I graduated from by undergrad two years ago (this May) and now I am applying to law school and require letters of recommendation from my undergrad.

Although I did well in their classes and spoke with them to some extent outside the classroom, I haven't stayed in touch with my professors, so I am not sure how well they would remember me, due to the length of time.

My question is how I would logistically go about asking for LOR's. I live relatively near the University, so I could conceivably ask them in person, but it would seem odd to just drop in on them randomly (at office hours?). Would this be the best approach?

Or should I email them ahead to ask to meet? If so, should I allude to the fact that I want to discuss a letter of recommendation in these emails or should I just ask to meet without giving specifics.

Final point: I am planning on applying September, so does it seem to early to ask in this March, or is that not an issue?

Thanks for any answers/suggestions!

2 Answers 2


Just send them an email (or make a telephone call).

Any time you ask for a reference (to include job hopping when 40), always try to help out by being brief (but explanatory) and giving info on what/why you are trying to do something AND helping the letter writer with any info on what the recipient is looking for as well as your particulars.

"Hello, Professor Buffylaw:

I was a student of yours in Euro history 1 (required) and then Babylonian Craziness Seminar (elective).

I very much appreciate the great education I got from Enormous State University and have done well as an insurance adjustor for Franco. But I have recently decided to go back to school for a law degree. Think I can do a good job there and the added degree will help me move ahead.

Could you write me a letter of reference for the Amco fellowship in Law for Roadrunner Devices?

I think Amco is particularly interested in candidates from ESU, so emphasizing the unique things we do here would help the cause.

For a refresher on my interaction with you:

*A in EUH01. A+ in BCH05 (special dispensation to take course as second semester freshman).

*Strong oral presentation in round table seminars in BCH05, including debates with much more senior students with more historiography training.

*Weekly submission of 2 page (max) precis in BCH05 and mastery of the format after first two papers.

  • In addition to course numbers, include dates, include your student number, and tell the professor when the deadline is. If the deadline is far in the future, send a reminder when there are about two weeks left.
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 0:42
  • Thanks for the response. You think that would be sufficient, or would it be better to actually meet with them in person, given how close to the school I live?
    – Richard3
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 1:14
  • Better to meet.
    – guest
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 1:30
  • @Richard3 I don't know about your professor, but I'd rather do it all by remote control. Offer to meet, and be gracious if the offer is declined.
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 2:04

Meeting in person is good. Setting it up with an email is good. Office hours is good. Don't worry about asking too early. It is better to give a heads up.

Most professors will be happy to support past students, but after a couple of years may not remember you very well. Seeing you in person will help that. They can also ask for information that you might need to supply about your plans and such.

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