Emailing Profs?

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
tinycatfriend
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:06 pm

Emailing Profs?

Postby tinycatfriend » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:08 pm

Hello,

Is it normal/encouraged to email professors and say you love their research + want to work with them before you're admitted to the school? I know it's the common practice for PhD programs, but not sure about the protocol here.

User avatar
Litt1tUp
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:07 pm

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby Litt1tUp » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:14 pm

tinycatfriend wrote:Hello,

Is it normal/encouraged to email professors and say you love their research + want to work with them before you're admitted to the school? I know it's the common practice for PhD programs, but not sure about the protocol here.


After meeting with the dean of admissions, I was connected via email with a professor whose clinic I mentioned I was interested in. The professor Skyped me and has invited me to go to dinner after ASD. Idk if this is typical, but I'd say talk to admissions first? It might be easier to form that connection with someone introducing you to them.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 28684
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:20 pm

Is it really even common practice for PhD programs?

Either way, I don't think it makes sense for law school unless you are actually planning to head straight to academia and you actually do want them to help you develop a research agenda. A JD is a professional degree licensing you to practice. Professors' research very rarely has anything to do with that.

I think the post above goes to this - a clinic is preparing you for practice so talking to a clinic person about the opportunities to get experience in that area makes sense. You are probably not going to be a law prof researching research area X so talking to a prof about their research makes less sense. If there's a prof who used to work in a job that you want to do, talking to them makes sense, but more after you're admitted, not before.

Maybe if you have a more specific example of the kind of thing you mean. But I think any contact like this makes more sense after admissions and isn't going to help you get admitted.

texcellence
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:05 pm

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby texcellence » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:21 pm

Litt1tUp wrote:
tinycatfriend wrote:Hello,

Is it normal/encouraged to email professors and say you love their research + want to work with them before you're admitted to the school? I know it's the common practice for PhD programs, but not sure about the protocol here.


After meeting with the dean of admissions, I was connected via email with a professor whose clinic I mentioned I was interested in. The professor Skyped me and has invited me to go to dinner after ASD. Idk if this is typical, but I'd say talk to admissions first? It might be easier to form that connection with someone introducing you to them.


I assume this was *after* you were accepted though, not before? I've wondered the same as tinycatfriend.

User avatar
mjb447
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:23 pm

Seems very weird to me, especially prior to admission.

ETA Although that may be because, either as a 0L or now as a practicing lawyer, I can count on one (more likely zero) hands the number of law profs whose research I "love."

User avatar
Litt1tUp
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:07 pm

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby Litt1tUp » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:28 pm

texcellence wrote:
Litt1tUp wrote:
tinycatfriend wrote:Hello,

Is it normal/encouraged to email professors and say you love their research + want to work with them before you're admitted to the school? I know it's the common practice for PhD programs, but not sure about the protocol here.


After meeting with the dean of admissions, I was connected via email with a professor whose clinic I mentioned I was interested in. The professor Skyped me and has invited me to go to dinner after ASD. Idk if this is typical, but I'd say talk to admissions first? It might be easier to form that connection with someone introducing you to them.


I assume this was *after* you were accepted though, not before? I've wondered the same as tinycatfriend.


Sorry, didn't really read that carefully! :(

If there is a professor you are really interested in working with, I would definitely put that in a "Why ____?" Essay.

Not sure if I would be bold enough to contact them before being admitted.

tinycatfriend
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:06 pm

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby tinycatfriend » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:28 pm

So particularly, I have a very strong interest in a particular field of law that is fairly uncommon and under-researched. There is a professor whose research I came across before while writing a paper in this field, and it's very specific, which is why I was wondering - this wouldn't be, "Oh I want to do contracts and you do contracts!" but "I have done academic research in this tiny field and I'm deeply passionate about X tiny field that you are also a member of"

User avatar
poptart123
Posts: 1124
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:31 pm

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby poptart123 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:31 pm

Seems like it might be weird to email them and then be denied. Awkward.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 5629
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:35 pm

tinycatfriend wrote:Hello,

Is it normal/encouraged to email professors and say you love their research + want to work with them before you're admitted to the school? I know it's the common practice for PhD programs, but not sure about the protocol here.

It's definitely weird to email professors before you're admitted. And I think it's weird to email professors after you're admitted as well. If you're interested in helping a prof our with some research, take one of the prof's classes and visit during office hours.

User avatar
mjb447
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:36 pm

poptart123 wrote:Seems like it might be weird to email them and then be denied. Awkward.

Yeah, this too. What's the point of this email unless you actually go to their school and get to work with them? (Like others have said, I don't think most profs are that involved in the admissions process, nor do I imagine a prof is going to go far out on a limb because you emailed him [at least if you're not already pretty competitive for that school]).

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 28684
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Emailing Profs?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:34 pm

tinycatfriend wrote:So particularly, I have a very strong interest in a particular field of law that is fairly uncommon and under-researched. There is a professor whose research I came across before while writing a paper in this field, and it's very specific, which is why I was wondering - this wouldn't be, "Oh I want to do contracts and you do contracts!" but "I have done academic research in this tiny field and I'm deeply passionate about X tiny field that you are also a member of"

Again, is it something you yourself will research in future? Is it something directly applicable to an area of law you intend to practice?

Either way, I think contacting the prof directly before you're admitted would be weird and not help you get in, and after is unnecessary because you go talk to them once you're on campus. I agree you could mention their work in a "why law school X," though.

(Law school admissions/law school generally are not at all like academic grad programs/admissions.)




Return to “Law School Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], eisouranuv, getty, Juliana and 5 guests