A few LOR questions

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boilerplated
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:57 pm

A few LOR questions

Postby boilerplated » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:24 pm

Just wondering if any prospective or former transfers had any solid advice on asking current professors for LORs. It's easily the most nerve-wracking part for me. A few questions:

1) Is it unwise to ask for an LOR from a professor I haven't received a grade from? I have a bit more of a connection with a couple of my second-semester profs than I did first semester, and they're the types that are more likely to be willing to help, but I of course haven't taken their tests yet. On a similar note, is it better to ask profs who you know better, or those whose classes you did the best in?

2) In general, is it better to ask now or wait until summer? I figure it's a no-win, since I'll catch them either in the middle of writing exams or in the middle of grading them. I know LORs are a hassle in any case, but the last thing I want to do is make it even more of a chore.

3) Is it bad form to use an old LOR I used for the initial admissions process? I'm aiming for schools that I didn't apply to the first time around, so there's no risk of them already having them on file. I know one has to come from a law school prof and I'll try to get two, but if that falls through, I'm wondering if the other one can be recycled.

Sorry in advance if these have been discussed elsewhere. I'm only a casual lurker.

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XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

Re: A few LOR questions

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:35 pm

boilerplated wrote:1) Is it unwise to ask for an LOR from a professor I haven't received a grade from? I have a bit more of a connection with a couple of my second-semester profs than I did first semester, and they're the types that are more likely to be willing to help, but I of course haven't taken their tests yet. On a similar note, is it better to ask profs who you know better, or those whose classes you did the best in?


It’s best to get a LOR from a professor who knows you well and whose class you got an A or higher in.

boilerplated wrote:2) In general, is it better to ask now or wait until summer? I figure it's a no-win, since I'll catch them either in the middle of writing exams or in the middle of grading them. I know LORs are a hassle in any case, but the last thing I want to do is make it even more of a chore.


You should already have your LORs in order and have had them sent to LSAC. It takes a good week or two before they even show up on LSAC. Get on this NOW if you want to transfer.

boilerplated wrote:3) Is it bad form to use an old LOR I used for the initial admissions process? I'm aiming for schools that I didn't apply to the first time around, so there's no risk of them already having them on file. I know one has to come from a law school prof and I'll try to get two, but if that falls through, I'm wondering if the other one can be recycled.


I thought most law schools required 2 LORs from your 1L law school? Definitely try and get two LORs from your law school. I remember when I applied as a transfer, some schools didn’t have a limit on the letters you could send, so I sent my 2 from my law school and then 2 from my undergrad profs. (I got to read all the LORs prior to them being sent into LSAC, so I knew which ones were really good and used those.)

boilerplated
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: A few LOR questions

Postby boilerplated » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:40 pm

Thank you. And you've now got me a little panicked. Since all the schools I've looked at say they won't review your file until your second-semester grades are in, I didn't think it was too late to be asking for LORs. I will certainly get a move-on.

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XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

Re: A few LOR questions

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:37 pm

boilerplated wrote:Thank you. And you've now got me a little panicked. Since all the schools I've looked at say they won't review your file until your second-semester grades are in, I didn't think it was too late to be asking for LORs. I will certainly get a move-on.


They won't make a decision until you have all your 2nd semester grades in. But the thing is the deadlines for applications are right around the time your 2nd semester grades will be in (some deadline may even occur before they are in), so you really either need to get all your applications out before 2nd semester grades are in, or you can do what I did and have everything into LSAC and ready to go (except your 2nd semester grades) and get those applications in around the day 2nd semester grades are released.

One other thing to also keep in mind is that you have to give your professors adequete time to write those LORs. I tried to plan it out where I gave my profs a month to write a LOR. One actually took nearly two months to write hers. Profs are "busy" and they hate writing these things because it's just extra work for them (but they will do them, and they will write them well if you don't rush them). I think the safe move is to assume it will take 1 month for your prof to write your letter and send it out to LSAC, and it will take 2-2.5 weeks for LSAC to receive and process the letter. If you assume that, you are already creeping up on June if you ask for those letters now. (Obviously the whole process could take less time, but I still think its more prudent to assume it will take longer for everything to get done just in case it really does.)




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