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Author Topic: How to ask for a letter of rec?  (Read 10085 times)

Anti_Ivy

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2004, 10:58:54 AM »
I think that there is a lot of good advice to be found in the above posts.  1L2004 mentioned some items that I hadn't considered offering my recommender's.  I will apply to law school either this fall, or, for sure, the next fall.  I will get at least three LOR's for all of my law school apps.  However, I will apply to Yale and, as I am just 'average,' I will send more recommendations than the two required.  I have some good extracurricular, essays, etc, but the LOR's could give me an extra push.  I can get some okay LOR's from almost every professor I have had.  I don't think it could hurt to have a few extra people say I have potential, am a hard-worker, etc., but I want to make sure. 

With the info I provided above, I would like to ask a question to be answered by anyone who thinks that s/he has some insight to offer.  Would it hurt me to have five (or more) LOR's (sent directly to Yale) from prof's who know only the info I'd provide and the grade they gave me?  I just want to know if Yale would frown upon extra LOR's from prof's who do not have personal relationships with me.  I really don’t think the school’s admissions officers would (frown upon extra LOR's), since most people don’t have a close relationship with every recommender.

Also, my primary recommender's will be people I have interned for (two: one a judge, the other a defense attorney) and a political science/law professor/pre-law advisor at my school whom I have come to pester (in an innocent, friendly manner).

Enzyme

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2004, 11:26:15 AM »
Anti_Ivy,

I have read somewhere that you shouldnt send more than is aksed for. You may want to ask around, but think about it, if you have five general recommendations, how much will that show your talents that just doing the required two from good people. Maybe more recs can help, but I am positive that I read in a book like Law School Confidential or something not to send more than is asked (sorry cant remember the book, have read/skimmed too many)

Good luck

I think that there is a lot of good advice to be found in the above posts.  1L2004 mentioned some items that I hadn't considered offering my recommender's.  I will apply to law school either this fall, or, for sure, the next fall.  I will get at least three LOR's for all of my law school apps.  However, I will apply to Yale and, as I am just 'average,' I will send more recommendations than the two required.  I have some good extracurricular, essays, etc, but the LOR's could give me an extra push.  I can get some okay LOR's from almost every professor I have had.  I don't think it could hurt to have a few extra people say I have potential, am a hard-worker, etc., but I want to make sure. 

With the info I provided above, I would like to ask a question to be answered by anyone who thinks that s/he has some insight to offer.  Would it hurt me to have five LOR's (sent directly to Yale) from prof's who know only the info I'd provide and the grade they gave me?  I just want to know if Yale would frown upon extra LOR's from prof's who do not have personal relationships with me.  I really don’t think the school’s admissions officers would (frown upon extra LOR's), since most people don’t have a close relationship with every recommender.

Also, my primary recommender's will be people (two: one a judge, the other a defense attorney) I have interned for and a political science/law professor/pre-law advisor at my school whom I have come to pester (in an innocent, friendly manner).

Anti_Ivy

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2004, 11:43:16 AM »
Anti_Ivy,

I have read somewhere that you shouldnt send more than is aksed for. You may want to ask around, but think about it, if you have five general recommendations, how much will that show your talents that just doing the required two from good people. Maybe more recs can help, but I am positive that I read in a book like Law School Confidential or something not to send more than is asked (sorry cant remember the book, have read/skimmed too many)

Good luck

That's what I thought, too.  At least until I read in Yale's J.D. Application Brochure that said:

"Letters of recommendation, when at all possible, should be from professors who know your academic performance and have personally had a chance to evaluate significant aspects of your academic work. A well thought-out, concise, personal, and specific recommendation will be most helpful. Additional recommendations are welcome, but only two are expected and required. Your file will be deemed complete when two letters have arrived. Letters from college deans, chaplains, summer employers and colleagues may be helpful, although we strongly prefer letters from at least two faculty members under whom you have studied. You are welcome to submit your letters through the LSAC letter of recommendation service, which is included as a part of your LSDAS subscription. Please see the LSDAS registration booklet for instructions for using this service. Some recommenders may wish to write specifically about the applicant’s qualifications for study at Yale Law School rather than for the study of law in general. Such letters are quite welcome and should be sent directly to Yale; they should not be sent through the LSAC service. If you have your letters sent directly to Yale, give one of the attached forms to each person you ask to write a recommendation. Duplicate the form if you need more than two. If you do not sign the waiver, you should make it clear to those whom you ask to write recommendations that the letters will be available for your inspection. If you wish, and if your recommenders or credential service agree, you may submit letters of recommendation with your application materials. If you choose this method, please ask your recommenders (or an authorized person at your credential service) to place the letter in an envelope, seal it, sign it across the seal, and return it to you. Please leave the letters sealed."

Is it customary to say, "Additional recommendations are welcome," or does it mean that Yale's law school admissions officers welcome additional recommendations?

jgomez

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2004, 02:15:36 PM »
well, in regards to LSAC, i sent in 4 and they only take 3.  so i had to make one inactive, or they will make, anything after the 3rd, inactive. 

Anti_Ivy

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2004, 02:25:38 PM »
I plan to send the extra recommendations directly to Yale.  I just want to make sure I won't lose points for sending 7+ LOR's.  I might be able to get an extra five solid recommenders, as well as a few people who can comment only on my potential/classroom success (which is basically what both my transcript and resume prove).

well, in regards to LSAC, i sent in 4 and they only take 3.  so i had to make one inactive, or they will make, anything after the 3rd, inactive.

apartment

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2004, 07:29:46 PM »
Anti,

  I think 7 is definitely overkill. In fact, I think greater than 3 is overkill unless every one of them is glowing and fabulous and reveal something about you that the other LORs do not.  LORs are just a supplement to you application.  Yes, at Yale they look pretty hard at these extras but more likely having a killer resume, personal statement, and whatever other x factor is much more important.  Also, if I saw 7+ LORs and a single one of them wasn't terrific, I would question your judgement and faith in your own ability.  You should know your recommenders well enough to be able to decide who will write something worthwhile.  If you don't or you have doubts, than you need to rethink who it is that is writing your recommendation.  Yale doesn't need to take people who would hedge their bets on an application.  Go all out, don't let anything subpar sneak into your app.  That means no mediocre LORs.

Anti_Ivy

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2004, 07:51:55 PM »
Actually, I have, at least, four recommenders who can write really good recommendations.  I could get an extra 7+ LOR's if I need a few more solid ones.  None would be simply mediocre, however not all of the extra LOR's would be fantastic.  I have a pretty nice resume, extracurriculars, GPA that's average (for Yale), but I want to stand out, in a good way. 

Does everyone think that sending extra (at least three, and possibly more than five) recommendations will hurt my chances?  I want to send them all with my application.  Would it be more appropriate to wait to send the extra LOR’s until I were waitlisted (if I were)?

xrayspec

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2004, 08:01:15 PM »
Follow the instructions. Every LOR past the 2nd one should have something entirely different to say, otherwise at best you're wasting the adcom's time, at worst you're confusing them.

The advice to DEMAND a LOR from a professor is bad. You only get 2-3 LORs most places. If those have been coerced / strongarmed, how good do you think they'll be? "Joey is in my class. He has done the required work and performed adequately. Best regards...."

Respect the fact that your professor may have a good reason for not wanting to recommend you.

Anti_Ivy

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2004, 08:11:58 PM »
So, I had 5 LOR's that speak about my abilities, qualifications, work ethic, etc., are okay as long as they all emphasize on a different quality?  What about a few more that talk about my contributions in the class/work place?  How could LOR's claiming that I'm a wonderful student/employee/intern hurt me, or, even, confuse the admissions officers? 

As far as the advice goes, I never said all posts contained ‘words of wisdom.’  After all, why would I even “DEMAND a LOR from a professor?”  I have more than enough recommenders.  I haven't had anyone turn me down.  I even had one professor offer to right me a recommendation after another professor told him I was planning on applying to law school.  So, should I turn down some recommenders, or would it be okay to send extra LOR's to Yale?



Follow the instructions. Every LOR past the 2nd one should have something entirely different to say, otherwise at best you're wasting the adcom's time, at worst you're confusing them.

The advice to DEMAND a LOR from a professor is bad. You only get 2-3 LORs most places. If those have been coerced / strongarmed, how good do you think they'll be? "Joey is in my class. He has done the required work and performed adequately. Best regards...."

Respect the fact that your professor may have a good reason for not wanting to recommend you.

apartment

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Re: How to ask for a letter of rec?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2004, 08:52:43 PM »
Anti, you are obviously very bright but you seem to be ignoring the advice and trying to defend your right to send multiple LORs.

If you want to send 7+, it is your app, no one is stopping you.  But read carefully:  EVERYONE who applies to Yale is going to have good LORs.  EVERYONE who applies to law school anywhere will have good LORs.  They're letters of RECOMMENDATION.  They're supposed to be good.


Not every letter has to emphasize a different quality but each one should contribute *something* to the big picture.  A good recommender will describe the qualities they see in you that would make you a good law school candidate.  If those qualities are intelligence, character, leadership qualities, etc. then all your letters could mention one, two, or several of those characteristics.  Once you have 3 letters that tell the ad com that you are intellgent, of good character, and a good leader, what will 4 more letters add to that?  That you are also popular?  "Look I have 7 professors that love me!  Take me, the other applicants only had four."

Keeping in mind the part about everyone having great LORs, trying to compete in that regard by sheer number of recommendations is stupid.  You say you have four profs who will write you great recommendations, then send in those four and no more.