Law School Discussion

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Lionking

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« on: January 02, 2006, 03:37:38 PM »
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One Step Ahead

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Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2006, 03:40:36 PM »
for the first letter give them at least a month.  if  they've written one for you before, 2-3 weeks.

Slow Blues

Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2006, 04:19:33 PM »
I'd say 4-5 weeks is fine, but build in a margin of about 2 weeks. Too much advance notice shouldn't get it ignored; just make you pick someone halfway responsible. Getting recos was far and away the worst part of the whole application process.

Ed

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LOR Strategy
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2006, 04:32:12 PM »
I'm curious about whether or how people developed and implemented their LOR strategies.

Few of us probably approached a professor or employer empty-handed. I suspect most of us supplied each of our letter writers with a written request for a letter and a resume/vita. However, I am curious about whether people actually guided their LOR writers even more by asking them to focus on certain attributes or topics and offering them details about how an ideal letter from them might look. Writing drafts for LOR writers is not what I'm hinting at. Developing a customized packet for each LOR writer that would attempt to limit the non-value-adding redundancy between letters, limit the ambiguity in the letters, help the letter writer learn about exactly what the applicant wants, and increase the amount of substantive information that is presented across two to four letters are more along the lines of what I am writing about.

Since these letters are part of the applicant's marketing package, and they enable people with or without prestige who know the applicant well to boast about the applicant on his or her behalf or write to specific decision makers at a law school, I think each applicant should consider developing a detailed LOR strategy and custom packets for each letter writer that seeks to get the most value out of each writer and the entire set of letters.

While I would agree that each letter should hit on the applicant's intellectual talent, the applicant's character, and, perhaps, the applicant's creativity (a big part of intelligence), there could be other concepts applicants want their letter writers to focus on as well. I would like to learn more about how others went about influencing the content of the letters written on their behalf and some of the things they asked their letter writers to focus on in addition to their intellectual fitness.

lex19

Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2006, 05:30:14 PM »
i asked my recommendors about 3 months in advance b/c of the horror stories i've heard and supplied each with a resume, transcript, ps, and why law school...although each new me outside of the classroom i wanted to make sure they were able to get an idea of what i wanted adcoms to know.....my advice to ppl is read the rec before you have lsac send it out, if you don't feel comfortable asking this then just ask for an extra "just in case copy" you'd be surprised what ppl will write, i saved myself twice by doing this and each time the person writing for me was a dean....you really never know

also lsac can be very slow in processing letters so the more time the better

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2006, 09:42:49 PM »
Everyone welcome to use this thread

What is an appropraite amount of time to give someone to write a recommendation? Obviously not at the last minute, but wouldn't too much notice get it ignored?


4-6 weeks is ideal

Ed

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Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2006, 06:14:59 AM »
How did you choose a recommender if you have taken a lot of large lecture classes and don't really know the professors?

I recommend that you ask others who have taken a course with the professor and asked for his or her letter of recommendation for some details about his or her dispositions and willingness to befriend and mentor students and write great letters of recommendation. After doing this research, you should request meetings with the professors you like and have heard good things about so you can feel them out further.   

If you would like to request a letter from a professor who has only taught you via large lectures and you did not get a lot of more intimate time with the professor, then you should work to get that intimate face time. Tell the professor you enjoyed or are enjoying his or her course and why. Refresh his or her memory about how well you did or are doing in it. Inform the professor that you admire him or her as a professor and would like to develop a more meaningful relationship. Tell him or her that you seek intellectual mentorship. And, let him or her know that you may request a letter of recommendation for law school if, in a few months, your relationship develops well. The professor will do a better job of preparing to write that letter because he or she will think about it while observing you in class or during private meetings. Additionally, he or she may go to work for you in other ways by giving you tips or talking to others about you and your goals.

How well/how long does the prof. need to know you before you ask for a rec?

At least six months.

You want the professors to be able to speak very intelligently about your intellectual fitness. Statements such as "the top 1% I have ever taught" or "one of the best UG papers I have ever read" should be argued for in letters of recommendation. The professor should be able to offer evidence about why he or she makes the type of praiseworthy statements that separate great letters of recommendationóletters that appear as though the professor has sincere and deep admiration for you and took the time to really show itófrom vanilla letters.

I suggest that you take two or more courses with the professor you would one day like to write your letter. Be sure to visit him or her during office hours frequently, and turn in many drafts of written work for feedback so you can get to know him or her as well as you can and he or she can get to know your intellectual talents very well also. If you and the professor become friends (there is no rule against students and professors becoming good friends), then he or she will go the extra mile, as a good friend would, and write a masterpiece. However, you alone cannot determine which professor will become your friend.

You can offer your friendship and give that professor good reasons to accept the offer in due time. This is not about kissing butt. It is about asking penetrating questions that show respect for the ideas of others, having and showing a sincere intellectual interest in the professor's work (read some of his or her papers or books and provide him or her with your thoughts), and having and showing a sincere interest in the professor as a person.

Slow Blues

Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2006, 06:56:47 AM »
Thanks everybody, just a few more questions

How did you choose a recommender if you have taken a lot of large lecture classes and don't really know the professors? How well/how long does the prof. need to know you before you ask for a rec?

Do senior ug grades matter? They don't really affect admission that much do they?

It's tough if you had a lot of lecture classes like I did. And then try finding a professor after being out of school for 3 years. I ended up getting an LOR from a professor in one of my advanced courses. It's basically impossible to distinguish yourself in those 100 level classes. If you're like most students, you're not going to be very familar to the professor, nor will they be familiar with you. So, having something the professor can refer to (like a paper) is really helpful. This way the professor can refer to it as hard evidence ("Leo really showed his fantastic analytical ability in his paper Black Booty"). This would have more weight than just saying "Leo was a great student". Or, if you were an even worse position, and didn't have the paper, if you can relate what you learned in the class or go into detail about some topic discussed (like Max is saying) then that will help the professor write the recommendation as well. Giving the professor some other backup material, like a resume, can also help him/her write your recommendation.

I've been out of school for some time, so I can't help you with the senior grades.

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2006, 12:34:13 PM »
Register when you register for the LSAT. It's not complicated but it is expensive.

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: Pre-law Questions
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2006, 12:41:09 PM »
Not to be like that homie, but it's on the LSAC site. I don't have time to look it up but expect to come off at least 2 bills to register for the LSAT and LSDAS.