Law School Discussion

tell me, tell me, tell me

klasyk gyrl

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tell me, tell me, tell me
« on: April 08, 2005, 03:28:19 PM »
my boss agreed to having me write my own letter of recommendation which he would sign. i'm not sure how much i should stuff in there. does anyone have an awesome letter that i could get some tips from? i'm also wondering if i should slip some information in there that i didn't put in my personal statement (family background, paying for college, etc.) or is that too obvious? i feel like a kid running lose in a candy store. 

ccorsi

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 04:08:38 PM »
Your boss is the best.

Big ups for him.

Dude, have a field day.  Make sure it is all true, but aim for the fences.  Include everything and then go back and add the kitchen sink.

C2

DodgerLaw

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 05:11:35 PM »
IMHO, I don't think this is such a hot idea. Yeah, tell him what you want in there, but he should write it. It will sound more authentic. If you're not satisfied when you review it, ask him to make the changes.

EPH05

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2005, 05:48:27 PM »
I too have reservations about this.  It is really skirting the ethical lines; you would be lying about the authorship of an important component of your law school application.  Not only should you avoid this on a moral level, but even on a self-interested level you shouldn't do it since discovery by a law school could lead to an immediate rejection. 

ccorsi

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2005, 06:15:00 PM »
There is absolutely nothing unethical about this at all if his boss agrees with the document, signs it, and submits it.

This is done all the time in the real world.  Administrative assistants type up documents all the time for their bosses which their bosses review and then sign.

As a lawyer, there will be times when your paralegals will write things up for you and you will sign as if it came from you.  You will write things up for partners which they will sign as if it came from them.

I'm not saying whether it is a great idea or not, but it certainly is not unethical.

C2


Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2005, 06:18:28 PM »
ccorsi is absolutely right, this happens all the time.  you wont get in trouble because your boss AGREED to have you write it.  its not like you sent in a letter from a fake person, or sent one in from your boss without his knowledge.

ilsox7

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2005, 06:39:33 PM »
This is actually a VERY common practice in the world of LORs.

qtip2012

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Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2005, 06:40:18 PM »
How to do that thing?

EPH05

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2005, 07:26:53 PM »
     This is the academic world not "the real world" as some have argued.  Writing something and falsely attributing it to someone else is plagiarism.  Seriously, would you do this with a paper in law school?  If you wouldn't why is it okay with a letter of recommendation?  The fact that your erstwhile recommender suggested this doesn't make it acceptable either.  His cooperation doesn't make this a legitimate behavior just as collaborating with another student to cheat off of his exam wouldn't make that acceptable.  Also the whole idea that “this is common so it must be okay” is entirely fraudulent.  After all, stealing is also prevalent but does that make it acceptable?
     Furthermore, it is true that lawyers often have their secretaries draft letters for them however, those documents are different than a letter of recommendation in that:
1) The intellectual meat of the "secretary letter" was created by the lawyer and passed on to the secretary for composition in your scenario you're actually making up both the content and the form.
2) In the "secretary letter" it doesn't matter who writes the letter it just needs to reach the proper client, firm, etc., letters of recommendation on the other hand are supposed to be an alternative point of view to supplement your application. If you write the letter you've undermined the whole point of the letter, it would be better if you just wrote another essay.
     Seriously, if you think this is acceptable you're deluding yourself.  Ask an admissions office, do they think this is a legitimate practice? I'll bet you a hundred to one it’s a resounding no.  Now if you want to meet with your recommender and mention things you'd like to see in the letter or if you type up some notes, that would be fine.  But by actually crafting the letter you're over-stepping the line by putting your exact words into the mouth of your recommender.  I urge you, take the high road, thank your recommender for his “generous” offer but tell him to either write the letter himself or not send in a recommendation at all.

Re: tell me, tell me, tell me
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2005, 07:29:37 PM »
Personally, I write stuff, give it to the paralegal, the paralegal reviews it, then the lawyers passes it off as theirs. . . . it's the way of the professional world.

As for what to put in it, make sure your "boss" compares you to other people. LORs don't help much if there's no comparison. Be sure to mention what talents/experiences you have had that will make you successful in LS and as a lawyer.