Concerns about asking for LORs

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ignitionday
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Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby ignitionday » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:49 pm

Hello everyone, I'm a 3rd year that recently transferred to a big state school last Fall. All of my classes have been 80+ and I never bothered going to office hours etc in getting to know the profs better. I have two professors in mind whom I took last semester but I only talked to them maybe once or twice re: stuff like "when is this assignment is due?" etc. For the present semester I'm taking one professor whom recently transferred from Georgetown and I talked to him about add codes for the course and he was pleasant to talk to in email and in person.

Am I in a dire position? I feel like my only choice right now is to just go talk to them in person and asking them directly if they can write the LOR, hoping they won't decline. Can anyone help me out?

Thank you very much.

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glebe
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby glebe » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:52 pm

I went to a big state school as well, and while I had plenty of classes over 100, I also had a few classes below 30. Maybe you should delay your law school applications by a year, and sign up for some smaller classes next semester where you can get to know the professors better. This will also give you some free time to get work experience and study the LSAT further.

If that's out of the question, then you should choose a professor who gave you an A, and go to them with some of your papers and classwork so they have a reference point in writing your LOR.

Randomnumbers
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby Randomnumbers » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:11 pm

On the bright side, as far as anyone can tell, admissions don't care about your letters at all. Just ask any professor whom gave you an A who you didn't piss off in class to right one. The most bland generic letter will work - it's definitely not worth spending time or money to get a better LOR.

ignitionday
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby ignitionday » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:47 pm

@gelebe Thanks for the reply. I honestly can't afford to wait an extra yr. I have a professor in mind and I have a mid term paper which I got an A on, but I ended up with a B in the class. Should I avoid him? To be honest, I've earned 3 As so far at my new school and one professor transferred out and another retired. I only have professors whom gave me a B. Also is it weird to ask professors whom I'm taking right now for LORs? Like I said he's new and he seems like a good person.

@Randonnumbers Thanks for the reply. I'm not really concerned with the quality of LORs like you mentioned..I'm just trying to get these LORs out of the way. The fact that I don't personally know any of these professors is what concerns me. Would asking professors whom gave me a B out of the question though? Also is it unethical etc to ask my present professors for LORs?

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glebe
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby glebe » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:44 pm

ignitionday wrote:@gelebe Thanks for the reply. I honestly can't afford to wait an extra yr. I have a professor in mind and I have a mid term paper which I got an A on, but I ended up with a B in the class. Should I avoid him? To be honest, I've earned 3 As so far at my new school and one professor transferred out and another retired. I only have professors whom gave me a B. Also is it weird to ask professors whom I'm taking right now for LORs? Like I said he's new and he seems like a good person.


This is like asking somebody out, if you don't talk to them, then the answer will always be no. Don't overthink; just ask them. You might also consider professors from your last school. There is nothing weird about calling or emailing to ask for a recommendation if you have coursework to support you.

ignitionday
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby ignitionday » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:09 pm

glebe wrote:
ignitionday wrote:@gelebe Thanks for the reply. I honestly can't afford to wait an extra yr. I have a professor in mind and I have a mid term paper which I got an A on, but I ended up with a B in the class. Should I avoid him? To be honest, I've earned 3 As so far at my new school and one professor transferred out and another retired. I only have professors whom gave me a B. Also is it weird to ask professors whom I'm taking right now for LORs? Like I said he's new and he seems like a good person.


This is like asking somebody out, if you don't talk to them, then the answer will always be no. Don't overthink; just ask them. You might also consider professors from your last school. There is nothing weird about calling or emailing to ask for a recommendation if you have coursework to support you.


Thanks a lot. Would it be weird if I ask my current professors for LORs right now? Or is it always better to go to office hours a few times before?

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Steve2207
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby Steve2207 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:47 pm

I think a lot of us have had anxiety asking for a LOR. I was in somewhat of a similar situation when approaching a former professor (a JD grad from the University of Louisville) for one of mine, but he actually seemed flattered when I did, and wrote a very good recommendation. I also asked for another LOR from a sitting Judge that I once interned under, and he was very happy to help me as well! Of course, I cannot speak for everyone, but it has been my experience that many people are actually flattered to have you ask them for a letter. If you have done well in these classes, and have made a positive impression on these professors, I would encourage you to ask them. The worst they can say is no and no one will ever know that they shot you down but you. The best advice I can give you though, is to try to judge their reactions to the question, if they seem uncomfortable, I wouldn’t provide their letters to the schools you really want to go to, because chances are you will have a generic LOR that will only hurt you if you are a borderline admit at your target school.

That said, I personally would not be overly concerned about getting a LOR from someone I received a B from, or someone that I am currently taking a class with, so long as they seemed enthusiastic about writing the letter.

ignitionday
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby ignitionday » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:23 am

Steve2207 wrote:I think a lot of us have had anxiety asking for a LOR. I was in somewhat of a similar situation when approaching a former professor (a JD grad from the University of Louisville) for one of mine, but he actually seemed flattered when I did, and wrote a very good recommendation. I also asked for another LOR from a sitting Judge that I once interned under, and he was very happy to help me as well! Of course, I cannot speak for everyone, but it has been my experience that many people are actually flattered to have you ask them for a letter. If you have done well in these classes, and have made a positive impression on these professors, I would encourage you to ask them. The worst they can say is no and no one will ever know that they shot you down but you. The best advice I can give you though, is to try to judge their reactions to the question, if they seem uncomfortable, I wouldn’t provide their letters to the schools you really want to go to, because chances are you will have a generic LOR that will only hurt you if you are a borderline admit at your target school.

That said, I personally would not be overly concerned about getting a LOR from someone I received a B from, or someone that I am currently taking a class with, so long as they seemed enthusiastic about writing the letter.


Thanks a lot Steve. Woud it be okay if I can just go to my former professor's office and just straight up asking him if he can write an LOR? Aside from introducing myself saying how I took his class last quarter etc.

For professors I'm currently taking, do you think it'd be okay if I just be straight forward with them and say "can you write an LOR for me?" Or would I need to go to their office hours a couple of times?

Thanks again.

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Steve2207
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby Steve2207 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:52 am

ignitionday wrote:
Steve2207 wrote:I think a lot of us have had anxiety asking for a LOR. I was in somewhat of a similar situation when approaching a former professor (a JD grad from the University of Louisville) for one of mine, but he actually seemed flattered when I did, and wrote a very good recommendation. I also asked for another LOR from a sitting Judge that I once interned under, and he was very happy to help me as well! Of course, I cannot speak for everyone, but it has been my experience that many people are actually flattered to have you ask them for a letter. If you have done well in these classes, and have made a positive impression on these professors, I would encourage you to ask them. The worst they can say is no and no one will ever know that they shot you down but you. The best advice I can give you though, is to try to judge their reactions to the question, if they seem uncomfortable, I wouldn’t provide their letters to the schools you really want to go to, because chances are you will have a generic LOR that will only hurt you if you are a borderline admit at your target school.

That said, I personally would not be overly concerned about getting a LOR from someone I received a B from, or someone that I am currently taking a class with, so long as they seemed enthusiastic about writing the letter.


Thanks a lot Steve. Woud it be okay if I can just go to my former professor's office and just straight up asking him if he can write an LOR? Aside from introducing myself saying how I took his class last quarter etc.

For professors I'm currently taking, do you think it'd be okay if I just be straight forward with them and say "can you write an LOR for me?" Or would I need to go to their office hours a couple of times?

Thanks again.


If it where me I would stop by during the teachers office hours and say something like “ Good Morning Professor X, I am not sure if you remember me but my name is ignitionday, and I took your class last semester. I am actually considering applying to law school next fall and was wondering if you would feel comfortable writing me a recommendation for admission”

As I said before, the worst they can say is no. Most likely, if they do not want to, they will pretend they might and then never get back with you. I predict you will probably be able to judge whether they want to help you, and if they are enthusiastic about it then take advantage of that!
For classes you are currently taking, I personally would just come right out and ask. I wouldn’t stop by during a professors office hours for no reason at all, because MY OPINION is that they would know why you did after you ask them for a letter, and you would seem like a kiss ass.
Feel free to ignore my input, but I am just trying to explain what I would do in your position.

ignitionday
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby ignitionday » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:25 pm

thanks for the info steve. Anyhow, I went to the offices of my previous 4 professors and sadly they're having an off-semester. The only way I can get a hold of them is through email

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Steve2207
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby Steve2207 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:23 pm

ignitionday wrote:thanks for the info steve. Anyhow, I went to the offices of my previous 4 professors and sadly they're having an off-semester. The only way I can get a hold of them is through email


Ask them via e-mail then.

ignitionday
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby ignitionday » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:27 pm

Steve2207 wrote:
ignitionday wrote:thanks for the info steve. Anyhow, I went to the offices of my previous 4 professors and sadly they're having an off-semester. The only way I can get a hold of them is through email


Ask them via e-mail then.


I emailed a former professor and this is what he said:

Hi ignitionday:
I am on sabbatical this semester. I will be out of state from the end of this month until June. As long as I can write the letter in late summer/fall, there is no problem.
I would be pleased to write on your behalf. If this is OK, send me your transcript and law school personal statement when you have them. Then I can write a more informed letter.

So if he writes in late summer/fall should that be a decent enough time frame to have my apps turned in for ED?

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Steve2207
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Re: Concerns about asking for LORs

Postby Steve2207 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:24 am

ignitionday wrote:
Steve2207 wrote:
ignitionday wrote:thanks for the info steve. Anyhow, I went to the offices of my previous 4 professors and sadly they're having an off-semester. The only way I can get a hold of them is through email


Ask them via e-mail then.


I emailed a former professor and this is what he said:

Hi ignitionday:
I am on sabbatical this semester. I will be out of state from the end of this month until June. As long as I can write the letter in late summer/fall, there is no problem.
I would be pleased to write on your behalf. If this is OK, send me your transcript and law school personal statement when you have them. Then I can write a more informed letter.

So if he writes in late summer/fall should that be a decent enough time frame to have my apps turned in for ED?


I am assuming you are applying in the Fall of 2014. If so, then yes I would think that is decent enough time. You really need to get your applications in by early December (Thanksgiving would be even better). If he is going to write a letter over the summer then I see no reason why LSAC should not have it in enough time for you to use it on your applications. I would respond and thank him heartily! Then explain that you are hoping to get applications in around Thanksgiving .because you are hoping for an early decision After he mails the letter it should not be long, my LOR’s processed with LSAC less than a week after they were mailed out.
BTW, it seems to me that he is enthusiastic about writing a recommendation because he asked to read your personal statement. I would write one and let him read it, because his letter is likely to sound more convincing if he knows details about you that you are already going to share with your target schools. Good luck!




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