Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: annita on December 30, 2006, 02:11:59 PM

Title: "great LOR"
Post by: annita on December 30, 2006, 02:11:59 PM
I spend way too much time on LSN.... But here's a question for anyone who cares to comment, when people write on LSN that they have "great LOR" or "really strong recommendations," what in the world does that mean? I assume most people waive the right to see their letters of rec. So does this just mean that the letters are coming from important, influential people who know the applicant well? Or have people actually seen the letters that are going out?
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: bamf on December 30, 2006, 02:16:21 PM
I spend way too much time on LSN.... But here's a question for anyone who cares to comment, when people write on LSN that they have "great LOR" or "really strong recommendations," what in the world does that mean? I assume most people waive the right to see their letters of rec. So does this just mean that the letters are coming from important, influential people who know the applicant well? Or have people actually seen the letters that are going out?

maybe not important or influential, but when I say my LORs are pretty darn good I mean that I have a close relationship with the Rec'ers, I know they have seen me through some really good work and that they have great things to say.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: BonesMcJones on December 30, 2006, 02:18:31 PM
I waived my right but two of my recommenders sent me a copy of the letter after it was sent out.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: annita on December 30, 2006, 02:21:04 PM
I spend way too much time on LSN.... But here's a question for anyone who cares to comment, when people write on LSN that they have "great LOR" or "really strong recommendations," what in the world does that mean? I assume most people waive the right to see their letters of rec. So does this just mean that the letters are coming from important, influential people who know the applicant well? Or have people actually seen the letters that are going out?

maybe not important or influentiat, but when I say my LORs are pretty darn good I mean that I have a close relationship with the Rec'ers, I know they have seen me through some really good work and that they have great things to say.

OK... then here's another question for people: what qualifies as an "okay" letter or a "not so great" letter? I mean, doesn't everyone ask people who know them well, and have good things to say??
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: BonesMcJones on December 30, 2006, 02:22:58 PM
Vague, generic, and non-comparitive letters are not helpful.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 02:27:04 PM
Vague, generic, and non-comparitive letters are not helpful.

Yeah. They should say something about their relationship with you, what they know of your work, and compare you to other students or employees. If they know of or were involved with your extracurricular involvement, even better.

By this criteria, I have two excellent, one great, and one good LOR. But the good one can be better than the great one b/c the good one was from an English prof. while the great was from a math prof. (I'm an electrical engineer, in case you didn't know).

EDIT: For people like me, who have to constantly prove they can write, an English prof. recommender is rare.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: db2ur on December 30, 2006, 02:29:20 PM
I think an LOR that 'deliberately' says bad things about the applicant is quite rare.  Applicants oughta think a little about whom they ask.  If you can't solidly say "X recommender will say good stuffs about me," then you should keep looking.

That being said, an 'ok' LOR is one that damns with faint praise.  These are likely more common than believed.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 02:29:29 PM
I also sat in the office while two of my recommenders wrote my recommendation.

Quote
OK... then here's another question for people: what qualifies as an "okay" letter or a "not so great" letter? I mean, doesn't everyone ask people who know them well, and have good things to say??

An OK letter would be a standard letter. "He'll make a fine laywer!" "She got an A in my class and seems like a nice gal." Just general stuff that just is totally worthless to the law school. No specific instances or comparative type analysis.

A not so great letter is someone who either can't write, or deliberately says bad things about you.

Two points of contention here:
1. I don't think not being able to write necessarily makes it a "not so great" letter. Three Two of my recommenders are Indian and one is Iranian and don't write so great. I was lucky in that I had the opportunity to edit them (thank goodness for the math prof... jeez), but I think they'd understand.
2. I think if someone says deliberately bad things, it makes it a little worse than "not so great". Like maybe "terrible", "deal-breaking", or "death-like". :)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: bamf on December 30, 2006, 02:35:28 PM
not many people will be able to identify a letter as not so great because they will think they asked the right people when they actually asked the wrong people.  Asking a prof who you had as a freshman and who is famous or something is worse than asking a younger, less-well-known prof who you have taken three upper level classes with ... etc.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 02:49:09 PM
not many people will be able to identify a letter as not so great because they will think they asked the right people when they actually asked the wrong people.  Asking a prof who you had as a freshman and who is famous or something is worse than asking a younger, less-well-known prof who you have taken three upper level classes with ... etc.

This is why going to a smaller school (smaller dept. actually, big school) is nice. I had three upper division courses with two of my recommenders and two with another.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: bamf on December 30, 2006, 03:30:10 PM
not many people will be able to identify a letter as not so great because they will think they asked the right people when they actually asked the wrong people.  Asking a prof who you had as a freshman and who is famous or something is worse than asking a younger, less-well-known prof who you have taken three upper level classes with ... etc.

This is why going to a smaller school (smaller dept. actually, big school) is nice. I had three upper division courses with two of my recommenders and two with another.

true.  I had three with both of mine as well.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 03:38:49 PM
not many people will be able to identify a letter as not so great because they will think they asked the right people when they actually asked the wrong people.  Asking a prof who you had as a freshman and who is famous or something is worse than asking a younger, less-well-known prof who you have taken three upper level classes with ... etc.

This is why going to a smaller school (smaller dept. actually, big school) is nice. I had three upper division courses with two of my recommenders and two with another.

I had four classes with one of my recommenders, and another was my debate coach, who knows me very well. 
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 03:46:09 PM
not many people will be able to identify a letter as not so great because they will think they asked the right people when they actually asked the wrong people.  Asking a prof who you had as a freshman and who is famous or something is worse than asking a younger, less-well-known prof who you have taken three upper level classes with ... etc.

This is why going to a smaller school (smaller dept. actually, big school) is nice. I had three upper division courses with two of my recommenders and two with another.

I had four classes with one of my recommenders, and another was my debate coach, who knows me very well. 

Well, la-de-freaking-da, Little Miss One-Up.  ;D

One of my recommenders is my grad adviser, so there. :P
EDIT: His letter includes the word "BEST" in all caps, surrounded by the words "unanimously voted by all the professors in the department". So double there. :P :P

I know you're going to twist my "surrounded by the words" quote, so have at it. :P

:P :P :P :P
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: GuysInMyHighSchool on December 30, 2006, 03:51:53 PM
When I was in grad school I got to participate on the adcomm for our program's MS/PhD admissions as a student observer. I'd say about 50-75% of the letters mentioned that the student was "the best/brightest student they had worked with in their XX year career." The problem with this kind of hyperbole is that a) it becomes hard to distinguish between candidates, and b) any professor that writes an honest recommendation puts their student at disadvantage. In short, letters of recommendation, unless they came from well-known professors in the field, had their values discounted by the sheer amount of exaggeration that went into them.
I'm not a big fan of letters of recommendation, as you can see.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on December 30, 2006, 03:57:40 PM
Yea I'm off the mind that LORs don't matter too much as long as they aren't bad.  That said, I'm hoping that my WE rec stands out, especially at NU.  My recommender let me read it--and I would divulge some of the things noted, but it's somewhat bizarre and I would surely be outed if an adcom happened to be reading right now  :D
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 03:59:54 PM
not many people will be able to identify a letter as not so great because they will think they asked the right people when they actually asked the wrong people.  Asking a prof who you had as a freshman and who is famous or something is worse than asking a younger, less-well-known prof who you have taken three upper level classes with ... etc.

This is why going to a smaller school (smaller dept. actually, big school) is nice. I had three upper division courses with two of my recommenders and two with another.

I had four classes with one of my recommenders, and another was my debate coach, who knows me very well. 

Well, la-de-freaking-da, Little Miss One-Up.  ;D

One of my recommenders is my grad adviser, so there. :P
EDIT: His letter includes the word "BEST" in all caps, surrounded by the words "unanimously voted by all the professors in the department". So double there. :P :P

I know you're going to twist my "surrounded by the words" quote, so have at it. :P

:P :P :P :P

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: bamf on December 30, 2006, 04:02:51 PM
Yea I'm off the mind that LORs don't matter too much as long as they aren't bad.  That said, I'm hoping that my WE rec stands out, especially at NU.  My recommender let me read it--and I would divulge some of the things noted, but it's somewhat bizarre and I would surely be outed if an adcom happened to be reading right now  :D

I agree to an extent.  If you are anything close to an auto admit the numbers speak for themselves.  And not everyone can be voted the BEST.  But those that are get a boost from their LOR, no doubt.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 04:26:16 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 04:46:40 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 04:49:49 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.

Yeah, but only to play it off CLS if I get into both. Err, Chicago adcomms, you didn't see that. I keed, I keed.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 05:06:49 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.

Yeah, but only to play it off CLS if I get into both. Err, Chicago adcomms, you didn't see that. I keed, I keed.

Oh yeah?  Well, I just applied to Columbia because I thought I might want to go there!  So take that!
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 05:12:53 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.

Yeah, but only to play it off CLS if I get into both. Err, Chicago adcomms, you didn't see that. I keed, I keed.

Oh yeah?  Well, I just applied to Columbia because I thought I might want to go there!  So take that!

In all seriousness, I'd have a very hard (but nice) decision if I got into both. CLS is still on top, but there's more thinkin' to be done.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 05:19:41 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.

Yeah, but only to play it off CLS if I get into both. Err, Chicago adcomms, you didn't see that. I keed, I keed.

Oh yeah?  Well, I just applied to Columbia because I thought I might want to go there!  So take that!

In all seriousness, I'd have a very hard (but nice) decision if I got into both. CLS is still on top, but there's more thinkin' to be done.

Well, whatever you're looking for, Chicago is _______er
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 05:22:04 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.

Yeah, but only to play it off CLS if I get into both. Err, Chicago adcomms, you didn't see that. I keed, I keed.

Oh yeah?  Well, I just applied to Columbia because I thought I might want to go there!  So take that!

In all seriousness, I'd have a very hard (but nice) decision if I got into both. CLS is still on top, but there's more thinkin' to be done.

Well, whatever you're looking for, Chicago is _______er

Chocolateier?
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 05:25:49 PM

"unanimously voted by all the BEST professors in the department to be a rather competent student."

And I'm out.

I really freaking hope we go to the same school. I'll miss this stuff. :)

At least you finally applied to Chicago.

Yeah, but only to play it off CLS if I get into both. Err, Chicago adcomms, you didn't see that. I keed, I keed.

Oh yeah?  Well, I just applied to Columbia because I thought I might want to go there!  So take that!

In all seriousness, I'd have a very hard (but nice) decision if I got into both. CLS is still on top, but there's more thinkin' to be done.

Well, whatever you're looking for, Chicago is _______er

Chocolateier?

Recommendeder.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: annita on December 30, 2006, 05:37:07 PM
Wow, I had no idea this thread would turn into an extended flirtation between Britomart and EEtoJD. But, hey, I'm glad it's been useful for something....

Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on December 30, 2006, 05:41:03 PM
Wow, I had no idea this thread would turn into an extended flirtation between Britomart and EEtoJD. But, hey, I'm glad it's been useful for something....

 :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 05:41:26 PM
Wow, I had no idea this thread would turn into an extended flirtation between Britomart and EEtoJD. But, hey, I'm glad it's been useful for something....

Er... we have a bad threadjacking habit. I don't know if I'd call it flirting, but the word "jack" is in there, so maybe...
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 05:41:59 PM
Wow, I had no idea this thread would turn into an extended flirtation between Britomart and EEtoJD. But, hey, I'm glad it's been useful for something....

Er... we have a bad threadjacking habit. I don't know if I'd call it flirting, but the word "jack" is in there, so maybe...

Yeah... um, sorry, everyone.   :D
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Special Agent Dana Scully on December 30, 2006, 05:54:08 PM
Wow, I had no idea this thread would turn into an extended flirtation between Britomart and EEtoJD. But, hey, I'm glad it's been useful for something....

 :D :D :D :D

Wouldn't it be adorable if a couple met and got together because of LSD?

Not to put any pressure on these two, of course :)

I wanna be invited to the wedding bc I'm facebook friends with Brito  ;)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 07:41:24 PM
Wow, I had no idea this thread would turn into an extended flirtation between Britomart and EEtoJD. But, hey, I'm glad it's been useful for something....

 :D :D :D :D

Wouldn't it be adorable if a couple met and got together because of LSD?

Not to put any pressure on these two, of course :)

I wanna be invited to the wedding bc I'm facebook friends with Brito  ;)

Well, I wanna go too, even though I have no idea with facebook though I've heard it referenced here like crazy. Is this some new fangled things you kids have come up with? I swear, I'm only 3-4 years older than y'all, but I feel like I'm from another generation.

Ahem, I'd still like to go to the wedding. Free steak, yo!

I think Brito likes large, burly men in flannel though. I know she loves Hagrid. ;)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 07:58:46 PM

I think Brito likes large, burly men in flannel though. I know she loves Hagrid. ;)

Haha, no flannel, noooo flannel!  Big and burly in a slightly rumpled suit, yes.

I like all types, but there are a few characteristics I like, some of them mutually exclusive: 
1) short beards  2) dark curly hair  3) blonds  4) tall  5) nice shoes

What I do not like:
1) lean muscular types  2) flannel  3) pretty men  4) mean people

And Hagrid is disgusting.  I hope he dies in The Deathly Hollows.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 08:04:09 PM

I think Brito likes large, burly men in flannel though. I know she loves Hagrid. ;)

Haha, no flannel, noooo flannel!  Big and burly in a slightly rumpled suit, yes.

I like all types, but there are a few characteristics I like, some of them mutually exclusive: 
1) short beards  2) dark curly hair  3) blonds  4) tall  5) nice shoes

What I do not like:
1) lean muscular types  2) flannel  3) pretty men  4) mean people

And Hagrid is disgusting.  I hope he dies in The Deathly Hollows.

OMG, I didn't even know the title was announced! Deathly, huh? Yeah, we know people are dying. We get it.

I'm kind of tall (5'11"), and I wear nice shoes. I was blond for a month once... it wasn't pretty. My hair is not curly and I can't grow a beard... it's patchy and pube-like. And I'm super muscular. I'm wearing a sweater, but I'm so buff, I just look like a gorilla.

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: ButImAGilmore on December 30, 2006, 08:08:28 PM
Brito! You really are using LSD as a personal dating service! Maybe one day I can make it work for me...
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 08:14:39 PM

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.

Well, I like it when guys aren't intimidated.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 08:41:38 PM
Brito! You really are using LSD as a personal dating service! Maybe one day I can make it work for me...

But you're a Gilmore! You don't need a personal dating service. You just to walk up to a guy and talk really fast so he gets confused and doesn't know what's happening and the next thing you know it you're married. :)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 08:42:15 PM

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.

Well, I like it when guys aren't intimidated.

Ah! Oh, sorry, you scared me.  :o
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 08:43:29 PM

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.

Well, I like it when guys aren't intimidated.

Ah! Oh, sorry, you scared me.  :o

 ??? :'(

I think there is something wrong with you in a Freudian sort of way.  You are clearly scared of all women.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 08:52:03 PM

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.

Well, I like it when guys aren't intimidated.

Ah! Oh, sorry, you scared me.  :o

 ??? :'(

I think there is something wrong with you in a Freudian sort of way.  You are clearly scared of all women.

I'm actually a fairly confident guy. I can say this because I used to be a hug-the-wall dork kind of guy. Well, I'm still a dork, but I don't hug the wall or look at my shoes anymore.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on December 30, 2006, 08:52:43 PM

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.

Well, I like it when guys aren't intimidated.

Ah! Oh, sorry, you scared me.  :o

 ??? :'(

I think there is something wrong with you in a Freudian sort of way.  You are clearly scared of all women.

I'm actually a fairly confident guy. I can say this because I used to be a hug-the-wall dork kind of guy. Well, I'm still a dork, but I don't hug the wall or look at my shoes anymore.

I still look at your shoes.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: ButImAGilmore on December 30, 2006, 08:54:48 PM
Brito! You really are using LSD as a personal dating service! Maybe one day I can make it work for me...

But you're a Gilmore! You don't need a personal dating service. You just to walk up to a guy and talk really fast so he gets confused and doesn't know what's happening and the next thing you know it you're married. :)

True, but I'm saving my fast talking charm for the med students at whatever school I go to  ;)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on December 30, 2006, 08:55:29 PM

All girls say they don't like mean people. To an extent, it's probably true, but you know you like the occasional (or more than occasional) AH.

Well, I like it when guys aren't intimidated.

Ah! Oh, sorry, you scared me.  :o

 ??? :'(

I think there is something wrong with you in a Freudian sort of way.  You are clearly scared of all women.

I'm actually a fairly confident guy. I can say this because I used to be a hug-the-wall dork kind of guy. Well, I'm still a dork, but I don't hug the wall or look at my shoes anymore.

I still look at your shoes.

You'd like 'em. I've received more compliments on my shoes than anything else. Wait... I think this is a bad sign. Oh well, people like my shoes. :)
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: jps584736 on December 31, 2006, 08:48:52 AM
I think the best LOR comes from an experienced professor from a popular feeder field (Polisci, history) who has SPECIFIC reasons why you are one of the best students he/she has come across. 

But by far the most important factor is specifics.  Anybody can say "He/She will be a fine lawyer"  The way I look at it, those are BAD recommendations. 

I'm pretty confident about my 2 recs.  I can list some of the unique experiences I had with them, so I think that's a good sign.

I don't think a LOR can hurt you unless, obviously, a prof says something bad about you.  But a really good LOR can only help you, and serves as a useful tiebreaker.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: bamf on December 31, 2006, 09:27:54 AM
I've only gotten drunk with ONE of my two Rec'ers :-\
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: LSAT Granddad on December 31, 2006, 09:55:42 AM
what if one of my rec'ers said that he is not certain about my choice of legal career? Is it bad then?
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: jps584736 on January 01, 2007, 12:36:14 AM
Sorry Bioethics, but based on what I've heard, that's really bad.  If an recommender implies that you aren't sure about law school, then that can be a huge turn off for adcoms.  I understand why.  Just look at all the unhappy lawyers out there.  So many exist, more than perhaps any other profession.  And these adcoms invariably talk to career counselers at the law school who give stories each year about unhappy future lawyers.  I even had a representative from Illinois Law say in my face that they explicitly look for clues about a person's motivation to study law.  No one really knows until they get to law school, but what the adcoms are looking for is a solid commitment to see things through.  That usually doesn't come out anywhere in the application, but what does happen is that you can find ways to reveal that you're either unsure about law or naive about it.  You might want to contact that recommender and ask him/her what they wrote.  Your science background (presumably) can be a huge catch, but you need to sell yourself properly. 
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: prolesurge on January 01, 2007, 11:05:17 AM
For the greater part of my undergraduate career, I've worked in the Academic Affairs office of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at my school. One of my many work-study duties involved opening applications and sorting through letters of reccommendation in order to have them scanned into the database (a lot messier than LSAC's methods, which makes me all the more appreciative of it all).

Considering the fact that Engineering seems to lend itself to seemingly dry and technical assessments, I ran accross some surprisingly unique letters of recommendation letters such as:

Professor X: Despite his short stature, Mr. McShort is an amicable and appealing individual.

Professor Y: Unlike other asian students, Ms. B displays an uncanny penchant for creativity.

Professor W: As this applicant's olympic curling coach, I have an intimate understanding of his drive and character. This is the type of guy you'd want on your side in a bar fight.

These are nearly verbatim quotations. I also ran across a fair amount of awful, frightening LORs which were three sentences long and said nothing more than "X took 101 and 130 with me. He earned an A and a B."

Choose them carefully.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on January 01, 2007, 12:09:41 PM

Professor X: Despite his short stature, Mr. McShort is an amicable and appealing individual.

Professor Y: Unlike other asian students, Ms. B displays an uncanny penchant for creativity.

Professor W: As this applicant's olympic curling coach, I have an intimate understanding of his drive and character. This is the type of guy you'd want on your side in a bar fight.

These are nearly verbatim quotations. I also ran across a fair amount of awful, frightening LORs which were three sentences long and said nothing more than "X took 101 and 130 with me. He earned an A and a B."

Choose them carefully.

I want that job. I'm a busybody by nature, so that'd be perfect for me.

Those are some great quotes. If I ever have to write a recommendation letter, I'd like to start it with something like:

"It all began on a crisp winter night. Bob and I stalked the  beast with the visceral intensity of a wolf on the hunt. Our eyes shone in the pale moonlight as we glimpsed our prey. My nostrils twitched as I caught the acrid stench of the festering wound we had delivered to his solar plexus the night before. It smelled of almonds and rotting garbage; it was the finest odor I had ever experienced. As our prey limped into view, Bob and I leaped at once. He attacked the head and I took out the legs. As we sat over a roaring campfire devouring the roasted flesh of Mr. Kim, my former research assistant, my new research assistant and I whiled the night away with a rousing version of All Along The Watchtower.

In short, Bob has the motivation and drive to succeed in law school. I recommend Bob without reservation."
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: Brito on January 01, 2007, 12:12:02 PM

Professor X: Despite his short stature, Mr. McShort is an amicable and appealing individual.

Professor Y: Unlike other asian students, Ms. B displays an uncanny penchant for creativity.

Professor W: As this applicant's olympic curling coach, I have an intimate understanding of his drive and character. This is the type of guy you'd want on your side in a bar fight.

These are nearly verbatim quotations. I also ran across a fair amount of awful, frightening LORs which were three sentences long and said nothing more than "X took 101 and 130 with me. He earned an A and a B."

Choose them carefully.

I want that job. I'm a busybody by nature, so that'd be perfect for me.

Those are some great quotes. If I ever have to write a recommendation letter, I'd like to start it with something like:

"It all began on a crisp winter night. Bob and I stalked the  beast with the visceral intensity of a wolf on the hunt. Our eyes shone in the pale moonlight as we glimpsed our prey. My nostrils twitched as I caught the acrid stench of the festering wound we had delivered to his solar plexus the night before. It smelled of almonds and rotting garbage; it was the finest odor I had ever experienced. As our prey limped into view, Bob and I leaped at once. He attacked the head and I took out the legs. As we sat over a roaring campfire devouring the roasted flesh of Mr. Kim, my former research assistant, my new research assistant and I whiled the night away with a rousing version of All Along The Watchtower.

In short, Bob has the motivation and drive to succeed in law school. I recommend Bob without reservation."

I'm not just giggling; I'm laughing boisterously.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on January 01, 2007, 12:22:36 PM

I'm not just giggling; I'm laughing boisterously.

How dare you laugh at my recommendation! Bob and I worked very hard for that kill. Incidentally, Bob was delicious. Research assistants never last very long, do they? But they do have a nice aftertaste.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: GuysInMyHighSchool on January 01, 2007, 01:38:59 PM
Professor Y: Unlike other asian students, Ms. B displays an uncanny penchant for creativity.

I saw quite a few comments like these in Asian students' reference letters when I was on the adcomm for my department as student observer. I didn't realize how widespread and common this racial stereotype was, or how damaging it could be to these peoples' academic careers. Not to mention how false it must be, since a great many of these reference letters stated that Mr/Ms XXXX was very creative, unlike his/her other Asian peers.
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: prolesurge on January 01, 2007, 01:48:15 PM
Professor Y: Unlike other asian students, Ms. B displays an uncanny penchant for creativity.

I saw quite a few comments like these in Asian students' reference letters when I was on the adcomm for my department as student observer. I didn't realize how widespread and common this racial stereotype was, or how damaging it could be to these peoples' academic careers. Not to mention how false it must be, since a great many of these reference letters stated that Mr/Ms XXXX was very creative, unlike his/her other Asian peers.

Agreed. You'd think that years of working with students of asian descent (the particular letter was written by a Berkeley professor, a University that is actually considered a minority majority school because of the umbrella-like nature of the term "asian") would dispel such concepts, but a that's the way it goes.

Do you feel your experience helped you craft a better application for law schools? I certainly had my fill of dry, run-o-the-mill essays and was very careful about avoiding the "genius" trap (i.e. "I've always loved the law and I've been actively engaged in it, like, forever! Ever since I was a little kid I was argumentative, and my daddy is a lawyer, and my mommy is a lawyer and...")
Title: Re: "great LOR"
Post by: EEtoJD on January 01, 2007, 01:52:45 PM
Professor Y: Unlike other asian students, Ms. B displays an uncanny penchant for creativity.

I saw quite a few comments like these in Asian students' reference letters when I was on the adcomm for my department as student observer. I didn't realize how widespread and common this racial stereotype was, or how damaging it could be to these peoples' academic careers. Not to mention how false it must be, since a great many of these reference letters stated that Mr/Ms XXXX was very creative, unlike his/her other Asian peers.

I don't get this stereotype. I know plenty of creative Asian student. Now, if we were to single it down to Indian students...  ;D