Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Personal Statements, Resumes, and Letters of Recommendation => Topic started by: jayhawk on August 17, 2004, 12:41:55 AM

Title: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: jayhawk on August 17, 2004, 12:41:55 AM
So, I am one of those students who sits in the back row (when I go to class) and never, ever talks to the teachers.  Also, I have taken nearly all big lecture classes.  So I have had trouble thinking of a teacher that might recognize me in a crowd, let alone finding one that will write me a letter.  However, when I was a freshman I took an honors class with only 4 other people and the teacher pulled me aside at the end of the semester and told me that if I ever need his recommendation for anything he would be happy to do it.  So, I emailed him last week and he said he would still be willing to write a LOR.  So, now the question: Do you think it would hurt to have a recommendation from a teacher I had 3 years ago, and the class was not even in my major?  Also, I attended a different school at the time (I'm not sure if that is relevant).  Would I be better off using a teacher that is more recent, but may not know me well?

Thanks in advance for the input.
Title: Re: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: foxnewssucks on August 17, 2004, 12:48:03 AM
Definitely not an ideal situation, but a good rec is a good rec.  If you believe that this is one of the best recs you can get then I think that you should go for it.  I think a rec from teachers that you have had multiple classes with or from later on in your college career would be better, but if you do not have a good connection with your more recent professors, then this might be your best bet for one of them.  I still need to get mine in order.  I have three people I need to ask soon and if any of them turn me down I will have to go to a professor that I had in my Freshman or Sophomore year as well.
Title: Re: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: swifty on August 17, 2004, 01:31:09 AM
Don't give up on the big class professors.  All it takes is one email, so email them all.  If you got an A, you'd be surprised how many professors will remember your name, and then maybe pull out some old tests, go through them with you, and see where your strengths lie.

If you don't hear back, what did you lose?  Also remember they may not be back until early September or whenever the Fall semester begins.

I was very much like you when I was younger, except I didn't sit in the back, I just never went, well when I did go, I sat in the back.  When I went back to school many years later, I had to get involved and ask questions to keep my self interested.  I highly recommend doing this.  The classes go by so much faster!  The professor loves it as long as it is not overdone, as we all too commonly see from the brown-nosers. 

Good luck!
Title: Re: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: foxnewssucks on August 17, 2004, 01:40:55 AM
Swifty is a Gunner!!!
Title: Re: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: pepem on August 18, 2004, 01:43:16 PM
better off getting a good rec, than no rec.  If you saw my thread from last week on this issue, I had asked a prof who knew me before going to those who's classes I did well in, and he told me he couldn't write a good one.  i have since asked a few profs who don't know me, but i got A's in their class, and they were more than happy to help.  it's all about the grades, damnit!
Title: Re: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: jayhawk on August 18, 2004, 09:57:24 PM
Thanks for the advice.  I ended up writing him back and saying I would love a recommendation from him.  I think it will help that for my other rec I am using a professor that I had in a large class and got an A in (when very few other people did) and I have him again this semester in a much smaller class.  I have already begun to suck up to him, I think I will wait a month or so before I pop the question.  So hopefully one really good rec will help make up for the so-so one.  :)
Title: Re: Letter of Recommendation
Post by: dr_draino on August 22, 2004, 07:14:52 PM
I'm sure the prof will recognize the name and may even be able to put a face to it.  As long as you supply your PS and transcript, he/she will be able to write a good letter.  I teach a large lecture course and I generally know the "back of the classers" better than they realize...on test days when they hand in their tests I usually check their tests to see who they are out of curiousity and they almost always wind up being either high-grade or low-grade. When they come by to pick up exams at the end of the semester and I know their names they're always a little surprised.  You'd be amazed at the internal dialogue profs have with themselves about this mass of faces that sits in front of them in near silence for an hour several times a week...we've gotta do something to keep from getting bored.  Nothing worse then leaving a lecture thinking "my god, I even bored myself today..."