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"Mature" student so who do I ask?!


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I will be applying for an MA in History at various schools. I would like to research marital property law.  I have a BA in History from 2001, and a law degree from 2004, and I have been a practicing lawyer for 10 years. I recently took an undergraduate course to bring myself back into play so I will obviously use that prof as a reference. But what about my second reference? All of these options are very dated. Options are:

 

1) law school moot court prof who is now a judge (worked with him in 2003/2004) 

2) lawyer with whom I worked for 2 summers and a school year researching and writing a 100 page report on marital property rights (from 2002-2004)

3) partner of national law firm with whom I worked for 8 months and co-authored a labour/employment text with (2008)

 

I'm at a loss!!!

 

 

 

 

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I will be applying for an MA in History at various schools. I would like to research marital property law.  I have a BA in History from 2001, and a law degree from 2004, and I have been a practicing lawyer for 10 years. I recently took an undergraduate course to bring myself back into play so I will obviously use that prof as a reference. But what about my second reference? All of these options are very dated. Options are:

 

1) law school moot court prof who is now a judge (worked with him in 2003/2004) 

2) lawyer with whom I worked for 2 summers and a school year researching and writing a 100 page report on marital property rights (from 2002-2004)

3) partner of national law firm with whom I worked for 8 months and co-authored a labour/employment text with (2008)

 

I'm at a loss!!!

 

Hi Courtenayk, 

 

I was in your shoes just last fall when I applied to doctoral programs in the humanities (BA in 2005, JD in 2009), so I can definitely relate to the journey you are about to take. :) As for selecting the LOR writer: Many applications ask that LORs be written by those who can attest to the applicant's ability to successfully engage in graduate-level academic work. Based on that criteria and just from my own experience in law school and the legal industry, I would ask (1) the law school professor. Assuming that you went to law school in the States, you've already been through graduate training once, so having your professor from that time attest your intellectual abilities would be the best. 

 

In the case that LOR writer (1) isn't available (because hey, as attorneys we always plan for contingencies, right? ;)) I'd go with the co-author with whom I published in an academic law journal, as opposed to a trade/industry publication. Again, the focus is on demonstrating your intellectual abilities to engage in graduate-level academic work. 

 

If you have any other questions about making the transition, be they general or specific, feel free to PM me and I'd be more than happy to share my own experiences. Best of luck!

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I'm a teacher, applying for educational leadership, so it may be different in my field.  I graduated from my masters program in 2007.  At this point, I figured my transcript would have to speak to my school abilities, and my LORs would have to speak about my work abilities at this point in my life.  I asked my principal (immediate supervisor), a school psychologist in my building with amazing personal/university connections, my department supervisor, and another teacher who I've worked closely with for 8 years.  In education it's expected that you've been working in the field for a number of years before applying for a doctoral program.  However when I applied to a different program a couple years ago, I was accepted using LORs similar to what I described above.  Since phd students come from field work as well, I have to believe they look at those candidates with a little bit different of a lens.

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If the OP is applying for Fall 2015 it would seem the die is cast and we have crossed the Rubicon. Or am I missing something? I don't know if you can do this, but in my case I went back to undergrad and took two years of courses leading to a certification, not just a single course. I got all four of my recommenders during that process. 

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