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Non-Traditional Students / LoR advice greatly needed, please.
« on: April 15, 2008, 10:31:49 AM »
Lately I have been trying to figure out how to get four letters of recommendation and it is starting to worry me a bit.  My basic situation can be found here:,103511.0/topicseen.html

Essentially, I'm an engineer in my late 20's looking to start a new profession in law.  I took an off year last year -- for a variety of reasons -- and have decided that law school is definitely the direction I want to take.  However, given my situation, I'm not sure who to ask to write me some strong letters of recommendation.  So far, the only obvious candidate has been my boss from my previous engineering position in Chicago.  I really did not make a strong effort at keeping in touch with him but we left on very good terms and I would think that he would be a strong LoR candidate.  Outside of that, I'm not sure who else to ask though.  I'm five years out of college so should I ask some of my old engineering professors?  I'm not even sure if they would remember me so would they be good LoR candidates?

Who are you asking to write your LoRs?  Did you suggest that they write specific things about you?  How would you suggest I approach this subject with my previous engineering manager, or professors, that might view law school as a 'weird' direction in which to head after having spent the considerable time and effort, and money, that I did to build my engineering career?

Any comments and suggestions are appreciated as I am stressing over this quite a bit.

I just joined the site and already I have found a lot of useful information!  This place is great! 

Let me introduce myself:

I am a structural engineer and about 28 years of age.  I have a bachelors and masters degree in civil engineering from a top school in that field and carried about a 3.4ish average.  For the past five years was a bridge design engineer for a firm in Chicago.

Recently I decided to take an off year and evaluate my life and career.  Engineering was not as fulfilling or as challenging as I had hoped and I wasn't happy with the direction my life was headed.  During this time off I moved out of northern Illinois and started researching what I would like to do next.  I decided I would still like to be involved in structural engineering on some level, contractual or volunteer, but that the law is where my true interest lies.

What I'm hoping I can get from you guys, and gals, who are further along in this process is any general advice on things you would have done differently or obstacles you had to navigate during the LSAT or when applying to law school?  Any advice from practicing lawyers would be helpful as well.  Any specific advice from Engineers/Lawyers would be doubly-helpful!

Also, does anyone know of a good source of information on how to best go about applying for law schools?  Do you take the LSAT first?  Or do you sort of take the LSAT and apply at the same time?  When, if I were starting my preparations today, could I expect to be starting law school?

I have a ton more questions but I'm sure there are some posts that already answer them so I'll search around a bit more first.

In case you're interested, my short term goals are to get accepted to University of Chicago and University of Virginia.  I have one more tier one school in mind that is listed in the USN top 30.  Does anyone have any advice on T2 etc. schools?  Long term, I would like to practice patent or environmental law but several other areas interest me as well and so this is in no way written in stone; though I have read that engineers tend to get pushed into patent law.

Anyway, nice to meet you all and thanks in advance for any advice you may have for me!

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