Letters of recommendation


Good day,

I am looking into applying to some universities for LLMs and all of the requirements seem pretty doable. The only problem is that many ask for letters of recommendations.
I am not a bad student by any means, but I have mostly kept to myself during my studies so I have no personal relationship with any of my teachers. This is also because the method where I am from is very individualistic and impersonal, so you do not get a lot of one-on-one time with your teacher. There just isn't a lot of class involvement, it is often just a straight up lecture.

So what do you guys recommend me to do? Just ask some of the top names at my university and hope for the best? Go to the teachers where I obtained my highest grades and hope they somewhat remember me? Or don't bother asking the professors at all?

Good day,

I am looking into applying to some universities for LLMs and all of the requirements seem pretty doable. The only problem is that many ask for letters of recommendations.
I am not a bad student by any means, but I have mostly kept to myself during my studies so I have no personal relationship with any of my teachers. This is also because the method where I am from is very individualistic and impersonal, so you do not get a lot of one-on-one time with your teacher. There just isn't a lot of class involvement, it is often just a straight up lecture.

So what do you guys recommend me to do? Just ask some of the top names at my university and hope for the best? Go to the teachers where I obtained my highest grades and hope they somewhat remember me? Or don't bother asking the professors at all?
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LLME

I recommend to ask the teachers who gave you good grades because there is a chance they will remember you as a good student. I have discussed this with other applicants admitted to top schools and their answer has always been to get a recommendation letter from someone who can personally and especifically describe why you are good. Asking a top name, who doesnt know you, will not have that effect and the letter will probably just be a standard-form letter used, and the Universities can easily detect this. Just go to your teachers and explain them what studies you want to pursue and ask them to help you out with a recommendation letter. Thats my advice

I recommend to ask the teachers who gave you good grades because there is a chance they will remember you as a good student. I have discussed this with other applicants admitted to top schools and their answer has always been to get a recommendation letter from someone who can personally and especifically describe why you are good. Asking a top name, who doesnt know you, will not have that effect and the letter will probably just be a standard-form letter used, and the Universities can easily detect this. Just go to your teachers and explain them what studies you want to pursue and ask them to help you out with a recommendation letter. Thats my advice
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So I did as you said and e-mailed three professors to set up a meeting. One replied to me that he will meet with me later this week, one still has to reply, and the last one, who is probably the most respected professor at our school told me that "I do have time for a meeting, but that will be unnecessary. Just write me a sample letter with everything in it that you think is relevant".
I am a bit confused, is he asking me to write the letter for him and he'll just change some things as he sees fit?

So I did as you said and e-mailed three professors to set up a meeting. One replied to me that he will meet with me later this week, one still has to reply, and the last one, who is probably the most respected professor at our school told me that "I do have time for a meeting, but that will be unnecessary. Just write me a sample letter with everything in it that you think is relevant".
I am a bit confused, is he asking me to write the letter for him and he'll just change some things as he sees fit?
quote
LLME

Yes thats probably what he will do. Just try to include everything about youself that you wish them to know. It is common for law professors to ask for a sample instead of taking thier own time to write it. It sucks i know but thats better than nothing. At least now you have 3 professors who are willing to recommend you.

Yes thats probably what he will do. Just try to include everything about youself that you wish them to know. It is common for law professors to ask for a sample instead of taking thier own time to write it. It sucks i know but thats better than nothing. At least now you have 3 professors who are willing to recommend you.
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Ah okay. For a second I was worried he would just use my letter, sign it and ship it out. Every law school would be like "Dude...you clearly wrote this yourself..." But of course a respectable law profesor wouldn't do that. Should have realized that.

Thanks again anyway, everything's way more clear now.

Ah okay. For a second I was worried he would just use my letter, sign it and ship it out. Every law school would be like "Dude...you clearly wrote this yourself..." But of course a respectable law profesor wouldn't do that. Should have realized that.

Thanks again anyway, everything's way more clear now.
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Inactive User

I Was in the same position than you, at first I really didn't know who to ask...
Try to check cv's of your teachers and look if any if them did LLM. If one did a LLM in an university you are applying this may be boosting your chance, he could rely on is own experience to recommend you.
Also, this has already been said but it's important, go to teacher with who you got nice grades.
For example I did a very good paper based work for which I received the best grades of my group. Plus it was in the field I was interested in for the LLM. With such information the teacher, even though he didn't really know me personally, couldn't say no to a recommendation letter ^^
Don't hesitate to ask multiple teachers ( first because some wont want for few reasons, some other wont reply or will be to busy or too delayed)
The more you contact them, the more chances you have to get your recommendation letters.
And if they agree to give it to you before sending it to the universities you might even have the luxury luck of choosing which one you'll be sending ;-)

I Was in the same position than you, at first I really didn't know who to ask...
Try to check cv's of your teachers and look if any if them did LLM. If one did a LLM in an university you are applying this may be boosting your chance, he could rely on is own experience to recommend you.
Also, this has already been said but it's important, go to teacher with who you got nice grades.
For example I did a very good paper based work for which I received the best grades of my group. Plus it was in the field I was interested in for the LLM. With such information the teacher, even though he didn't really know me personally, couldn't say no to a recommendation letter ^^
Don't hesitate to ask multiple teachers ( first because some wont want for few reasons, some other wont reply or will be to busy or too delayed)
The more you contact them, the more chances you have to get your recommendation letters.
And if they agree to give it to you before sending it to the universities you might even have the luxury luck of choosing which one you'll be sending ;-)
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Thanks bondzz for your reply :)

I actually have two more questions regarding developments:
1) That one professor who asked me to write a sample letter, does this mean I just need to write him a letter with what I accomplished in school so far, why I want to go to law school and wy I would be such a good fit? Or is he actually asking me to write a letter which could be sent to law school immediately, so that I am writing a letter from his perspective?
Also, he asked me for a picture, but I have no real professional pictures where I am suited up or anything. Is it okay that I just send him a normal profile picture?

2) My third teacher replied, and he answered the way I thought the others would reply with "Well, I can, but I don't actually know you, so that is a bit of a problem.So I can just write a letter regarding the course you took and how that would benefit a law school career." But he told me I could still come to his office.Should I take him up on his offer and see if I can get a better letter out of it? Or should I just forget about this one as it might not add very much?

Thanks bondzz for your reply :)

I actually have two more questions regarding developments:
1) That one professor who asked me to write a sample letter, does this mean I just need to write him a letter with what I accomplished in school so far, why I want to go to law school and wy I would be such a good fit? Or is he actually asking me to write a letter which could be sent to law school immediately, so that I am writing a letter from his perspective?
Also, he asked me for a picture, but I have no real professional pictures where I am suited up or anything. Is it okay that I just send him a normal profile picture?

2) My third teacher replied, and he answered the way I thought the others would reply with "Well, I can, but I don't actually know you, so that is a bit of a problem.So I can just write a letter regarding the course you took and how that would benefit a law school career." But he told me I could still come to his office.Should I take him up on his offer and see if I can get a better letter out of it? Or should I just forget about this one as it might not add very much?
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Inactive User

1) why dont you ask him what he really want you to do? There's no shame in asking this to avoid misunderstandings...
Come on, do some extra effort for a nice picture :D
Put a nice shirt, go in front of a white wall and ask a friemd to take 10 pictures. I'm sure of of them will be good enough !

2) well one of my teacher told me the same but it still worth something. Plus, I remember he wrote " xxx looked really ambitious and motivated in order to complete such LLM blabla "
Like I said, it's still better to have a +1 letter than nothing at all don't you think ? ;-)
Maybe he will write nice things about you, especially if you managed to have good marks in his class. So go for it and show him you are motivated!

1) why dont you ask him what he really want you to do? There's no shame in asking this to avoid misunderstandings...
Come on, do some extra effort for a nice picture :D
Put a nice shirt, go in front of a white wall and ask a friemd to take 10 pictures. I'm sure of of them will be good enough !

2) well one of my teacher told me the same but it still worth something. Plus, I remember he wrote " xxx looked really ambitious and motivated in order to complete such LLM blabla "
Like I said, it's still better to have a +1 letter than nothing at all don't you think ? ;-)
Maybe he will write nice things about you, especially if you managed to have good marks in his class. So go for it and show him you are motivated!
quote

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