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Do LORs expire?

Hey, do letters of recommendation have an "expiration date" when they are no longer considered relevant? And more to the point — should I ask my recommenders to submit LORs again given the fact that they wrote them for me for the current cycle (20-21) but due to some unpredictable circumstances I had to postpone my admissions for the next cycle? I've read that LORs should be relevant to your current experience but I'm 2 years out of school and my job is the same as it was last year.

Thank you in advance!

Comments

  • qs2159qs2159 Member
    342 karma

    I got the same question and got help from 7sagers - it's okay to use LORs from last year for next cycle, if there is not too much you want to change on those letters. You can consider to reach out to recommenders again if you accomplish big projects for your job/study and want them to update the information

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant
    2032 karma

    LSAC will hold your LORs in their LOR bank for up to 5 years. However, as an admissions reader, you like to see a fairly current letter of recommendation because a candidate can change a lot over time. As a former admissions officer, I think a LOR that is dated 1.5 years from the date that I am reviewing the file is about the outer limit. If getting new content is not possible, then try to ask the recommender to refresh the date on an old letter.

  • kingko96kingko96 Member
    21 karma

    @qs2159 thank you. I have no idea what my recommenders wrote about me. I assume that might relate to specific experiences, which were some time ago, but perhaps they were too general in describing me. I should probably get back to them and ask them to update the information on the file anyway.

  • kingko96kingko96 Member
    21 karma

    @"selene.steelman" thank you so much! If I cannot get new content from my recommenders, should I remove their previous LORs or can they just stay in my account? Does it matter? Also what do you think about writing an explanation in an addendum of why my recommenders might describe past experiences (such as work in school where I interacted with them but which happened 4-5 years ago)?

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant
    2032 karma

    The LSAC LOR account just stores your letters so you don't have to remove them. I don't recommend trying to speculate what was written in your LORs and then trying to explain away what you think might be deficiencies. If you feel that a more recent, strong, positive, and specific LOR may be necessary to reflect recent achievements and strengths in your candidacy, I would try to get this from your existing recommenders OR seek out new recommenders.

    Keep in mind that it is fine if your current recommenders knew you and your work product from a certain time in your life. For example, if you have been out of school for 2 years, it is fine to have an academic LOR from a professor who speaks of your strengths as a student from 2 years ago. If this is the case, then I think it would help the admissions reader assess your candidacy if you ALSO included a more recent LOR from, say, a supervisor who can speak of your more recent work product. This way, the law school admissions committee sees multiple sides of you as a candidate when they ask themselves, "Can this person do the classroom work?" and "Are they employable?" Good luck!

  • kingko96kingko96 Member
    21 karma

    @"selene.steelman", thank you so much!

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