Tips for writing your own recommendation?

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zor
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:36 pm

Tips for writing your own recommendation?

Postby zor » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:18 am

I was asked to draft my own recommendation for the transfer app. Those of you who have done this before: what did you say? This is for a doctrinal class of which I was one of 100 students. I asked her because I got an A+, but I am not coming up with much to say about myself other than "she was prepared in class and did well on the exam." I could rehash my resume? Any suggestions or examples out there? How long was yours? I did speak with her during office hours once or twice but we didn't have much in common (I'm public interest, she did corporate then academic writing).

Any and all tips/suggestions welcome.

And before you ask, yes, this was the best professor to ask as it was my highest grade and my other two profs were total weirdos (and my writing professor is writing her own rec, thank goodness).

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dsb83
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Re: Tips for writing your own recommendation?

Postby dsb83 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:00 pm

That seems like a hard task for yourself. I was lucky enough to get two professors who knew me from class and office hours and on whose exam I did well. One of them had me supply a brief bio so he could "personalize" it a little more. The other I had talked enough with about my interests and plans to transfer that he didn't ask for that. I know they both incorporated some of my interests and reasons for transfer into the letters. Based on the conversations I had with them and their willingness to write for me I think they both probably wrote things like "confident in discussing the law," "exceptional performance on the exam." Then probably ended with "I am confident that X's talent and hard work will translate to Y Law School." I'd write similar things for yourself. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were them, how would you write a letter to convince others taking you as a transfer admit would be a good move? You should be able to do that.

Alternatively, you could email the prof and say you're having trouble bestowing praise on yourself. Offer to instead write up a brief bio including your interests and reasons for transferring to help him or her.

I hope this helps some...the important is just getting them in.

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patrickd139
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Re: Tips for writing your own recommendation?

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:01 pm

zor wrote:I was asked to draft my own recommendation for the transfer app. Those of you who have done this before: what did you say? This is for a doctrinal class of which I was one of 100 students. I asked her because I got an A+, but I am not coming up with much to say about myself other than "she was prepared in class and did well on the exam." I could rehash my resume? Any suggestions or examples out there? How long was yours? I did speak with her during office hours once or twice but we didn't have much in common (I'm public interest, she did corporate then academic writing).

Any and all tips/suggestions welcome.

And before you ask, yes, this was the best professor to ask as it was my highest grade and my other two profs were total weirdos (and my writing professor is writing her own rec, thank goodness).

Being a weirdo ≠ Writing a bad LOR. Find a professor who will write it. It's going to be better than anything you'll be able to come up with.

Alternatively (LinkRemoved)

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zor
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: Tips for writing your own recommendation?

Postby zor » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:11 pm

dsb83 wrote:That seems like a hard task for yourself. I was lucky enough to get two professors who knew me from class and office hours and on whose exam I did well. One of them had me supply a brief bio so he could "personalize" it a little more. The other I had talked enough with about my interests and plans to transfer that he didn't ask for that. I know they both incorporated some of my interests and reasons for transfer into the letters. Based on the conversations I had with them and their willingness to write for me I think they both probably wrote things like "confident in discussing the law," "exceptional performance on the exam." Then probably ended with "I am confident that X's talent and hard work will translate to Y Law School." I'd write similar things for yourself. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were them, how would you write a letter to convince others taking you as a transfer admit would be a good move? You should be able to do that.

Alternatively, you could email the prof and say you're having trouble bestowing praise on yourself. Offer to instead write up a brief bio including your interests and reasons for transferring to help him or her.

I hope this helps some...the important is just getting them in.


Thank you! Yeah that's basically what I came up with. I did ask her to do that (if I could provide a bio/resume/some key points) when I met with her but she basically said she is way too busy writing way too many recommendations and she gives priority for her time to people applying for clerkships, which makes sense to me. I spoke to my other recommender about it (who is great and loves me) and she said it's very common practice at this point. Lame. I know the professor will add things and tweak things. I tried to talk about my contributions to the classroom and to the school as a student leader, as well as my goals and ambition. I don't really know what to say about my exam--I done good? :) I hope she fills that part in.

patrickd139: First of all, there's no reason to be a jerk. Googling LOR isn't going to help me. Writing a recommendation for a law school transfer process is very different from writing a recommendation for either a job or even an initial application to law school. They want to see that you've succeeded in law school and will have a promising career in the legal field, things I really can't speak to with experience.

Second, my other two professors from last semester: one is literally 90 years old and didn't even recognize me in the elevator and never learned a single name in class because he doesn't care. The other was a douchey conservative who refused to call on me after the first few weeks. So no, I'm not asking them for recs. As for this semester, I haven't gotten my grades yet and don't want to wait--better done than great.




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