Approaching Profs for LOR

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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Approaching Profs for LOR

Postby TLSTransfer » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:42 pm

Hey, I could use some help with approaching professors for LORs. I want to apply to the GULC EA/Chicago ED so I need to do this soon. The problem is I just emailed two of my professors earlier this week about possible RA-ing over the summer or during a school semester. I'm not sure how I can approach them re: transferring without coming off as disingenuous about the whole RAing thing.

Also, should I ask my legal writing professor for a LOR? She said she likes helping students with references and stuff, but it's my lowest grade ...

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Re: Approaching Profs for LOR

Postby crossarmant » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:00 pm

I'm not sure about the whole RA predicament, but my LoR was actually incredibly easy and quick. I hit up my Torts professor in an email asking him if he'd be available to talk about a possible LoR. He gave me when he'd be available, popped in and talked with him about my reasons for transferring (I'm out of state) and he started actually throwing out ideas of transferring up for rankings, etc. Maybe I got lucky, but it was rather harmless. Unless you're at a very transfer unfriendly school it shouldn't be too difficult. Also helps if you've gone to office hours at least once with them and had an A in that class.

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Re: Approaching Profs for LOR

Postby in_reverie » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:22 pm

How important do you think it is to be especially tight with the prof? I'm thinking about asking my Crim professor for one (I got an A in the class), but I've honestly only gone to his office hours 2 or 3 times. I never really saw the need last semester...I wasn't considering a transfer, and whenever I had a question, I'd just look it up in a supplement.

He's an extraordinarily nice guy, but does it put him in an awkward predicament? For all I know, he may not even know my name.

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Re: Approaching Profs for LOR

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:31 pm

My response in another thread. It's tailored to that specific poster, but hope it helps.
patrickd139 wrote:My method for approaching a professor: Ask to stop by his/her office some time after class. Start the conversation with something about how you were very fortunate that your hard work paid off last semester, that you value the professor's opinions, and want to get your professor's thoughts on transferring. That will get things going, and during the course of it, you'll find out things like a) your professor's views on transferring in the abstract, b) your professor's views on those specific schools and your chances, c) the prof's thoughts on your odds of getting what you want (PI) out of Texas and/or YHSCCN, and more. It also presents you a wonderful opportunity at the end of the conversation to ask for an LOR, having fully explained your intentions and rationale for transferring.

How you approach it initially is crucial here, going at it from an "I'm asking your opinion, which I value very much." as opposed to "Hey, I'm peace-ing out; you need to hook me up."

Also, I wouldn't mention anything close to "I'm just hoping to up scholarship money from UT." or "I'm not serious about transferring if the right opportunity presents itself." You're asking the busy professor to take time out of her day to write a (hopefully thoughtful and well-written) letter on your behalf. To do so would seem a little disrespectful.

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