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Author Topic: Is it NECESSARY to get two recommendations from ACADEMIC sources?  (Read 1567 times)

The Brian

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So I've asked two professors and my boss that I interned for last summer for recs.

One professor said he would write one for me, another professor said she had to write possibly 40-60 other recommendation letters so she might not have time (she's in charge of law forum and I wasn't in law forum). My boss from my internship offered to write one for me a couple months ago and I've contacted him about it.

So essentially, I have one for sure recommendation from a professor, one very likely from my boss, and one unlikely from another professor.

The current best case scenario is that I only get one academic recommendation. Should I randomly look for a professor I took previously (that I won't know at all) for a recommendation or am I OK with only one academic recommendation?

chi2009

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Re: Is it NECESSARY to get two recommendations from ACADEMIC sources?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 05:46:56 PM »
I would contact the place you're applying to and ask if they have a preference.  I'd say it's better to have one really solid letter than a couple that are overly generalized.  It's pretty obvious when a letter is little more than a form letter, and that doesn't help you very much.  Some places really don't require more than one anyway.

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Is it NECESSARY to get two recommendations from ACADEMIC sources?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 06:33:23 PM »
I'd try to get two if you can. LSDAS lets up to 4 so if you want an employer, commanding officer of the like to write a few(and that may help) then do so but yeah try to get 2 of them as teachers.

The Brian

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Re: Is it NECESSARY to get two recommendations from ACADEMIC sources?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2010, 06:45:14 PM »
thanks for the responses.

sigh...i guess i'll have to contact random professors i did well with to get a second academic rec.


Thane Messinger

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Re: Is it NECESSARY to get two recommendations from ACADEMIC sources?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2010, 07:24:21 PM »
So I've asked two professors and my boss that I interned for last summer for recs.

One professor said he would write one for me, another professor said she had to write possibly 40-60 other recommendation letters so she might not have time (she's in charge of law forum and I wasn't in law forum). My boss from my internship offered to write one for me a couple months ago and I've contacted him about it.

So essentially, I have one for sure recommendation from a professor, one very likely from my boss, and one unlikely from another professor.

The current best case scenario is that I only get one academic recommendation. Should I randomly look for a professor I took previously (that I won't know at all) for a recommendation or am I OK with only one academic recommendation?

Necessary?  No.  Advisable? Yes.

Most committees or deans will not look too far askance at a non-law-prof recommendation, IF the other one is strong and both speak to the qualities of a stellar student.

If you can find another professor with whom you had some connection, and if the referee would consider three, you might consider "all of the above."

Crucially, however, while academic letters tend to hold more weight, what is more important still is the quality of the recommendation itself.  A strong endorsement from a senior legal practitioner is better than a luke-warm one from any professor.  (And, as you've described it, luke-warm is what you'd likely get with Prof #2.)

Thane.

The Brian

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Re: Is it NECESSARY to get two recommendations from ACADEMIC sources?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2010, 09:23:29 PM »
So I've asked two professors and my boss that I interned for last summer for recs.

One professor said he would write one for me, another professor said she had to write possibly 40-60 other recommendation letters so she might not have time (she's in charge of law forum and I wasn't in law forum). My boss from my internship offered to write one for me a couple months ago and I've contacted him about it.

So essentially, I have one for sure recommendation from a professor, one very likely from my boss, and one unlikely from another professor.

The current best case scenario is that I only get one academic recommendation. Should I randomly look for a professor I took previously (that I won't know at all) for a recommendation or am I OK with only one academic recommendation?

Necessary?  No.  Advisable? Yes.

Most committees or deans will not look too far askance at a non-law-prof recommendation, IF the other one is strong and both speak to the qualities of a stellar student.

If you can find another professor with whom you had some connection, and if the referee would consider three, you might consider "all of the above."

Crucially, however, while academic letters tend to hold more weight, what is more important still is the quality of the recommendation itself.  A strong endorsement from a senior legal practitioner is better than a luke-warm one from any professor.  (And, as you've described it, luke-warm is what you'd likely get with Prof #2.)

Thane.

thanks a lot for the thoughtful reply. i will ask another professor for a letter of recommendation, but i am fairly certain the rec from my boss will be very positive. if i can't get another professor to write one for me, i'll just gut it out with one academic letter.