Law School Discussion

How to ask for a recommendation?

How to ask for a recommendation?
« on: February 14, 2009, 07:32:30 PM »
I am a quiet student and don't really bother or converse with professors so I don't know my professors well.

The downside of this is of course I need to ask professors for recommendation but I really forgot how...

I don't go to professors' office hours or email them or contact them.  So my question is that I want to know if there is a checklist on getting a good recommendation from a professor?

It'd be weird to just tell them your life story or your passion in law *laughs*.  Do you just speak out in class constantly and make sure your professors know your name the first class?  How do people do this?

Thanks a lot!

from a clueless student.

Re: How to ask for a recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2009, 01:59:28 PM »
I had the same problem as you.  Pretty much all the classes I took were large lectures and I never went to office hours or anything.  For one recommendation I went to a professor from a small class where she would at least remember me and the project I did.  Aside from her, I had NO interaction with any other professor and needed a second one.  I was so nervous, but I went to a professor who didn't know me.  I picked her because her class had a lot of assignments, not just exams.  I went to her office hour, told her the classes I had taken with her, gave her a copy of my assignments from her class, my resume and an unofficial transcript.  Your personal statement would also be a good idea to give, but mine wasn't done at the time.  She was very eager and willing to write me a recommendation which surprised me.  I only talked to her for a couple of minutes, just small talk about law school and about the class of hers I took.  I have no idea what the letter ended up saying.  I'm sure it wasn't awesome, but it was good enough since I got into plenty of schools.  If you want a great recommendation then you should try to participate in class, talk to your professors sometimes, and write great papers, but if you're just looking for a decent recommendation that won't retract from your application then it doesn't matter.


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Re: How to ask for a recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 02:51:21 PM »
Dear bottledwater,

I recommend you do what Nola504 did: simply write your own letters of recommendation. Why deal with the hassle of getting them when you can whip up something super special and just forge somebody else's name to it?

For starters, I recommend something short and sweet, like:

Dear Law School,

Bottledwater would be an ideal candidate for law school because HE IS THE LAW!!!


Barack Obama.

Re: How to ask for a recommendation?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 12:15:54 PM »
That is always a tough situation.  I would recommend that you approach a professor that you particularly liked and be honest, tell them that although you did not participate as actively as you would have liked, you truly enjoyed his or her class and would be honored if they would write a recommendation on your behalf.  The worst thing they can say is no.  Most professors get questions like this all the time so it is not something they are not expecting.  It would certainly be helpful if you could provide them with a resume or writing sample to remind them of your work.  You can also mention, if applicable, how interested you are in research or other writing the professor is doing.  And, if the professor attending the school you are applying to or has any other connection, they might be honestly thrilled to help.

Don't take shortcuts when it comes to recommendations though - you don't want to start off your legal career on a bad foot before it has even begun.  Best of luck!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant |