Law School Discussion

Recommendation for other purpose?

Who dat?

Recommendation for other purpose?
« on: December 18, 2005, 11:03:33 AM »
Two years ago I was planning on going to graduate school in economics so I had a professor write me a letter of recommendation for that purpose.  Now, I am planning on applying to law school and want to use that letter, but I think it might specifically mention the graduate program.  If the recommendation mentions this program, is that going to be a deal breaker for admission comittees, or might they gloss over that little portion for the more substantive parts of the recommendation?  Might it be better not to include a faculty recommendation (I graduated 2 1/2 years ago...) and instead have two work related recommendations?

Any input would be appreciated!, thanks,

Re: Recommendation for other purpose?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2005, 11:46:21 AM »
Oh dear, you are definitely a newbie. First off, most school require the recommendation be mailed by the person recommending you. If you go through LSDAS, they certainly require it--so, you would have to contact this professor to mail it him/herself. If you are mailing letters directly to schools, if they don't require the recommeder to be sending the letter him/herself, they do require the person to sign the recommender form--so, you'll still have to contact the professor.

Now, since you have to contact the professor already, why can't you just have him change the letter so that it says LAW SCHOOL and not GRAD SCHOOL? If you feel that everything he says in the letter applies to LS just as much as it did to grad school, just have him print out a new copy with that modification. It will take 2 seconds.

And, yes, I'm pretty sure adcomms would look very disfavorably upon a recommendation written for a completely different purpose. They will either see it as a mistake and disregard the rec OR, worse yet, know you can't be bothered to update your recommendation just for law school and will probably see that as proof that you don't particularly care too much about the application process. And if you don't care enough to get a proper rec, they probably won't care too much to have you at their school.

As for your prof. vs. employer question: if you only graduated 2.5 years ago, you should definitely get one recommendation from a professor. Most law school state that they prefer letters from professors unless you've been out in the work field for a long time. Since you're pretty fresh out of school but do have those 2.5 years under your belt, I'd suggest at least one prof. rec, one employer rec., and if you need any more, it probably won't matter whether prof/employer.

Who dat?

Re: Recommendation for other purpose?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2005, 02:50:17 PM »
Haha, is it the '1' post that gives it away?  Seriously though, the letter is on file at a credential service, so the LSAC *will* accept it, I just don't know whether to send it or not.  Further complicating things, the professor in question is away on sabbatical, and while I've emailed him about changing the recommendation (and finding out if economics is mentioned in the first place), I dont know if I will hear back before I need to have my apps complete, and I dont really know any other professors to contact this 'late in the game'.  Will my app still be taken seriously if I go the 2 work-related recommendation route?

Re: Recommendation for other purpose?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2005, 04:25:24 PM »
Haha, is it the '1' post that gives it away?  Seriously though, the letter is on file at a credential service, so the LSAC *will* accept it, I just don't know whether to send it or not.  Further complicating things, the professor in question is away on sabbatical, and while I've emailed him about changing the recommendation (and finding out if economics is mentioned in the first place), I dont know if I will hear back before I need to have my apps complete, and I dont really know any other professors to contact this 'late in the game'.  Will my app still be taken seriously if I go the 2 work-related recommendation route?

Oh, no, I didn't mean to imply that your application won't be taken seriously if you just have recommendations from employers. I don't think that'll be the case at all. I just meant that if you HAVE the option of a professor's recommendation, you should def. take it. But if you don't, go with work-related letters. That wouldn't be something that would be a major factor in your admittance/rejection. As long as you have recommendations, you're fine.

But I really think that if you send a letter originally written for a grad school program (and it's obvious that that's what the letter was written for) you could jeopardize your application--especially if you're a borderline candidate. I'm not an adcomm so I can't say how they'd take it, but I really think it would reflect poorly on you. It'll appear that you can't take the time to change your recommendations and law schools may react by simply deciding not to take the time on you.