Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

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apper123
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Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby apper123 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:46 pm

I think this is worth its own thread.

What are people doing for LoRs? It's hard to use 2nd semester profs because you don't know your grades yet. Is anyone going to try this?

Are you only using profs you got As from? What about A-s? Legal writing?

I'm using:

-Prof from a class I CALI'd first semester. Doesn't know me well, but I did really well on his exam and got to know him a bit afterwards. I used this prof's letter as my sole LoR for GULC EA.
-Legal writing prof. A- first semester (due to really one really dumb oversight on my part when I wrote my memo... not a mistake I would make again), but I think I have a shot at an A this semester. What if I get an A-? What if it's lower than that? The prof already agreed to write the letter and almost certainly knows me better than any other prof at the school. Prof is also an alumnus of one of the schools that is my big target. Should I request a targeted letter for that specific school?
-Undergrad recommender, (also a college professor and administrator at my UG), who ran a large organization I had a big leadership role in. He updated the letter to reflect I was applying for transfer. This letter was one of my big non-numbers boons in the 0L admissions process. I think this is appropriate for a transfer too.

Should this be enough?

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon May 03, 2010 9:53 pm

Im only using law school recommenders. I got one from my LW prof (CALI'd) and my crim prof (didn't CALI, but still got A+). I choose them because I did well and spoke up in their classes. I CALI'd another class but choose not to ask the prof because I had heard that they were stingy about it. The crim prof agreed to do it, but I had to speak with a dead first to allow the school a chance to give me their "stay here" speech. Once I had the meeting he happily wrote the letter. My general strategy was to set-up meetings in the beginning of the 2nd semester and go over my exams with them and then at the end of the meeting transition into asking for a LOR. I think most profs are cool about it because they went to top schools and understand the value of it. I even had one prof mention to me that they heard I was trying to transfer and wished me luck, so be aware that they all talk and word gets around.

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apper123
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby apper123 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:54 pm

Yeah, my legal writing prof was pretty honest. She graduated from a T14, and I asked her what her opinion on me potentially transferring was. She asked me what my career goals were and where I wanted to work geographically. I told her, and she recommended I transfer.

MY other recommender was also quite honest too. He made a strong case for staying, but conceded there were a lot of strong arguments for leaving too. The most important one of all being geographic mobility of a degree.
Last edited by apper123 on Mon May 03, 2010 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AmicusCuriae
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby AmicusCuriae » Mon May 03, 2010 9:55 pm

While it was probably really lazy of me (but it worked). I had a 1L first-semester prof who didn't really know me (but I did well in her class) write my faculty letter. For the other letters, I just re-submitted the letters from my initial law school app that LSAC had on file already (one from a former boss, another from an undergrad professor that didn't know me well). Neither letter was particularly good. Based on that, I'm not sure the LORs make a hell of a lot of difference at the transfer level.

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apper123
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby apper123 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:57 pm

AmicusCuriae wrote:While it was probably really lazy of me (but it worked). I had a 1L first-semester prof who didn't really know me (but I did well in her class) write my faculty letter. For the other letters, I just re-submitted the letters from my initial law school app that LSAC had on file already (one from a former boss, another from an undergrad professor that didn't know me well). Neither letter was particularly good. Based on that, I'm not sure the LORs make a hell of a lot of difference at the transfer level.


I think the LoRs are pretty important at the transfer level if you are any sort of fringe candidate to be honest. I definitely think they carry a lot more weight than they did 0L. I believe schools want to see that you didn't just luck into a grade, but legitimately earned it. That's why my first LoR was really important IMO... I plastered that exam and didn't sneak into a high grade.

engineer
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby engineer » Mon May 03, 2010 10:12 pm

I mean, letters from professors in whose classes you did extremely well is pretty much compulsory. For the schools that allow supplemental letters, I'm considering asking my research advisor in undergrad. Within the last few months, our research led to filing a patent; since that's the area of law in which I'm most interested, it could help to establish that I'm not just looking to move up the ladder. I could be wrong on that, though.

How do you guys feel about letters from professors with whom you did *significant* research in undergrad, if there has been movement or progress since graduating?

emoticons777
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby emoticons777 » Mon May 03, 2010 10:19 pm

I'm struggling with what to do re: asking for letters via e-mail. I'm worried I wont be able to catch one of my 1st semester professors at school, and can't really ask a 2nd semester professor until I get grades. I'm working far away from school this summer, so e-mail appears to be the best option. What do you guys think the best way to do this without being super awkward and maybe inappropriate?

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apper123
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby apper123 » Mon May 03, 2010 10:22 pm

emoticons777 wrote:I'm struggling with what to do re: asking for letters via e-mail. I'm worried I wont be able to catch one of my 1st semester professors at school, and can't really ask a 2nd semester professor until I get grades. I'm working far away from school this summer, so e-mail appears to be the best option. What do you guys think the best way to do this without being super awkward and maybe inappropriate?


Tell them you are considering transferring and you'd like to get their opinion on it. Ask to set up a time to speak with them on the phone.

emoticons777
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby emoticons777 » Mon May 03, 2010 10:43 pm

apper123 wrote:
emoticons777 wrote:I'm struggling with what to do re: asking for letters via e-mail. I'm worried I wont be able to catch one of my 1st semester professors at school, and can't really ask a 2nd semester professor until I get grades. I'm working far away from school this summer, so e-mail appears to be the best option. What do you guys think the best way to do this without being super awkward and maybe inappropriate?


Tell them you are considering transferring and you'd like to get their opinion on it. Ask to set up a time to speak with them on the phone.


Well my 1st semester professor and I already discussed it, so I'm wondering if the phone call is necessary - although I believe that is a good idea for my 2nd semester prof, thanks.

Journeybound
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Discussion Thread

Postby Journeybound » Mon May 03, 2010 11:52 pm

I understand why you all want to get letters from professors who taught classes that you did the best in. However, I think that the best letters will come from those who you met with and got to know the most. I mean, I definitely think that a letter from a professor who you got an A- from, but met with every week, would be much better than a letter from a professor who you got an A+ with, but never met with outside of class. Hey, if you are trying to transfer to a T14, all of the other students that you are going up against got A+s. You need something to distinguish yourself.

For me, I asked a professor who I am RAing for this summer to write one for me. Instead of just saying yes, he asked me to send him a letter describing all of our personal interactions inside and outside of class, my career goals, and why I want to transfer. I bet that it would be a great idea to send a letter like this to any professor that you want a recommendation from, even if they don't ask for one. It will make it easier for them, and it will help your application to stand out from all of the other applicants who CALIied in one or more of their classes.




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