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Emailing a Prof for a Rec Letter after a Few Years?

kvitka22kvitka22 Alum Member
edited August 2021 in Law School Admissions 257 karma

It's been a few years since I graduated and I want to reach out to my professors for recommendation letters and I was wondering if anyone has any good email templates for people who have been out of school for a while. I would love to schedule a chat with them mostly because I want to touch base with them, let them know what I've been up to since graduating, and feel like that's done better over a call instead of email. However, I want to come off sensitive of their time and make sure they know I am doing this in hopes of receiving a rec letter. When I go to write the email I feel awkward because I don't even know if they remember me. One already agreed to write me a rec letter a few years ago but I have no idea if he remembers. Any tips would be appreciated!


  • tahurrrrrtahurrrrr Alum Member
    1092 karma

    If you're worried about if they remember you or not, just attach a picture or 2 of things you've been up to since graduation (job, travel, volunteer work, etc). Give a brief summary of what you've been up to, then at the end of the email, mention that you're applying to law school, but don't ask for a recommendation letter yet.

    When they respond, either they'll outright offer to do it without you asking directly, or they'll be happy to hear from you and when you respond to their response you can ask.

  • andrew.rsnandrew.rsn Alum Member
    831 karma

    @kvitka22 I totally understand your concern! I have been out of undergrad for 6 years. I ended up emailing a poetry/writing professor I had my senior year. I essentially reintroduced myself - said what class I took (ENG 219) and in what year, and expressed the fond memories I had of her class. then I spent a sentence catching her up on what I've been up to over the last 6 years and leading to my saying the reason for my email (applying to law school and would love a recommendation letter from her) I think it's important to note that you would completely understand if they don't feel they could write you a strong letter.

    If you want, I can send you a private message with the initial email I sent.

    Here was her response: "Good to hear from you, and exciting to hear that you're going to apply to law school. I certainly remember you and your work and feel like I could write a strong recommendation.

    To that end, could you please send me

    --your resume
    --your statement of purpose/application letter
    --a short and casual paragraph saying why (just for me, so I can understand and speak knowledgeably) you've settled on law school and what you hope it will help you achieve"

    If you want to be sensitive of there time, I would straight up ask like I did, and then if they agree - potentially have a zoom or a phone call to give them the context so they can write a strong and current letter of rec.

    I hope this helps!

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