Dear attorney/boss . . . please recommend me. Best, Law School Dreamer. ~LOR’s Part II~

August 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm (Applying to Law School, LORs)

Hopefully my boss will leave the proofing up to me.

Hopefully my boss will leave the proofing up to me.

I mentioned my LOR requests of my academic professors in this post.  Part II focuses on my request for my letter of recommendation from my attorney/boss. . . a greater, and even more intimidating challenge.  Why?  Because he is an ATTORNEY who has been in LAW SCHOOL.  For some reason, I find that intimidating.  Its like he’s the one who “really” knows how fit for law school I am.  Plus, I know my professors love me, they keep in touch and tell me about scholarship opportunities and send me links to articles they know I will enjoy.  My relationship with my boss has always been, well, weird.  He is moody, temperamental, and cold.  I remember five years ago when I began working for him he didn’t speak to me for the first three weeks, five weeks later I’d be lucky to get a nod.  He’d just plop his dictation on my desk and walk away.  I thought for sure he hated me.  Then his old secretary who had been promoted to paralegal (a journey which I later pursued) filled me in.  She told me that odds are, he loves me and is very happy with me.  If he doesn’t like me, he’ll tell me.  Otherwise, assume that lack of words means I’m doing a good job.  Huh!?

It wasn’t actually until a year-in to my employment when he invited me and a few other attorneys, secretaries, and paralegals to his lake house for a fun day of boating that he introduced me to his folks and friends as “the best secretary he ever had.”  Huh!?

Then the next day, it was back to cold, shivery, silence.

Anyway, I provided a similar packet to my attorney/boss, who had already told me he would be happy to write a letter for me as long as I provided some guidance or examples of what to write.  I complied.  I provided a few excerpts of the book “How to Get Into the Top Law Schools” by Richard Montauk which provided examples of employer LOR’s and specifics on what employer LOR’s should address.  For instance, rather than speaking to one’s academic credentials, an employer LOR should obviously focus on work-ethic, problem solving skills, professionalism, etc.  I also provided the following:

  • Copy of a recent research memo and a few other examples of my work-product.
  • Full-length resume (again, not the shortened version for law school admissions purposes).  This is helpful for my boss, especially since he and I never had a close relationship, so that he could touch on some of my community activities, how I described my work details, etc.
  • My personal statement, marked draft.
  • Excerpts from book and example of employer LOR’s.
  • Official LSAC letter of recommendation writer form.
  • Cover letter:

Dear Iceman:

Thank you for your willingness to write a letter of recommendation for my law school applications.  As you know and can attest to, I have chosen to attend law school only after careful thought and consideration and it is my work experience which has led me to this important decision.  During my work with {name of firm} I have learned  . . . .

I hope that you will mention some of the special projects I have been involved in  . . . .

It would be helpful to law school admissions committees to know about my work ethic, professionalism, and on-the-job problem solving skills.

I am applying to {insert schools}.  So that you do not have to write a letter for each individual school, it is customary for recommenders to write one letter but to address it “Dear Admissions Committee” or “To Whom It May Concern” and omit the specific school.

As we have discussed, I am applying to law schools in just a few short weeks.  If at all possible, the letter should be submitted no later than August 20 to allow for processing time so that I may submit my applications as soon as they become available.  The letter must be sent with the accompanying LSAC form and may be either mailed to the address on the form (I have also included an addressed, stamped envelope for your convenience) or it may be faxed to the Law School Admissions Council at: (215) 504-1444.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to aid you in your letter-writing process.  Thank you again for taking the time to help me in my journey to law school.

I’ve got to admit, I am pretty nervous about my attorney/boss LOR.  Like I said, we’ve never been close, though I do know he appreciates my work ethic and over the years he has entrusted me with a multitude of tasks and seems to appreciate my work even though he’s never opened up to me.  Its just the type of person he is.  Its not personal.  But, it is unfortunate that he can’t attest to my outgoing, extroverted, friendly personality.  Well, I suppose he could since I’ve always been that way toward him just as I am to everyone, even though the exchanges were never reciprocal.  Hopefully one of my other LOR writers will weigh-in on that sort of thing.  Nevertheless, I thought it was important that I have a LOR from my employer since, after all, I would not be journeying down this path had it not been for my work experience which I weigh-in heavily in my personal statement.  It just wouldn’t make sense not to have an employer LOR.

 

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Dear Professor . . . please recommend me. . . . Best, Law School Dreamer ~LOR’s Part I~

August 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm (Applying to Law School, LORs)

All last week I assembled packets of information to provide to my letter of recommendation writers and distributed them accordingly.  I contacted my recommenders roughly two weeks ago to ask if they would be able to write a “strong letter of recommendation” for me and to arrange a time that I could drop off some materials.  This way, I could get a feel for how eager they were to write the letter for me, and so that I could give them the heads-up (I think its disrespectful to just spring this on someone).  All recommenders were grateful for me making their job easier for them and one complimented that my organization came as no surprise.

My academic letter writer packet included:

  • Copy of my transcript with classes taken with the professor highlighted.
  • Full-length resume (as opposed to the shortened one for law school admissions purposes).
  • Copy of my personal statement marked draft (to encourage the recommender to make any comments or changes deemed necessary – I figured if it was assumed to be finalized there would be less interest in offering advice).
  • Official LSAC letter of recommendation writer form which must be included with the letter when sent to LSAC.  (This form is produced by logging into the LSAC account under the credentials>LOR page.
  • Cover letter to recommender, which followed a similar form to:

Dear Esteemed Professor:

Thank you for your willingness to write a letter of recommendation for my application to law school.  I want to make it clear to law school admissions committee members that I  . . . . .

I think I stand out as an applicant by my involvement in  . . . . .

I hope you will consider mentioning my success in your {class} in which I earned an {grade} and focused my efforts on {whaever project}.

I am applying to {insert schools}.  So that you do not have to write a letter for each individual school, it is customary for recommenders to write one letter but to address it “Dear Admissions Committee” or “To Whom It May Concern” and omit the specific school.

As we have discussed, I am applying to law schools in just a few short weeks.  If at all possible, the letter should be submitted no later than August 20 to allow for processing time so that I may submit my applications as soon as they become available.  The letter must be sent with the accompanying LSAC form and may be either mailed to the address on the form (I have also included an addressed, stamped envelope for your convenience) or it may be faxed to the Law School Admissions Council at: (215) 504-1444.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at  {phone number}.  Thank you again for taking the time to help me in my journey to law school.

 

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