How long are letters of rec good for?

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ArchitectureVince03
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:42 am

How long are letters of rec good for?

Postby ArchitectureVince03 » Sun May 08, 2011 10:56 am

I apologize if there is a thread about this, especially since I think this might be a common question, but searching for LOR didn't come up with anything I think because the phrase is so common and I couldn't find anything in the Letters of Rec section on TLS or the LSAC site, as well as Common FAQs and the stickies.

I'm considering applying this next cycle for law school, however I also am considering either continuing my current job or pursuing some other related opportunities for another year. Law school is definitely my eventual goal.

If I apply this next cycle I need to be talking to my former professors this summer to give them time to write LORs before the next school year starts. However it's quite a bit early for me to make a final decision on whether I want to attend LS in 2012 or 2013. Considering the option of applying and deferring if I want to wait a year, but was also wondering if my professors could submit LORs this summer and they would still be valid two cycles from now? If it is valid does anyone know if law schools notice/care that LORs were submitted a year before? These would all be LORs from former professors and since I'm graduated their LORs shouldn't change over that one year.

Also I thought I remember reading somewhere that a lot of law schools grant fee waivers the cycle you set up your LSAC Credential Service. Would setting it up for the LORs and then applying in two cycles disqualify me from getting automatic fee waivers?

*If there is a thread out there answering this question feel free to just post a link to save time. I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for the advice!

bhan87
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:08 pm

Re: How long are letters of rec good for?

Postby bhan87 » Sun May 08, 2011 11:37 am

5 years I believe.

ran12
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:28 pm

Re: How long are letters of rec good for?

Postby ran12 » Sun May 08, 2011 5:12 pm

There's a difference between how long LORs are good for on LSAC and in reality. The longer you work, the more your academic LORs are likely not as important or even relevant for some people. With that said, it's probably better to get the academic ones now when the profs are more likely to remember you enough to write a good LOR.

sullidop
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: How long are letters of rec good for?

Postby sullidop » Sun May 08, 2011 5:30 pm

ran12 wrote:There's a difference between how long LORs are good for on LSAC and in reality. The longer you work, the more your academic LORs are likely not as important or even relevant for some people. With that said, it's probably better to get the academic ones now when the profs are more likely to remember you enough to write a good LOR.


Truth. I just saw the prof that wrote my rec 5 years ago (I took four classes with him and he was my thesis advisor) on the quad and he blew right by me obviously not knowing who I was. Granted, he's 76.

Even if you blow the 5 year cap, I'd still do it now so the profs have a record of the rec in case you need them to resubmit it.

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Magnolia
Posts: 548
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Re: How long are letters of rec good for?

Postby Magnolia » Sun May 08, 2011 5:56 pm

LOR's are valid for 5 years once you submit them to LSAC, and schools won't care if they're getting academic LORs that were written a couple of years ago. Having several years between when you were in undergrad/got the LORs and when you're applying to law school doesn't negate a professor's assessment of your academic abilities. However, if you're taking time between UG and LS, you should get a LOR from a boss or supervisor to supplement your others.

You'll get fee waivers for the cycle in which you take the LSAT, not the one in which you register for the LSAC credential services, so there is no downside to registering now (except for lots of spam from Regent and Cooley). Lots of schools will also give you merit fee waivers if you email them to request one, so you don't even have to apply the same cycle in which you took the LSAT.

ArchitectureVince03
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:42 am

Re: How long are letters of rec good for?

Postby ArchitectureVince03 » Sun May 08, 2011 6:22 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses! It was all very helpful to find out!




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