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Author Topic: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought  (Read 1208 times)

Bizarro Jerry

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Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« on: November 15, 2007, 09:04:15 PM »
I have a slightly different situation than the average student who is just heading out of undergrad and applying for LS and as such, I'd appreciate any feedback some of you could offer.

Background:  I am 30 years old and have a BS in Meteorology (2001), an MS in Science Education (2007), and nearly three years of teaching experience at the same public high school where I am currently employed.  I am requesting LORs from my undergrad primary adviser who I also worked with during my masters (Letter #1). He is a professor who I've had a solid, long relationship with and who knows my background, abilities, and experiences well.  Letter #2 will come from my primary thesis adviser during my Master's program.  She knows my academic ability well after putting me through the wringer with an exhausting thesis that finished strong. 

The question comes regarding the third (and potentially, 4th) letter(s).  I realize it is important to make the third letter a job-related one and non-academic, as I've been employed full time now for three years.  I have a few options on who I can seek this letter from and this is my quandry:

Option A:  From my primary supervisor (principal) during my first two years at the current job - he knows me relatively well, gave me solid evaluations, and nominated me for first year teacher of the year (which I subsequently won).  He is now at another school, thus has not been my direct supervisor for the past ~year or so but was my direct supervisor for about two years (2005-early 2007).

Option B:  My current supervisor (principal).  Upside:  He speaks very highly of me to myself and others, has placed me in a fairly high level chairmanship position, and seeks my input before that of many others in the building.  The downside:  asking him would show my hand that I'm considering leaving this current job...and I'm not 100% certain that he'd appreciate that.  I really doubt he'd reflect his frustration/disappointment in the letter, but the whole idea nags at me just a hair...  Additionally, he's only been my direct supervisor for about 4 months.

Option C:  A colleague:  A fellow science teacher who has been in education much longer than I have and has been somewhat of a mentor in these three years.  Additionally, he has some minor connections to my target university (his mother was a professor there (although not in the law school), he's from the area (I'm not), and his current wife is employed at the school (again, not in the law school).  He isn't a supervisor, but knows me well and has those connections I just cited.  This option seems a bit out of the norm, but seems as though it may also have some strengths lacking in the other options.

My target school recommends three letters and accepts up to four.

So which combination of three or four letters would provide me with the strongest application.  [I need to help overcome a GPA that is below my target's 25% and an LSAT (Dec/07) that will likely fall somewhere around 50-75%] 

[I didn't mean for this to read like a logic game or writing sample ... but hell, its just more practice for those of you cramming for the upcoming LSAT like myself ]

JMFM2011

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 11:15:28 PM »
I like options A and C.  I don't think it's hugely significant that the principal isn't your primary supervisor anymore and I think your colleague might be able to give some insight that the others won't.  Maybe don't let the current boss in on the secret just yet. :)

rabbit9198

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2007, 11:22:19 PM »
I agree that A & C are better than B, but I think if you have to choose one, you should choose A.

The reasons you give for C having "connections" just don't seem that strong; if nothing else, C would look awkward to call them out as connections in the letter...and they seem weak enough that they wouldn't be known by the adcomms going in (so they'd basically be worthless). Now, if C could give some insight into your strengths as a teacher, team player, innovativ leader etc. that A couldn't, then maybe use C anyway....if A is just giving general laudatory remarks that aren't as concrete, C could be a better option, too.

But it seems like A knows you well, can speak from a position of authority, and clearly thinks highly of you.

Good luck!
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Team Awesome

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 11:58:35 AM »
I had similar options and chose A. My former boss thinks the world of me and personally a letter coming from someone who thinksz you're great is just the best. Even though I haven't worked for her directly in a year and a half, she spoke to my strengths and maturity as a recent college grad, etc. I think it also speaks volumes that someone you don't even work directly for anymore is willing to write you a strong, qualifying LOR.

focht

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 07:03:17 PM »
I think A is definitely the best, C also if you want a fourth, and don't do B.

TurboBoy

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2007, 03:29:24 PM »
I think A is the best, then B and C.  You're going to law school one way or another, might as well tell your B boss you're quitting.  Maybe he'll even be happy for you!
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You've Got Mail

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2007, 03:48:59 PM »
have you considered asking your sister?  I think there's a precedent for that...

El_Che

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Re: Quandry regarding who to ask for LORs - Advice Sought
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2007, 04:20:12 PM »
Option A sounds like the winner