Getting Recs Early

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Lawquacious
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Getting Recs Early

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:57 pm

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Last edited by Lawquacious on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:15 am, edited 4 times in total.

Younger Abstention
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:06 pm

Yeah, I had two profs who were fairly rude about it. One ended up writing me a decent rec letter (but made known that our relationship would be over if I transferred). The other refused to write a letter. Two other profs. were happy to write letters for me. Right or wrong, a lot of profs. pride themselves on working at what they consider a great law school, and therefore take it personally when you ask to transfer.

missinglink
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby missinglink » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:29 pm

Sorry to hear about that.

This just made me fairly nervous/anxious about talking to my professors. I would think that facially, the reasons to transfer, especially ITE, are pretty obvious in most cases. Considering most professors went to top-flight schools, I would assume they would understand.

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uzpakalis
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby uzpakalis » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:34 pm

Did you try pointing out that you would use a transfer acceptance as leverage to receive retention/merit aid at your current school? That seems like a good way to smoooooth things over a bit during the opening conversation.

missinglink
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby missinglink » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:40 pm

By bringing up extortion?

:P Yeah yeah, not an unlawful/wrongful threat.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby UCLAtransfer » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:42 pm

I cannot under any circumstances imagine why you thought it would be a good idea to "make it known early on that [you] had a desire to transfer (prob by mid- last semester)."

Just reading the tone and substance of your post, I can absolutely understand why your professor would find it quite rude and disrespectful for you to spout off about how you want to transfer halfway through your first semester and before receiving a single grade. This sounds like typical and presumptuous gunner behavior, which anyone can spot from a mile away, and nobody likes--particularly professors who surely take a certain level of pride in their institution. Your lack of professionalism and failure to comprehend why you might have blundered here likely spoke volumes to the professor who "confronted [you] hardcore" and "straight blasted [you]."

Let this gunner's unfortunate (but not unsurprising) tale serve as a warning to any future/potential transfers out there about burning bridges by pointlessly opening their mouth about transferring like this. The first time you mention transferring to a single soul at your school should be when you approach your professors with grades in hand to ask them to write letters of recommendation. Be prepared to extoll the virtues of your current school, and have a respectful, thoughtful, and non-offensive explanation for why you are seeking to transfer.

keg411
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby keg411 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:56 pm

missinglink wrote:Sorry to hear about that.

This just made me fairly nervous/anxious about talking to my professors. I would think that facially, the reasons to transfer, especially ITE, are pretty obvious in most cases. Considering most professors went to top-flight schools, I would assume they would understand.


+1. I am pretty scared to ask about recs (though I do have an idea of who I am going to ask, I am definitely waiting since I am not applying EA/ED).

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kings84_wr
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby kings84_wr » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:18 pm

For those of you nervous just Talk to professors diplomatically.

I was pretty scared as well. Approach them asking for advice about transferring, and then bridge to writing a letter. Just remember that some profs feel loyalty to their employer and you don't want to offend them. And yeah you should definitely have grades when you ask or you come off a bit arrogant.

missinglink
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby missinglink » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:33 pm

Much obliged for the advice.

I've got to say, during the course of my first semester, the thought of transferring never crossed my mind. I was (and I am) happy at my current school. I wouldn't have enrolled here otherwise.

I can see how being open about transferring before you have grades can come off as ... presumptuous at best.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:01 am

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Last edited by Lawquacious on Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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patrickd139
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:09 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
UCLAtransfer wrote:Excellent advice given.



Oh please come on dude. Accusing me of a lack of professionalism is a pretty harsh criticism given that you really have no knowledge of how I conducted myself. Also, I find it somewhat ironic that you are calling me a gunner and trying to prove a point at my expense at the same time: that would tend to indicate that perhaps the kettle is calling the pot black imo. Yes, there is tact involved and I admit I am not always strong in that department, but there are also teachers who will make the process difficult and others who won't. Sounds like you got lucky with yours and that you were able to transfer to UCLA so congrats on that.

Are you kidding me? As to the bolded, your conduct (without even having to listen to the tone of voice or diction used in delivering it) gives us all we need to know to assume a lack of professionalism. I can't think of many things more insulting to an institution than announcing openly that you're a) assured of making top marks and b) peacing out as soon as you do, in the middle of the semester to the person who controls your grades. That the professor is still willing to write an LOR leaves me impressed only by the professor's professionalism and restraint.

Also, you might not want to use that professor's LOR without reading it first, just as a precautionary measure.

random5483
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby random5483 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:49 pm

As mentioned earlier, asking a professor for an LoR fall semester before grades was a bad move. If you have a new professor spring semester you want to use for an LoR (probably better to use a prof from last semester), you might be able to broach the topic because you have grades from other classes. But in the fall semester, it is way too early to know how you are going to do, and transferring should be the last thing you ask your professors about.


Witht hat said, approach professors who have:
1. Not graduated from your school
2. Relatively new to the school (ie. not 20 year teaching career at your school)
4. Preferably one who graduated from the target transfer school


I have not approached my professors yet for the LoR, but I probably will in March or April (leaning towards only apply RD).

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:55 pm

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:58 pm

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Last edited by Lawquacious on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

xyzbca
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby xyzbca » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:23 am

Lawquacious wrote:Well I should have probably known better than to share this experiene on TLS, but I do think there is some wisdom about using restraint in when and how to discuss goals with professors- not doing so before having the grades to back it up (though low and behold I did get grades that make it look like I do have a shot at T14 transfer afterall). I think I read the comment about professionalism to imply that I acted unethically, which I strongly disagree with, but saying someone lacked professionalism in something they did isn't necessarily an accusation of being unethical, regardless of whether it is really an accurate statement in the first place. In terms of reading the letter first, you should probably know that LSAC involves a waiver of rights to review the letter in order for the process to have integrity, so that will not likely happen. However, after you have extolled the virtues of this particular professor giving me grief yet still writing the letter (where the other professor writing a letter was nothing but supportive even though I talked with her well in advance of grades about my goals), the implication of your last statement is a simultaneous condemnation of the one you praise in implying that a professional who clearly indicates the letter will be positive would in fact deceitfully give a poor one.


Get off your high horse. Your course of action was poor form and the vast majority of TLS would have advised against it had you sought advice on it first. Just because we are all prestige whores doesn't mean that one should flaunt it so openly. That is why your professor found you to be disrespectful and why everybody on here is put off by your behavior.

I understand why you want to transfer and as somebody that is unable to transfer (not b/c of grades) I highly encourage you to do it. Somebody suggested a list of the type of professor you should be targetting. I'll add that you should see if any of your professors transferred when they were students. My favorite professor transferred to HYS when he was a student and I imagine he would be very understanding of anybody wanting to transfer today.

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romothesavior
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:32 am

patrickd139 wrote:Are you kidding me? As to the bolded, your conduct (without even having to listen to the tone of voice or diction used in delivering it) gives us all we need to know to assume a lack of professionalism. I can't think of many things more insulting to an institution than announcing openly that you're a) assured of making top marks and b) peacing out as soon as you do, in the middle of the semester to the person who controls your grades. That the professor is still willing to write an LOR leaves me impressed only by the professor's professionalism and restraint.

Huge +1.

To those thinking of transferring, don't let this scare you. I'd think that 90% of the time, profs will be willing to help and give advice if you are respectful and tactful.

Telling your prof that you are going to transfer before grades even come back is just... wow. I have strong contempt for people who talk about transferring before first semester is over. I can only imagine how a professor would feel about it.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:34 am

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:36 am

You thinking about transferring Romo?
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kings84_wr
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby kings84_wr » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:42 am

I found it to be completely random as far as prof's attitudes towards writing recs.

One of my recs was from a guy who taught at the school 50 + years and was even the dean for a while, yet he volunteered to write a letter before I even asked him. I was sure he was gonna be anti-transferring based on his connection with the school.

My other letter was from a guy who contributed large donations to the school and did not take a salary as a professor. He was far more uncertain about transferring, but after talking to him about the pro's and con's for an hour or so he said he'd write a letter.

I also remember people posting last year about profs that got upset and refused to write letters and other horror stories.

Its an awkward process, but the reality is that most profs that teach 1L classes probably have several people a year ask for transfer recs. They are used to it and most of the time will be very helpful with the process.

Like I said earlier one of the most helpful things is bridging the convo by starting by just asking for advice if transferring is a good idea. If the prof is very hostile to transferring they may not be the best Recommender. By asking for advice you are telling the prof you value their opinion, and that you aren't simply just using them to get a LOR. Plus I've found that most profs think they are an expert on everything and love to talk about their opinions. if you are respectful and professional 95% of the time the prof will write a letter, however there is always the wild card prof that may refuse.

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romothesavior
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:44 am

Lawquacious wrote:You thinking about transferring Romo?

No, I don't think so. My grades at this point are possibly good enough to hop into the T10, but I don't really see that being worth the added cost considering my career goals. If I kill it second semester I would have a shot at the T6, but even then, I just don't see it being worth it. I really like it where I am, I am on a pretty good scholarship, and good grades from my school would align perfectly with my career goals.

Good luck with your transfer. I would make sure you read that letter before you send it just to make sure it is good.

xyzbca
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby xyzbca » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:51 am

Lawquacious wrote:The bolded is an overstatement- if you read all the responses ITT you would see that not everybody holds that sentiment. In any case, TLS is definitely not the place to bring up a vulnerability because people seem more than willing to go to town on it. I admit though that in general it is better to wait for grades to come out and I do understand how it could come off as arrogant not to do so.

Out of curiousity, why are you deciding not to transfer?


Job, money, & family.

Transferring would mean walking away from a gross household income well over six figures AND taking out student loans. Something I can't justify ITE. I wouldn't be able to find another job and I'm not sure that my wife could make up her lost income. I think we would break even selling our house but we also have a newborn. Moving away from family right now would not be wise. Additionally, when I told my wife I had this crazy idea about a career change I promised it wouldn't have too great of an impact on our other goals. She's been extremely supportive and has sacraficed a lot thus far and I don't feel it would be fair to ask for more.

I threw myself a week long pity party last summer when I realized I had an excellant shot at transferring to a T14. Don't get me wrong, my frustration is completely with myself for waiting too long to go to law school. I've learned to console myself with the fact that I'll gradaute from LS debt free.

From this side of the table, I would tell you to transfer and not look back. Just learn from the experience with your professor.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:42 am

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Lawquacious
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Re: Bad Experiences Asking for Recs for Transfer

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:45 am

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vanwinkle
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Re: Transfer Recs Issue

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:23 pm

Morals of the story:

1) Don't make any assumptions that you'll be able to transfer before you get grades back. This can hurt you in all kinds of ways, especially if you're ballsy enough to tell your profs about your assumptions. While conventional wisdom is that it hurts you because of the low odds of success, clearly there are ways it can hurt you even if you're successful.

2) People on TLS aren't likely to pity you if you behave unprofessionally.

3) There is clear overlap between people who don't know #1 and people who don't know #2.




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