Law School Discussion

LOR from profs vs. employers

LOR from profs vs. employers
« on: April 17, 2005, 10:44:46 PM »
I'm contemplating requesting a LOR from one professor who happens to be the department chair of my major. I've done very well in the class so I suspect I will get a good LOR out of him.

I'm not sure which way I should go for an additional LOR. On one hand I could get another LOR from an additional instructor, on the other I could talk to my supervisor at work about giving me an LOR. She already knows when I'm leaving the company to go to law school and understands. She is very encouraging towards me. I've worked under her for the past 4 years and she considers me one of the hardest working employees in my department. I know she has good writing skills, so that's not an issue.

I'm looking for advice on this. My grades early on in college are terrible, so I suspect 2 LORs from profs might show that I've really improved in school. Alternatively, I think it might help to show how committed and hard working I have been at my job while I was screwing up early in college.

Which LOR would be more beneficial for my grade issue? Are employer LORs valuable?

ilsox7

Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2005, 10:51:55 PM »
Easy solution.  Get one from each.  Also, do your profs know you very well personally?  Just doing well in a class won't make the LOR anything special.  Pick profs who have known your for a few years on both an academic and personal level.

Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2005, 12:37:07 PM »
Agreed. Most law schools accept 3 letters of rec, and you are best served by recommenders who know your work and abilities well. Make sure your employer talks about things like your writing ability and analytical ability and any projects you have initiated on your own. There are law school admissions advisor books at bookstores or the library that tell you what letter of rec content would best serve you. I would advise you to include those categories in your packet that you give to your recommenders. One book I've seen even shows a sample letter to professors/recommenders.

jacy85

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Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005, 01:01:47 PM »
I agree.  3 LORs are best, the ideal being 2 academic and 1 work related.

If a school absolutely only takes 2, I think you should send the academic ones, ESPECIALLY if you're still in school.  You are applying to a rigorous academic program, and that's the most important aspect of your application

InVinoVeritas

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Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2005, 04:43:10 PM »
use whichever recommendations are the best ones.  i think it's better to use an excellent LOR from an employer than a mediocre LOR from a prof.  of course, the LOR from your employer must discuss your intellectual abilities both in terms of the exact things you've done, as well as with respect to the potential your employer believes you have.  (obviously this assessment has to be made with an eye toward law school and its specific demands.)  in the end, a warm and detailed LOR from an employer that does these things, as well as talks about you as a person, is much better than a short, vague, and generic LOR from an academic source.

bruin

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Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2005, 02:14:20 AM »
I agree with the earlier posters; use all 3. If you are only allowed 2, then use both academic LOR's. Unless you are a few years out of schoool, you are expected to have 2 academic LOR's.

jacy85

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Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2005, 07:51:11 AM »
Are you still in school?  If so, a 3rd academic could be fine, as many people dont' work any significant jobs during school, just min. wage and work study stuff.

If you have any student group advisors or participate in any sports, a coach or something might be better just for a slightly different perspective.  But otherwise, 3 good academic LORs I think would be ok.

voce

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Re: LOR from profs vs. employers
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2005, 12:29:00 PM »
I've been out of school for five years and used two recommendation letters--one from a prof with whom I stay in contact and one from my boss. This seemed to work well. Good luck!