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Author Topic: Packets for Recommenders  (Read 369 times)

cherries

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Packets for Recommenders
« on: July 15, 2008, 03:00:49 PM »
My main question is what did (or will) you put in the packets of information that you gave your recommenders?

I plan to give them my resume, a cover letter explaining where and why I'll be applying to law school, any previous work I've done for them, and a list of the qualities that my potential law schools look for in an applicant.  A couple of my law school admissions books have passages written for recommenders.  Is it a good or bad Idea to include these?  I ask because including these seems a bit presumptuous to me.

I know that recommendations aren't worth as much as one's GPA and LSAT, but I would still like to try to make them as helpful as possible (as anyone would).  So, thank you for any and all help!
Columbia Law School, Class of 2012!

russhey

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Re: Packets for Recommenders
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 03:05:52 PM »
I'm in kind of the same boat as you, because I'm just now starting to think about who I should get as my recommenders.  I would think providing them with your resume, reason for law school, etc... would be helpful.  As for the pages written for recommenders, I would probably phone or email them in advance and ask them if they would find it helpful to see this.
GPA: 2.1, LSAT: 174

PaleForce

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Re: Packets for Recommenders
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 04:10:23 PM »
My main question is what did (or will) you put in the packets of information that you gave your recommenders?

I plan to give them my resume, a cover letter explaining where and why I'll be applying to law school, any previous work I've done for them, and a list of the qualities that my potential law schools look for in an applicant.  A couple of my law school admissions books have passages written for recommenders.  Is it a good or bad Idea to include these?  I ask because including these seems a bit presumptuous to me.

I know that recommendations aren't worth as much as one's GPA and LSAT, but I would still like to try to make them as helpful as possible (as anyone would).  So, thank you for any and all help!

Just out of curiosity, what do these passages say? 

I think if you give your recommenders what you're planning to and have a sit down with them to talk about it a little more, you should be fine- as long as they like you!  Keep in mind that professors write LORs all the time.  That's not to say that they won't need any direction on it, but you're already kind of letting them know what you want with the packet.  I didn't hand mine anything formal, I just sat down and chatted with them.  But, both of them knew me pretty well (one even offered to write me a LOR before I asked), so I'm confident that the letters will speak to my abilities.

California_RedRaider

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Re: Packets for Recommenders
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 04:27:07 PM »
This is what I included in my packet. It was pretty simple.

1) Letter asking for the letter of recommendation and almost specifically the type of letter I would like from them (i.e. the topic i would like them to address).

2) Quick Facts Sheet: Some fast facts that they can pull up about me. Achievements, Experience, etc. And some big projects that I did for their class, or for the university to help jog their memory.

3) Short: double-spaced page explanaton of my career goals.

4) Extended Resume

5/6) LSAC Recommendation Form and Stamped/Addressed Envelop.

I e-mailed my recommenders asking for LOR than I went in and I spoke to them. All my people wanted to know almost exactly what I wanted to have on the LOR. (I made sure to be prepared for that). It was pretty chill. We just chatted about life and stuff, like half an hour to an hour a piece and maybe 5 minutes of it had anything to do with the recommendation.

Be relaxed and trust that your recommender knows what's up. That's why it is important to pick ones that know you well and like you. :)


meggo

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Re: Packets for Recommenders
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 04:39:06 PM »
Yeah, I didn't prepare a packet per se but I have done something some what similar. Since it's summer, I emailed the people I thought could write a good LOR for me and who I knew on a personal level asking them if you would write a LOR for me but also giving them ample opportunity to decline (ie I understand you are very busy so if you do not have the time or for any reason whatsoever would prefer not to write a recommendation for me, I completely understand, etc).

My first prof emailed back right away asking for specifics to include (ie the grade I achieved in her class, the topic of my paper, and what I got in another (much larger) class that she also taught in since she was out of the country and didn't have access to her files) and asking if there was anything I would like her to cover. I needed some time (prob. should have done this before but it's a learning process) about what I wanted each letter to add to my profile, and so I emailed her back giving her the info, and giving her an idea of what I'd like her to focus on, as well as what has interested me about law (and particularly how it was similar to the class she taught).  This profi I know the most well, since the main class of her's that I was in was a full year class comprised of about 10 people.

The second prof emailed me back saying he would be more than happy to write a letter for me and asked when would be a good time to meet up and to bring anything else I was sending in with my application to make sure it all gelled.

The third prof emailed me and said he'd be more than happy to do a LOR, just tell him what to include. He's fairly new to being a prof I think (just got his doctorate) so when I meet up with him (or via email depending) I would probably include something like you've mentioned in terms of sample LOR's.

For all three, I felt I knew them personally (ie I could say 'hey it's 'meg' from such and such class') though if it was any time other than the summer I would have visited them during office hours and asked. When I follow up with the other two profs (the one in person, the other either in person or via email) I will give them a copy of my CV that I will be attaching, what I plan on focusing on in my applications, and perhaps what they could highlight to coincide with that.

All the prof's I've asked have been more than accomodating and very open to including a bunch of stuff and highlighting whatever I want them to. I wouldn't send them a packet right away since that seems presumptuous, but either asking them via email (over the summer) or in person, and then following that up with a packet. Like the post above, I'll also give them all a stamped envelope along with the form that needs to be attached. And once all my LOR's have been received (or sometime in Oct) I will also send them a thank-you note with a small giftcard inside. That's the plan anyway