Thoughts on third recommendation?

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Thoughts on third recommendation?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:10 pm

I have the standard 2 tenured faculty recommendations, and I believe both will be strong. I'm hung up on who I should ask for my third, so I'm coming to TLS for its collective wisdom. Thoughts on which of the following would be best? (I'm at a non-T14, comfortably within top 10%, LR, and soon-to-be-published)

Option 1 - Partner at very small law firm where I was a paralegal. Knows my research/writing ability, has seen me juggle multiple tasks at once, and knows me on a personal level.

Option 2 - 1L LRW prof, works in a major DA office. I got the top grade in the class, and prof has written another LOR for me.

Option 3 - LRW prof for whom I was a TA. Former federal clerk, biglaw experience and manages own firm now.

tl;dr: should my 3d recommendation be an employer, a former LRW prof, or an attorney I TA'd for?

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gdane
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Re: Thoughts on third recommendation?

Postby gdane » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:35 pm

Do you need two professors? The partner (who can testify to your real world work experience) and the former clerk both sound like great recommenders. Can you do one professor, former clerk, and partner?

justinp
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Re: Thoughts on third recommendation?

Postby justinp » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:03 pm

gdane wrote:Do you need two professors? The partner (who can testify to your real world work experience) and the former clerk both sound like great recommenders. Can you do one professor, former clerk, and partner?


FWIW the word I've gotten from OCS and other sources is that academic recommendations are heavily favored for clerkship hiring.

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Re: Thoughts on third recommendation?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:45 pm

justinp wrote:
gdane wrote:Do you need two professors? The partner (who can testify to your real world work experience) and the former clerk both sound like great recommenders. Can you do one professor, former clerk, and partner?


FWIW the word I've gotten from OCS and other sources is that academic recommendations are heavily favored for clerkship hiring.


Current clerk here. I helped my judge hire a new clerk, so here are my thoughts.

Unless you have a relationship with the prof and he/she can really write an outstanding LOR, your OCS's advice is, as expected, silly. LORs from profs that say "Anon got the highest grade in my class and always seemed prepared in class. Would recommend" are a dime a dozen. A strong prof LOR is from a prof who knows you on a personal level and has done more than just blindly graded your test. Judges want to hire someone they like working with because they really only work directly with maybe a handful of people, at most.

I would want to use the LWR prof you TA'd for. He/she should be able to speak to your writing and attest to the fact you're great to work with (i.e., you'd be a good employee).

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Thoughts on third recommendation?

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:54 pm

justinp wrote:
gdane wrote:Do you need two professors? The partner (who can testify to your real world work experience) and the former clerk both sound like great recommenders. Can you do one professor, former clerk, and partner?

FWIW the word I've gotten from OCS and other sources is that academic recommendations are heavily favored for clerkship hiring.

Generally true for circuits, but less uniformly the case for districts.

I would probably go with Option 2.

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Re: Thoughts on third recommendation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:57 am

Thanks everyone - this was helpful, even if it didn't make my decision any easier. I'm pretty confident both faculty recs will be strong, so I don't think I'll budge on those. Still torn between the LRW profs, but I'll give it some more thought.




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