Letters of Recommendation

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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zxbn579

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Letters of Recommendation

Post by zxbn579 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:23 pm

I registered for CAS today and want to submit my recommendation requests this week. However, I've been out of college for more than a year and I do not currently live in the same city as either of my recommenders. How should I approach them? While it seems that everyone agrees email is too impersonal, I myself feel that a forced phone conversation at this very early point of putting my application together may even feel like a more unnatural step. What is your experience with LORs? I am taking the LSAT this month so unfortunately I cannot provide my recommenders with my score, but I want to ask them to have my letters ready by the end of October. I can send them my transcript and my resume but my PS is not done yet.

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KMart

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by KMart » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:25 pm

Are your recommenders former professors? I simply emailed mine, although I am still in college and had them in the previous year.

zxbn579

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by zxbn579 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:34 pm

imKMart wrote:Are your recommenders former professors? I simply emailed mine, although I am still in college and had them in the previous year.
Yes, two of them are. One of them I am really close to and he is familiar with my plans to apply to law schools, so I have no problem emailing him. The second one taught me in my sophomore year and I have not kept in touch with, so that's a tricky one. I don't want to be rude but I also don't want to be overbearing.

On a more pragmatic note, how did you guys deal with the general/targeted recs? Can I ask one of my professors to do both a general and a targeted letter? Did you yourselves send the recommenders envelopes addressed to LSAC, or did they just upload LORs online?

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KMart

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by KMart » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:07 pm

parkcity wrote:Yes, two of them are. One of them I am really close to and he is familiar with my plans to apply to law schools, so I have no problem emailing him. The second one taught me in my sophomore year and I have not kept in touch with, so that's a tricky one. I don't want to be rude but I also don't want to be overbearing.

On a more pragmatic note, how did you guys deal with the general/targeted recs? Can I ask one of my professors to do both a general and a targeted letter? Did you yourselves send the recommenders envelopes addressed to LSAC, or did they just upload LORs online?
It's good form to pre-address and pre-stamp the envelope if they are submitting by mail. Not much you can do with emails. Is it possible to visit your old professor's office hours during the year and talk to them then? Could be less formal that way and, at least at my UG, no one ever is in office hours unless it is before a test.

Adrian Monk

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by Adrian Monk » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:14 pm

imKMart wrote:
parkcity wrote:Yes, two of them are. One of them I am really close to and he is familiar with my plans to apply to law schools, so I have no problem emailing him. The second one taught me in my sophomore year and I have not kept in touch with, so that's a tricky one. I don't want to be rude but I also don't want to be overbearing.

On a more pragmatic note, how did you guys deal with the general/targeted recs? Can I ask one of my professors to do both a general and a targeted letter? Did you yourselves send the recommenders envelopes addressed to LSAC, or did they just upload LORs online?
It's good form to pre-address and pre-stamp the envelope if they are submitting by mail. Not much you can do with emails. Is it possible to visit your old professor's office hours during the year and talk to them then? Could be less formal that way and, at least at my UG, no one ever is in office hours unless it is before a test.
um the pre adress part is interesting. i didnt know that, i thought there was just the online thing. Would u reccomend that option for someone who is not very tech savvy. so i preadress and pre stamp the envelope, and then does the reccommender type out a letter or can he write it?, and then should the letter be sealed? like something like an official school seal?

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KMart

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by KMart » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:25 pm

Adrian Monk wrote:um the pre adress part is interesting. i didnt know that, i thought there was just the online thing. Would u reccomend that option for someone who is not very tech savvy. so i preadress and pre stamp the envelope, and then does the reccommender type out a letter or can he write it?, and then should the letter be sealed? like something like an official school seal?
Most people prefer to email (I'm not sure why one of mine wanted to mail his copy in). You don't have to be tech savvy, it's basically just writing an email.

While handwritten notes are great for thank you letters, I would still recommend typing it before mailing the letter to the LSAC.

No seal needed. The recommender mails it themselves. I handed mine all the required docs and said, "here ya go" and my job is done with it.

Cradle6

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by Cradle6 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:36 pm

I solicited all three of my letters through a thoughtful email, and it worked very well.

Most of them were VERY far away geographically from me though

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hillz

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by hillz » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:32 pm

I was worried about getting LORs, too, but so far it has been much easier than I anticipated. Everyone's different, but I think a lot of people prefer email instead of a cold call from a former student. If there's a chance that your professor may not remember you immediately, they would probably rather be able to look you up after looking at your email and not have to respond immediately. You can send a nice email asking if they would be willing and attach your resume, transcript, and photo, if you want to jog their memory (sounds creepy, but it will be helpful for the prof). Since you don't live in the same town, maybe include that you would be happy to talk on the phone (or visit them if they would rather talk about it in person, if you aren't thaaaat far away from your college town). If you don't hear from the prof after like 10 days, try calling. If you can't get them then, I'd move on to the next person.

If your recommenders are willing, having them upload their LORs instead of mailing makes it really easy on both of you. I've only asked my recommenders to do a general LOR, but I may ask the one to whom I am closest to do a targeted LOR for one of the schools.

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hillz

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Re: Letters of Recommendation

Post by hillz » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:33 pm

Oh, and don't forget to follow up after you get your decisions. Thank them again and let them know how things turned out for you.

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