LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

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svanderwoodsen
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LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby svanderwoodsen » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:19 pm

I have a couple of questions about LOR's and their impact on an admissions decision (particularly for splitters, or for those who are applying to a reach school):

1. Honestly speaking - how big of a role do LOR's play in an admissions decision? If someone is a splitter, or is applying to a reach school, does an LOR have any impact at all?

2. Can law schools actually figure out if you've written your own LOR on behalf of an employer?

I'm asking because my LOR's for my application are super weak. I received an academic LOR from a professor, who seemed to struggle with writing it. Two of my employers were too busy to write one for me, and the one that agreed to do so basically said I had to write it on my own (I know, my employers suck).

I'm working really hard (literally around the clock) to bring up my LSAT score (and it's working), but my GPA is low (3.1), and I want to make sure my application is as excellent as possible. I am going to shoot for a T-20/T-13 if my September LSAT score is within the range to bring me in consideration. Will my weak LOR's ruin my chances? Any insight here would be really appreciated!
Last edited by svanderwoodsen on Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BenjarvusGreenEllis
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Re: LOR Questions

Postby BenjarvusGreenEllis » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:42 pm

svanderwoodsen wrote:I have a couple of questions about LOR's and their impact on an admissions decision (particularly for splitters, or for those who are applying to a reach school):

1. Honestly speaking - how big of a role do LOR's play in an admissions decision? If someone is a splitter, or is applying to a reach school, does an LOR have any impact at all?

2. Can law schools actually figure out if you've written your own LOR on behalf of an employer?

I'm asking because my LOR's for my application are super weak. I received an academic LOR from a professor, who seemed to struggle with writing it. Two of my employers were too busy to write one for me, and the one that agreed to do so basically said I had to write it on my own (I know, my employers suck).

I'm working really hard (literally around the clock) to bring up my LSAT score (and it's working), but my GPA is low (3.1), and I want to make sure my application is as excellent as possible. I am going to shoot for a T-20/T-13 if my September LSAT score is within the range to bring me in consideration. Will my weak LOR's ruin my chances? Any insight here would be really appreciated!



I was in the same exact situation (teacher didn't really remember me but got a good grade in his class and had to write my own for employer) and I performed pretty much exactly how my LSAT/GPA indicated I would perform. I was not a splitter, however, so it may be different.

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svanderwoodsen
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Re: LOR Questions

Postby svanderwoodsen » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:21 pm

BenjarvusGreenEllis wrote:
svanderwoodsen wrote:I have a couple of questions about LOR's and their impact on an admissions decision (particularly for splitters, or for those who are applying to a reach school):

1. Honestly speaking - how big of a role do LOR's play in an admissions decision? If someone is a splitter, or is applying to a reach school, does an LOR have any impact at all?

2. Can law schools actually figure out if you've written your own LOR on behalf of an employer?

I'm asking because my LOR's for my application are super weak. I received an academic LOR from a professor, who seemed to struggle with writing it. Two of my employers were too busy to write one for me, and the one that agreed to do so basically said I had to write it on my own (I know, my employers suck).

I'm working really hard (literally around the clock) to bring up my LSAT score (and it's working), but my GPA is low (3.1), and I want to make sure my application is as excellent as possible. I am going to shoot for a T-20/T-13 if my September LSAT score is within the range to bring me in consideration. Will my weak LOR's ruin my chances? Any insight here would be really appreciated!



I was in the same exact situation (teacher didn't really remember me but got a good grade in his class and had to write my own for employer) and I performed pretty much exactly how my LSAT/GPA indicated I would perform. I was not a splitter, however, so it may be different.


Okay - thanks! I think that it will probably be similar for me - that my application will probably come down to GPA, LSAT and essays/statements. Fingers crossed!

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BulletTooth
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Re: LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby BulletTooth » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:29 pm

I've been told that most applications come down solely to LSAT and GPA. I'm sure that an amazing LOR or personal statement could get you admitted if you are on the border--but most schools simply care about how your GPA and LSAT are going to affect their rankings. I don't think that a weak LOR would have much if any impact.

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Platopus
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Re: LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby Platopus » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:32 pm

BulletTooth wrote: I don't think that a weak LOR would have much if any impact.


I'm going to disagree a bit, here. Certainly LSAT and GPA are the most important factors, but a weak LOR can certainly have an impact. Most LOR's are going to be pretty positive; people just don't ask professors/employers who are likely to write something weak. The fact that all LOR's are mostly positive is probably one of the big reasons why schools don't put as much stock into LOR's. So a weak LOR is certainly going to draw at least a little bit of attention. A luke-warm LOR probably wont' be the swing factor either way, but something negative definitely could put someone on a WL or even a straight rejection (if it's bad enough). That said, OP sounds like she's referring more to the luke-warm variety, in which case I doubt it'll have that much of an impact, as the above poster pointed out.

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svanderwoodsen
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Re: LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby svanderwoodsen » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:42 pm

Platopus wrote:
BulletTooth wrote: I don't think that a weak LOR would have much if any impact.


I'm going to disagree a bit, here. Certainly LSAT and GPA are the most important factors, but a weak LOR can certainly have an impact. Most LOR's are going to be pretty positive; people just don't ask professors/employers who are likely to write something weak. The fact that all LOR's are mostly positive is probably one of the big reasons why schools don't put as much stock into LOR's. So a weak LOR is certainly going to draw at least a little bit of attention. A luke-warm LOR probably wont' be the swing factor either way, but something negative definitely could put someone on a WL or even a straight rejection (if it's bad enough). That said, OP sounds like she's referring more to the luke-warm variety, in which case I doubt it'll have that much of an impact, as the above poster pointed out.


Yes - My LOR's are more lukewarm than weak (although, what does a negative LOR even look like?). The academic LOR that I was given was written by someone who knew me well, and taught me for a few different courses - all of which I did excellent in. The reason why I'm nervous about this one, is because this person has never really written a graduate school LOR before - ever. She struggled a lot with the letter and based on the draft I saw, it comes off as very lukewarm rather than positive.

The other LOR is normal - it's just written by me. Not sure if the admissions people are going to figure that out or not, but as I mentioned in my original post, it was my only option.

Alexandros
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Re: LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby Alexandros » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:59 pm

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Last edited by Alexandros on Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Platopus
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Re: LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby Platopus » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:12 pm

svanderwoodsen wrote:
Platopus wrote:
BulletTooth wrote: I don't think that a weak LOR would have much if any impact.


I'm going to disagree a bit, here. Certainly LSAT and GPA are the most important factors, but a weak LOR can certainly have an impact. Most LOR's are going to be pretty positive; people just don't ask professors/employers who are likely to write something weak. The fact that all LOR's are mostly positive is probably one of the big reasons why schools don't put as much stock into LOR's. So a weak LOR is certainly going to draw at least a little bit of attention. A luke-warm LOR probably wont' be the swing factor either way, but something negative definitely could put someone on a WL or even a straight rejection (if it's bad enough). That said, OP sounds like she's referring more to the luke-warm variety, in which case I doubt it'll have that much of an impact, as the above poster pointed out.


Yes - My LOR's are more lukewarm than weak (although, what does a negative LOR even look like?). The academic LOR that I was given was written by someone who knew me well, and taught me for a few different courses - all of which I did excellent in. The reason why I'm nervous about this one, is because this person has never really written a graduate school LOR before - ever. She struggled a lot with the letter and based on the draft I saw, it comes off as very lukewarm rather than positive.

The other LOR is normal - it's just written by me. Not sure if the admissions people are going to figure that out or not, but as I mentioned in my original post, it was my only option.



I wouldn't worry about it too much, especially if you can tell the writer is at least intending to write something nice, but just falling a little short on execution. If the recommender isn't the best writer, that reflects more on them than on you. I would imagine a negative letter is pretty rare, as I would guess that most professors would probably refuse to write an LOR on your behalf in the first place. A negative letter probably has elements of: Person X is not capable of graduate level work, Person X turned in several assignments late, Person X is smart but a otherwise a fairly unpleasant person, etc.

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RParadela
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Re: LOR(s) Impact on Chances?

Postby RParadela » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:53 pm

An amazing LOR can probably make a bit of a difference, and a really bad one will get you a lot of WLs. Overall, most tend to fall in the middle which won't affect chances much at all




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