LOR Tips for Non-Traditional Applicants
Pete left me this comment and I wanted to answer his question so more people could benefit from the response:
“Do you have any tips for older folks (30+) who are still working their way through their undergrad degrees on applying to law school? As an evening student with a full-time job, I don’t have the same opportunity to build relationships through “face time” with my professors that more “traditional” students have. (Usually everyone’s ready to go when class ends at 10PM, the professor included!) I’m sure all hope is not lost, but what alternatives are there?”
First of all, understand that your efforts to get your degree are well appreciated by law schools. They understand that it takes self-financing and additional motivation and hard work to complete a degree while working full time.
Also, a lot of traditional college students suffer from the same lack of “face time” with faculty. It’s not just you. You need to think about what else you bring to the table – is there someone from work? A supervisor, a client, a vendor who can speak to your accomplishments and abilities? A community service organization that you’ve served? Also, remember it’s not too late to get to know a professor. If you did well in a class, call up that professor and see if he/she can meet you for coffee and get to know you and whether he/she would be willing to write a letter on your behalf based on your classroom performance.
Your situation is not unique, and law schools are prepared for it. It should help to know that Letters of Rec are the least important area of your application (unless they are terrible, then you are in trouble)….
P.S. The comment below is from a former client, currently attending U. of Florida School of Law. I solicited his input because it sounds like he and Pete are/were in similar circumstances.