The other day I decided to email one of the 1L professors I got a bad grade from, just to make sure my grade wasn't an error or anything (something I should have done right away, not a year later). The professor emailed me back and the grade seems to be correct; I just did really bad.
I had this same professor for a 2L seminar, in which I got an A. In the email about my 1L grade, the professor also mentioned that my seminar paper was one of the best in the class and offered to write a LOR to help put my 1L grade in perspective and to convey how well I did in the 2L class.
In a follow-up email, the professor explained that including such a letter in my firm apps might be wise. I'm inclined to agree, for two reasons:
- Unlike a grade addendum for LS apps, I wouldn't be writing this letter, a professor would. Seems like it wouldn't come across as whiny/defensive/etc. if I wasn't writing it.
- I think it could be a good letter. The professor offered to write it unsolicited. I really like this professor, we've had some good conversations at office hours (also, recently we both listened to another professor give a talk which contradicted the thesis of my seminar paper...my professor saw me afterward and said I should have brought my contradictory arguments/findings), so I think the feeling is mutual.
Of course, this letter could backfire by drawing too much attention to my couple bad 1L grades, or for some other reason I'm not foreseeing. I'd welcome the community's thoughts...
(tl;dr: is it a good idea to include, in 3L mass mailing extravaganza, a LOR from a prof explaining a bad grade?)