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Author Topic: Question about professors of the opposite gender and LOR issues?  (Read 347 times)

daniellat

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I'm wondering if anyone else has had this issue with LORs before.  I graduated from college a few years ago, and since then, I haven't kept in touch with most of my professors.  I think part of the reason for that is, I'm female, and almost all of my professors in my major field happened to be male.  I already have a great rec from a female professor that I've kept in touch with, but I need one or two more, and I find that for me, it's harder to keep in touch with my male professors because I feel really awkward about randomly emailing them, updating them with my life, etc. the way I would with a professor who is the same gender as me.  So I was a good student, did well in their classes, etc., but I haven't kept in touch with any of my male professors since graduation, and now I need to ask them for LORs but feel guilty about not having kept in touch.  Has anyone else had a situation like this? 

Thanks in advance for any advice. 

bigs5068

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Re: Question about professors of the opposite gender and LOR issues?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 11:19:48 PM »
If the professor remembers you even slightly they are likely to give you a recommendation. It might not be a stellar one, but it looks good for undergraduate schools have you succeed and get into law school etc. I was not to shy about e-mailing old professors that I had not talked to you in a few years and they wrote me solid recommendations. The reality is your LOR' make up about 1% if not less of any admissions decision. It is all about numbers and you just need to produce 2 to 4 recommendations that are coherently written from someone respectable i.e. a professor you have not talked to in 3 years. However, if you are applying to an ELITE school i.e. Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc then the standards are higher and you should put in a lot of effort to getting solid LOR's. If you are just trying for low tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 etc then just e-mail them and get it over with. Even if it is not an amazing recommendation the odds are the committee will not look at it to deeply. U.S. News does not care about quality of applicant's LOR"s so why should law schools. Sadly that is the system that guides everything for the non-elite schools.

MeganEW

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Re: Question about professors of the opposite gender and LOR issues?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 09:52:21 AM »
I find the gender issue to be a little silly, but that aside, since you already have one great academic LOR and have been out of school for a while, why not ask an employer?  It's better to have a well-written very personalized LOR from an employer than a generic LOR from a professor (and even though I think they'll remember you, if you haven't kept in touch, the letter will likely be generic).  Many schools do require one academic LOR, but after that, it can be nice to add a different perspective.
The only school I know of that requires two academic LORs is Yale.  If you're applying to Yale, suck it up and ask your favorite former male professor.  Otherwise, get a stellar letter from someone in your post-college life.

Good luck!
Acceptances: UIUC, IUB, Fordham, W&L, OSU
WL: Notre Dame
Rejections: NYU, Northwestern

daniellat

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Re: Question about professors of the opposite gender and LOR issues?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 10:10:34 AM »
Thank you so much everyone!  :)  Seems I'm the only one who felt like gender was an issue, I guess I just suck at keeping in touch with people. 

Quote from: bigs5068
However, if you are applying to an ELITE school i.e. Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc then the standards are higher and you should put in a lot of effort to getting solid LOR's.


I'm definitely not going to any of those, but how would you feel about lower half of the T14?  Would an unexceptional LOR really affect things at those places?  I guess maybe I could go back to school and take a few more classes if the LOR is that important?   

Quote from: Tossy
I understand feeling awkward about approaching an old professor for a recommendation, but the fact is that if you need it, it must be done.


Yes, definitely awkward, lol!   Glad to know my situation is fairly commonplace.

Quote from: MeganEW
I find the gender issue to be a little silly, but that aside, since you already have one great academic LOR and have been out of school for a while, why not ask an employer? 


I thought about it, but my company is going through some tough times, and I'm kind of scared about telling anyone I want to leave and go to law school, especially when I don't know whether I can get in or not.