Law School Discussion

LoR advice greatly needed, please.

LoR advice greatly needed, please.
« on: April 15, 2008, 07:31:49 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.


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Re: LoR advice greatly needed, please.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 09:11:31 AM »
I was ten years out of my MA program when I needed my LS LOR's.  I called the school looking for the prof who had served as my thesis advisor only to find that he'd retired.  They gave me his email and I wrote a nice note asking if he remembered me (included some details about me to job his memory) and would he be willing/ able to write a strong LOR testifying to my intellectual abilities and to the fellowship I had (of which he was an advisor).

Even though it had been ten years, he remembered me.

Give those old profesors a ring, you never know.

Also check out the book "How to get into the top law schools"   There's a great advice on getting LOR's

Re: LoR advice greatly needed, please.
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 05:55:32 PM »
I was in the same boat as you. I kept in touch with my favorite professor and he wrote a great letter for me explaining why I'd been out of school and why I had now decided to go to law school. I had a previous employer write another letter that talked about my work between undergrad and now.

Tell your LOR writers EXACTLY what you want them to say. Tell them about your situation. If you're worried about law schools' perception in your change in career, explain that in your personal statement and have your LOR writers talk about how well you'd do in law school.

I hope this helps.


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Re: LoR advice greatly needed, please.
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 06:10:59 PM »
I was 20 years out of UG, 10 out of my PhD program when I needed LoRs.  I had a very good relationship with my UG advisor, and although I hadn't spoken with him in many years, and he'd retired, he wrote me a fantastic LoR.  I also asked my grad mentor, and I expect (hope ;)) he wrote a good one as well.  I still have one left, as my dear friend, who is a very successful attorney, has yet to produce.  It's probably okay, as I'll be seeking one from an attorney with whom I'll be working this coming year.

From what I've been told, by friends who are law profs and my admission consultant, a mix of academic and work LoRs is preferable if you've been out in the work force for a while.  Thus, you probably will want to hunt down someone who remembers you from undergrad.

Re: LoR advice greatly needed, please.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2008, 11:27:59 AM »
I attached a picture with my email to an old prof. I was kind of on the fence about it but his reply said he was thinking,'man, wish I had a face to go with the name and then saw the attachment!' A strong lor followed.