are credibly talking about those things you want to highlight, then you've found good recommenders. It really doesn't matter how they know you, but it very much matters what they say about you/how substantively they can talk about you.

ithurtstolive
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Re: Recommendation from academic advisor

Postby ithurtstolive » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:42 pm

Thanks. Follow up: how does having a second letter from an academic advisor compare to having a second letter from a professor?

Does the fact that the advisor hasn't taught me in any class reflect poorly on me? Or would it meet the criteria for being an "academic" letter?

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icechicken
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Re: Recommendation from academic advisor

Postby icechicken » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:24 am

ithurtstolive wrote:Thanks. Follow up: how does having a second letter from an academic advisor compare to having a second letter from a professor?

Does the fact that the advisor hasn't taught me in any class reflect poorly on me? Or would it meet the criteria for being an "academic" letter?


In the situations where LORs matter most (e.g. you're applying to Yale, or are trying to paper over a spotty transcript), it makes a difference. All else being equal, a LOR from someone who instructed you (i.e. a professor or maybe a TA/thesis advisor) is more valuable than one from an advisor or coach or employer, because the former is going to reflect on qualities of yours like writing ability and conscientiousness that will directly impact your performance in law school. If you're fresh out of college it might be concerning that you can't find two professors willing to vouch for your academic capabilities. The equation changes a bit if your advisor has specific, compelling things to say about you, but I can't imagine what those might be - most places, an academic advisor is there to help you navigate a university's bureaucracy and serve as a point of contact between students and the administration.

If your advisor is going to heap praise on you besides and beyond "really great dude, active in the community, winning smile"-type stuff, you tack that on in addition to two strong LORs from teachers. If you can't find a second professor who knows you well, then your advisor not a terrible substitute - like UVA said above, the most important thing is that your recommenders be unambiguously positive. In the vast majority of situations that'll be sufficient. But I would look hard for an instructor's recommendation before going that route.

ithurtstolive
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Re: Recommendation from academic advisor

Postby ithurtstolive » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:35 am

Would “vast majority” of cases apply to most non-Yale T-14s?

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icechicken
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Re: Recommendation from academic advisor

Postby icechicken » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:32 am

ithurtstolive wrote:Would “vast majority” of cases apply to most non-Yale T-14s?


Probably. Stanford is hard to read because they want to be more like Yale but are still subject to the rankings competition of mere mortals. From Harvard on down the game is pretty much about having good numbers and not throwing up any major red flags. A mediocre or halfhearted recommendation from a professor is a bigger red flag than a great one from an advisor (again, except at Yale and maybe Stanford, where both of those things are bad enough, and the applicant pool competitive enough, that you're going to fall out of contention).




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