Letters of Recommendation

Posted in Law School Application on Jul 26, 2011

As I was thinking about applying to law school, I sat down to look at everything that went into the application. LSAT by itself was scary enough, that I agonized over it for a week. Soon as I came up with a game plan for that, I thought everything else would be cake. Then I saw something I hadn’t thought about since 1994: Letters of Recommendation. I was baffled.

I’m currently working for my family at the moment, so asking them for letters of recommendation would be out of question. It’s not just that it would appear too self-serving, it’s that it’s actually very self-defeating because my immediate family’s English is terrible. My sister and brother speaks English fluently, but their grammar is even more embarassing than mine. My mother can barely string an entire spoken English sentence together. It really doesn’t matter though, letters of recommendation from family is highly discouraged.

From the Steven Klein course, we were told that if you’re within two years of graduating from college, at least one of the recommendation should be from a professor . Don’t pick a professor just because the professor is impressive. Pick a professor that honestly knows you. It is better to get a well-written letter from a professor that can talk about your learning ability than a letter from the well-published professor that only knows you by your letter grade.

I’ve been out of college for over 11 years. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t anyone’s favorite student by the time I graduated anyhow. It took me a long time to figure out where to get the letters.

Then I realized, before I started working for my family, I was plenty of project leader’s/producer’s favorite. I worked very hard. I have studio head’s and producer’s number. That’s my plan.

I have other people in my situation asking where they should go. I would say to look for them at work, volunteer coordinators, or religious leader. I used to volunteer very actively, but I never answered to a certain coordinator so that would not be a viable option for me.

I would even consider asking my mountaineering course instructor if I was still in dire need of a letter. He watched me train my scrawny little 105lbs frame to carry 50+lbs up a mountain, so while he can’t say much about my prose writing skills, he understands my tenacity and drive.

In the end, it’s about finding someone that can truly say they know something positive about you and can help you shine. Don’t ask some you don’t know well no matter how impressive the person is. It’s you that needs to be impressive.


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