How do you approach your professors...

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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3|ink
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How do you approach your professors...

Postby 3|ink » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:49 am

...asking for a letter of recommendation to transfer? Talk about awkward.

Seriously. I couldn't imagine a bigger slap on the face for a law professor.

thewarflamingo
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby thewarflamingo » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:35 am

I'm curious about this as well. Also, if you have the same LRW professor both semesters, is it ok to ask her for a LOR before this semester is over or would that be too awkward for her to write (or for me to even ask for) one before spring grades are out since LRW doesn't have blind grading?

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cpinker3
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby cpinker3 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:46 am

I would just be honest. If you are trying to transfer to a better school and they see that you have the grades to transfer then most of them would probably understand why you are wanting too.

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jessuf
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby jessuf » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:37 am

I e-mailed my professors to set up an appointment. I seriously do not encourage you mention transferring in your e-mail. Either be vague and say you want advice about your future or say you would like a letter of recommendation (but don't say what it's for).

When I went in, I started talking about the final, how much I liked the course, how much I liked their teaching style, etc. I buttered them up. Then I spoke with them about my career interests and goals, so they could get to know me on a personal level better. I also asked about their history. Then I started with, "Because I did so well this semester, I have been contemplating transferring as xyz legal market has more opportunities for those interested in my field (PI, gov't, big law, whatever) than [current] legal market." We then discussed why I want to transfer and how it would affect my opportunities. I then asked for the letter. That way, they knew I liked them and their class, why I went to law school in the first place, things I have accomplished, what I want to do post-graduation, and why I would want to transfer, which are all useful for writing letters. During fall semester, my professors knew me but only in an academic sense - I would go to office hours for help and not to discuss things outside the classroom.

One of my professors loves my current school and has been there for decades. I had to be delicate about approaching the question. I definitely felt awkward with him because 1.) I didn't want him to think I was insulting him by immediately wanting to transfer and 2.) I didn't want to insult the school as he is a big player on the faculty here. He said he thought I'd do fine for myself staying at my current school but that would write me a letter after hearing about my interests and goals.

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Wholigan
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:51 pm

3|ink wrote:...asking for a letter of recommendation to transfer? Talk about awkward.

Seriously. I couldn't imagine a bigger slap on the face for a law professor.


Not a slap in the face at all. Every 1L professor probably gets anywhere from a handful to a dozen requests for LORs every year. Also, they understand the benefits of going to a better school. I would venture a guess that almost every professor at every school that a substantial amount of people transfer from graduated from somewhere that is ranked far higher than the school they teach at. They recognize that they would not be teaching if not for their elite degree. Except for the rare prof who is super-loyal to the school they teach at, none of them will view it as an insult.

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crossarmant
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby crossarmant » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:37 pm

Jessuf wrote:I e-mailed my professors to set up an appointment. I seriously do not encourage you mention transferring in your e-mail. Either be vague and say you want advice about your future or say you would like a letter of recommendation (but don't say what it's for).


I did this, though I didn't butter them up with small talk. I told him straight up that I wanted to transfer. I go to a state school where I'm out-of-state and like 75% of the class are state residents, I told him that I wanted to transfer hopefully somewhere closer to home since my fiancee was still back in that area. I explained how I've enjoyed all of my professors and the school as a whole, but this area just isn't home to me. I also got the highest grade in his class so that helped. But he was more than willing to write it, sad that he'd lose a good student, but said that students have to do what's best for themselves, not the school.

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NYC Law
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby NYC Law » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:19 pm

Just started getting the ball rolling with approaching professors. So freaking awkward. I already had a bad experience with UG LORs (approached an RA since 80% of my freaking classes were taught by RAs, RA said he wasn't comfortable and didn't think he could).

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TTRansfer
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TTRansfer » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:06 pm

My professor was all for transferring. I was honest with him, told him this was hard to do, etc. He then started naming schools I should transfer to, haha. Had a great 20-minute discussion with him.

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NYC Law
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby NYC Law » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:50 pm

1 down, 1 to go. She was really nice about it, I just brought it up in an email since she's an adjunct.

This is pretty scary since there's no margin of error, I have like 3 professors to choose from, need 2.

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3|ink
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby 3|ink » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:41 pm

I see. I hadn't thought about the difference between approaching a professor with/without tenure.

I only need 1 LOR. My best grade was from an adjunct.

But I don't think my professor even knows what I got in his class. All grades are completely blind. One of my professors (a dude with tenure) even asked me what I got in his class soon after grades were released. I hope they get this information eventually. How else can I convince my professor that I'm qualified to transfer?

I can't just tell him what grade I received and expect him to rely on that. I'd have to print my transcript and show him. Talk about an asshole move.

FUCK!@#!@$!@

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TTRansfer
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TTRansfer » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:16 pm

3|ink wrote:I see. I hadn't thought about the difference between approaching a professor with/without tenure.

I only need 1 LOR. My best grade was from an adjunct.

But I don't think my professor even knows what I got in his class. All grades are completely blind. One of my professors (a dude with tenure) even asked me what I got in his class soon after grades were released. I hope they get this information eventually. How else can I convince my professor that I'm qualified to transfer?

I can't just tell him what grade I received and expect him to rely on that. I'd have to print my transcript and show him. Talk about an asshole move.

FUCK!@#!@$!@


Both of my professors wanted to see my transcript.

TFR
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TFR » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:00 pm

sent email to prof yesterday requesting transfer lor and meeting, prof has been with the school a while and no reply yet. school seems anti-transfer...

have there been any known occurences of schools taking any negative action against students wishing to transfer?

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TTRansfer
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:25 pm

TFR wrote:sent email to prof yesterday requesting transfer lor and meeting, prof has been with the school a while and no reply yet. school seems anti-transfer...

have there been any known occurences of schools taking any negative action against students wishing to transfer?


The most I have heard is giving students a bit of the run-around and posting grades ultra-late.

in_reverie
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby in_reverie » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:13 pm

When I asked one of my professors a couple days ago, he agreed but didn't seem too enthused about the idea. He said that until he wrote it, he'd try to talk me out of it. I wonder how worried I should be about getting a lukewarm LOR? I'm friendly with the prof but I didn't know him all that well outside of class.

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3|ink
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby 3|ink » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:51 pm

in_reverie wrote:When I asked one of my professors a couple days ago, he agreed but didn't seem too enthused about the idea. He said that until he wrote it, he'd try to talk me out of it. I wonder how worried I should be about getting a lukewarm LOR? I'm friendly with the prof but I didn't know him all that well outside of class.

This is exactly the kind of response I've afraid of.

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drmguy
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby drmguy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:12 pm

Did all of you that asked recently have your PS finished?

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spleenworship
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby spleenworship » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:13 pm

3|ink wrote:...asking for a letter of recommendation to transfer? Talk about awkward.

Seriously. I couldn't imagine a bigger slap on the face for a law professor.


Congrats on being able to do that. One A instead of a B and I probably would be doing the same thing.

Here is how I would do it: Sit down in office hours and ask them about their thoughts, positive and negative, about transferring. And make sure you can articulate a good reason you want to.

To be honest though, the advice above is probably what I would go with, since a lot of them seem to have done it.

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TTRansfer
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:05 pm

I would skip any professor that tries to talk you out of transferring. Any professor worth his salt should be willing to help you accomplish your dream and what YOU want to accomplish. Not what the law school wants to accomplish.

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TTRansfer
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:06 pm

Now, this is my question:

I have a B+ in one class and an A+ in another. I am actually going to be skipping the A+ professor because I don't think he actually knows who I am or really cares about me. The B+ professor I was really active in class with and went to office hours of his a few times. He really knows who I am and knows quite a bit about me.

Good strategy?

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vanwinkle
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:18 pm

I talked to a few profs early in the spring, just about considering transferring and what advice they had for/against, and then about a month later went back to the ones who weren't totally against and asked them for letters.

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3|ink
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby 3|ink » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:22 pm

TTRansfer wrote:Now, this is my question:

I have a B+ in one class and an A+ in another. I am actually going to be skipping the A+ professor because I don't think he actually knows who I am or really cares about me. The B+ professor I was really active in class with and went to office hours of his a few times. He really knows who I am and knows quite a bit about me.

Good strategy?

I'm in the same grade situation except I don't know either professor very well and the one that gave me a B+ has tenure and really believes in this school. That's why I'm going to the guy I got the A+ with.

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3|ink
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby 3|ink » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:25 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I talked to a few profs early in the spring, just about considering transferring and what advice they had for/against, and then about a month later went back to the ones who weren't totally against and asked them for letters.

This is good advice. I wish I had a history of following good advice.

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NYC Law
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby NYC Law » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:34 pm

I've been just asking in my email, since one is visiting, and one is adjunct, so neither have an office here and I don't want to inconvenience them over vaguely telling them what I want.

I just said what I wanted to the third professor for consistency's sake.

There are very slim pickings. One of the professors I was relying on (my highest grade) is being very evasive, and hasn't responded to my request for a meeting. Another professor is visiting and seemed pretty evasive while I had him. My third professor is known for being kinda a jerk out of class. This will not go well. At least my LRW professor (lowest grade) was very willing to help me out. It's a shame that the only one here willing to help students is an adjunct who has a full time job elsewhere, and yet the ones who are paid to be here full time don't give a shit.

I may have to resort to begging my current professors even though I haven't had anything graded with them.

TFR
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TFR » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:42 pm

.
Last edited by TFR on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TTRansfer
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Re: How do you approach your professors...

Postby TTRansfer » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:44 pm

TFR wrote:Prof replies to email requeting meeting for LOR for transfer: if you keep up or improve your grades in spring and are a plausible admit to your target school, ill think about it.

received a cali in this class and dont have this prof. second semester.

should this be considered "lukewarm" or polite rejections?


It means go to his office, show you your Cali, and tell him to write you a letter.




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