Recommender " has to think about it"

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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RR320
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Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby RR320 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:17 pm

So I asked my Legal Writing Professor today for a recommendation. She asked for what and she started to shake her head. She said ask me again later on and I said I wanted to start sending out applications and then she told me they don't start looking at them until June. I told her there were schools I'm looking at which offer early action, so she told me to send her my grades, my resume, etc.

I was going to ask my civ pro professor on Monday for one as well, but now I'm nervous.

mrloblaw
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby mrloblaw » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:23 pm

RR320 wrote:So I asked my Legal Writing Professor today for a recommendation. She asked for what and she started to shake her head. She said ask me again later on and I said I wanted to start sending out applications and then she told me they don't start looking at them until June. I told her there were schools I'm looking at which offer early action, so she told me to send her my grades, my resume, etc.

I was going to ask my civ pro professor on Monday for one as well, but now I'm nervous.


Ask someone else IMO.

maf70
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby maf70 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:56 pm

mrloblaw wrote:
RR320 wrote:So I asked my Legal Writing Professor today for a recommendation. She asked for what and she started to shake her head. She said ask me again later on and I said I wanted to start sending out applications and then she told me they don't start looking at them until June. I told her there were schools I'm looking at which offer early action, so she told me to send her my grades, my resume, etc.

I was going to ask my civ pro professor on Monday for one as well, but now I'm nervous.


Ask someone else IMO.


This. I had the same problem with one of my professors. They ended up writing the LOR, but I didn't send it to any of the schools I applied to.

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patrickd139
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:32 pm

Back away from that LOR. Nothing is worse than a luke-warm LOR when applying for a job/school/clerkship, etc.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:34 pm

patrickd139 wrote:Back away from that LOR. Nothing is worse than a luke-warm LOR when applying for a job/school/clerkship, etc.

Credited. Just like a relationship: if he/she has to "think about," he/she isn't interested.

MrAnon
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby MrAnon » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:34 pm

Forget it. I wonder how much of this is that they don't want students to transfer for the school's purely selfish reasons.

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patrickd139
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:42 pm

MrAnon wrote:Forget it. I wonder how much of this is that they don't want students to transfer for the school's purely selfish reasons.

I also wonder how much of this is from OP's attitude and method of asking for LOR. It's a process that can easily go terribly wrong and end in professors shaking their heads.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby FantasticMrFox » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:32 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Forget it. I wonder how much of this is that they don't want students to transfer for the school's purely selfish reasons.

I also wonder how much of this is from OP's attitude and method of asking for LOR. It's a process that can easily go terribly wrong and end in professors shaking their heads.

IMO, it's pretty difficult to make professors shake their heads after giving an answer to one question of theirs unless they really were trying to hinder a transfer

RR320
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby RR320 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:15 am

There was no attitude and I have a good relationship with this professor. I got the highest grade in my class on my memo and often went to her office hours. It was just really awkward today and now I'm nervous to even ask any other professor. I'm still going to send this professor what she asked me to send her, my grades from last semester & resume. I plan on asking my civ pro professor on monday when we sit down to review my final, but I can't really imagine asking any of my other professors as I have no relationship with them. I guess today just made me mad because part of the reason I might be transferring is for personal reasons, but she didn't even bother asking so I don't think it's her place to judge.

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traehekat
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby traehekat » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:27 pm

FWIW I think your professor's reaction is a bit out of the ordinary and you shouldn't feel nervous about asking another professor (although it is understandable after this experience). Truth is there is a good chance that any of the other professors you may be considering for an LOR will be much more receptive.

RR320
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby RR320 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:13 pm

Ok, I really do not know what to do. I met with my civ pro professor today to go over my final from last semester and she was telling me how glad she was that I did well and was happy for me when she saw my grade, blah blah blah. So at the end of the meeting I asked her for a LOR and she said no. She told me that she doesn't write LOR's for transfers unless there was excruciating circumstances, however would definitely write me one if I needed it for a job. Why is this happening? Can I just use my LOR's from my undergraduate professors that's already at LSAC?

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jessuf
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby jessuf » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:58 pm

Oh wow. You must go to a really transfer-unfriendly school. I'm sorry. How long has your Civ Pro professor been at the school? I noticed a newer professor I asked was a lot more gung ho about me transferring than a veteran professor.

floggered
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby floggered » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:03 pm

RR320 wrote:Ok, I really do not know what to do. I met with my civ pro professor today to go over my final from last semester and she was telling me how glad she was that I did well and was happy for me when she saw my grade, blah blah blah. So at the end of the meeting I asked her for a LOR and she said no. She told me that she doesn't write LOR's for transfers unless there was excruciating circumstances, however would definitely write me one if I needed it for a job. Why is this happening? Can I just use my LOR's from my undergraduate professors that's already at LSAC?


I have never heard of this happening once, let alone twice. Either this is a flame, you don't know how to properly ask for a LoR, or your school's professors are incredibly petty.

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Vronsky
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby Vronsky » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:12 pm

There could be other things going on here. I know of some students who asked professors that we had for the whole year (like LRW), who responded that they would write recommendations only after we had completed the entire year with them. Kinda makes sense.

Second, I think it was probably poor form to ask the teacher at the tail end of a meeting going over exams. You should probably schedule an independent meeting with a teacher, and let them know in the email requesting the meeting that you want their advice/want to know if they recommend you consider transferring. If you just drop in a "btw, would you write a LOR for me to transfer?" no wonder s/he seemed peeved. The excruciating circumstances comment is the only thing to lead me to believe if was your prof and not your form that led to the bad response.

Contact the professors who gave you As, tell them where you're thinking/what your career goals are/ask them about their law school experience (some may have transferred, too), and THEN ask for the LOR.

RR320
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby RR320 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:18 pm

Jessuf wrote:Oh wow. You must go to a really transfer-unfriendly school. I'm sorry. How long has your Civ Pro professor been at the school? I noticed a newer professor I asked was a lot more gung ho about me transferring than a veteran professor.


I don't go to a good school and I know a good amount of people transfer out every year, so I don't understand. My Civ Pro professor has been at my school I think since 08 or 09, and I really did not expect that response from her. My other professor went to my law school and has been there for a while, so I guess I could understand her response. However, I am going to meet with her tomorrow before class & I guess I'll send her my resume & grades from first semester tonight.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby moneybagsphd » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:28 pm

Vronsky wrote:There could be other things going on here. I know of some students who asked professors that we had for the whole year (like LRW), who responded that they would write recommendations only after we had completed the entire year with them. Kinda makes sense.

Second, I think it was probably poor form to ask the teacher at the tail end of a meeting going over exams. You should probably schedule an independent meeting with a teacher, and let them know in the email requesting the meeting that you want their advice/want to know if they recommend you consider transferring. If you just drop in a "btw, would you write a LOR for me to transfer?" no wonder s/he seemed peeved. The excruciating circumstances comment is the only thing to lead me to believe if was your prof and not your form that led to the bad response.

Contact the professors who gave you As, tell them where you're thinking/what your career goals are/ask them about their law school experience (some may have transferred, too), and THEN ask for the LOR.

This is absolute nonsense. The professor flatly refused to write a transfer LOR, but agreed to write a LOR for jobs.
BTW Vronsky (the AK character) is a failure

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traehekat
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby traehekat » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:09 pm

Vronsky wrote:Contact the professors who gave you As, tell them where you're thinking/what your career goals are/ask them about their law school experience (some may have transferred, too), and THEN ask for the LOR.


This is basically the way to be doing it. From what I can tell you met with your professor for the purposes of going over an exam, went over the exam, and then kind of randomly brought up writing a letter of recommendation for transferring? This is not the best way to go about it. If you are targeting professors you don't already have a pretty strong relationship with, you should be emailing/calling them and letting them know that you enjoyed the class and appreciated any time you spent with them in office hours, and then say that you believe you may be in the position to transfer and you are considering it in light of your career goals but you would like to talk to them about it if possible (given how highly you value their opinion). Something like that. As the discussion progresses you should be able to sense whether or not they will be open to writing a letter. At the end of THAT meeting is when you should be asking if they would write a LOR for you if you decide to transfer.

Coolgrnmen
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby Coolgrnmen » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:22 pm

RR320 wrote:So I asked my Legal Writing Professor today for a recommendation. She asked for what and she started to shake her head. She said ask me again later on and I said I wanted to start sending out applications and then she told me they don't start looking at them until June. I told her there were schools I'm looking at which offer early action, so she told me to send her my grades, my resume, etc.

I was going to ask my civ pro professor on Monday for one as well, but now I'm nervous.

This is literally what happened to me...almost verbatim.

It also turned out to be one of my best LoRs (I requested copies from my new school's admissions office). Her hesitancy turned out to be useful - she went on to say "I will be extremely sad to see [Coolgrnmen] go to another school, but there is no other student that is more deserving than him."

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jessuf
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Re: Recommender " has to think about it"

Postby jessuf » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:18 am

There is definitely a certain tact involved in requesting letters. Some professors understand that law school is a business and that students come and go. Thus, they're open to the idea of transferring and will discuss the pros and cons candidly with you. Other professors, generally ones who are senior faculty members, have a stronger allegiance to the school, have a vested interest in keeping top students, and maybe even don't fully understand how terrifying the legal market is for recent grads.

I decided to approach both of my professors identically, even though one is a visiting professor and the other has been with the school for 40 years. I sent generic e-mails requesting an appointment to discuss my career goals and solicit advice from them. At the appointment, I began the conversation talking about how much I enjoyed their class, topics or fields of law I'm interested in that they specialize in, and recommendations/advice for courses to take, extracurricular activities, job searching, etc. I then started asking about opportunities the school offers and how to make myself more competitive given the economy, the small local legal market, and competition from other law schools. I decided that how they responded to this would frame how I would discuss transferring and asking for a letter. The visiting professor was very candid and cynical, so I immediately dove into discussing my desire to transfer, why, where, etc. On the other hand, the senior professor kept reassuring me that I would get some v100 firm in DC with my rank (lol), so I had to approach transferring from a different angle so as not to offend him. I didn't want either of the professors to think I was not satisfied with the quality of the education or with their teaching. It all boils down to rank - my school isn't ranked well because it accepts students with lower gpas/lsat scores and thus my employment prospects aren't so great. In the end, both understood this, so hopefully everything will work out fine.




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