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Author Topic: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.  (Read 2358 times)

dta

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2004, 11:15:19 PM »
Not sure if you will find this relevant, but I needed a major letter from my doctor to appeal a grade in College, and he just said, "go ahead and write it, I'll sign it."

My brother needed LOR's for his master's and PhD program.  He said he wrote them all.  The professor just signed.  Maybe law school is a totally differnet "thang"

I think that is the ultimate indication that your proff doesn't really give a damn about you. I've heard of some proffs who do this and i've asked previous proffs about it. Apparently, some proffs, when asked for an LOR from a student the proff does not think highly of, are too lilly-livered to say no. Instead, they just ask you to draft your own and sign it. From what i've heard, most adcoms can tell - *especially* if they have received previous authentic letters from the proff.

Even if this doesn't describe your proff's psychological impetus for having you draft your own LOR, think about it for a second. Do you *REALLY* want that LOR? Is it REALLY going to have first hand accounts of your accomplishments that authentically sound like the proff himself? Lots of lazy and/or lilly-livered proffs do this - do you *REALLY* think the adcoms haven't had experience with such a fake LOR before? Do you REALLY think they can't tell when the student him/herself wrote it? C'mon - they're professionals at this for pete's sake. Your self-crafte LOR will stick out completely obvious to them.

All the proffs I asked for an LOR from had lots of previous experience writing LOR's for law school. I think any proff you would want one from would have had *some* experience in the matter. And any proff you would want an LOR from will DEFINITELY write it him/herself.

swifty

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2004, 01:12:25 AM »
Actually, I do not think adcoms can smell a draft.  But, I think if you write a draft, and the LOR comes out with some personal information about you, this would show that you and that prof had an exzcellent relationship during college.  My main fear is that profs have their own templates, and those types of LOR's CAN be smelled out.  I also fear that some, especially me when I was a lot younger, never talked to my profs.  So this could be a big hurdle to overcome, thereby, justifying the need for a draft even further. 
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply" So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do.  So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..

dta

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2004, 09:05:05 AM »
You are fooling yourself if you believe adcoms can't tell an LOR written by the student him/herself. This is their profession - they've been reviewing applications for decades. They know all the games students play.

They will know your LOR is phony.

jacy85

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2004, 09:22:56 AM »
We all give advice here, based on common sense and PS books that we've read, and we share with other information we've gathered while researching our own questions.

I do have to say though, that to make a statement like "they will know" is pretty arrogant, considering that you really don't work in an Admissions office, and also considering that many professors that ask you to write drafts edit them add their own comments, and are basically just using the shell of the information you provided about yourself.  It is slightly lazy, I admit, but to incinuate that these professors are "lilly-livered" (note:  don't ever use this in a legal contest.  It sounds incredibley archaic and not very intelligent-you're not a pirate) is going a bit far.

From experience, I had a prof do this for me, and he sent me two copies, unasked for, so I could use them in the future for things other than law school.  What I received back from him bore only a slight resemblence to my original, as he edited it, changed vocab, and added in insights from class that I couldn't have added in myself.  The rec ended up being much more well rounded than I expected since there were tons of personal info that related both to the classroom and out of it.

And when you become an member of an admissions committee, and you discover for a fact that they can smell out a draft, you let me know.  And as a future reference, many adcoms do not review applications as their profession.  Many are teachers, some are attorneys, and only a handful are permenant admissions staff.  That's why what a school looks for changes slightly every year-the make-up of the adcom is made up of different reviewers than the year before.  I know you've read LSC and other books-you should know this.


dta

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2004, 09:44:38 AM »
Actually, I think it's pretty arrogant to assume that someone who has been working professionally as a law school admission board member for a dozen years or more and works alongside other such professionals in a department devoted to reviewing student applications and institutional knowledge in the department has accumulated over dozens of years - I think it's quite arrogant in this case to blithly assume that one can draft one's own LOR that will pass by this adcom board as an authentic LOR.

Such an assumption is arrogant in that it completely discounts all talent, ability, and knowledge with respect to the personnel on adcom boards.

I have read LSC. One thing I took away from it is that Law Schools place a great deal of importance on their adcom boards. They round them out with all sorts of personnel - permanent staff, professors, etc. Surely they know about these 'fake' LOR's. And to think that adcoms either do not care about them or are incapable of detecting them is preposterous.

There is a prima facie case to be made that they DO have an interest in detecting fake LOR's and they DO have the ability to do so. Ignoring this prima facie case and just assuming that you can 'con' the adcoms into believing your fake LOR is real is itself the height of arrogance.

swifty

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2004, 07:10:00 PM »
I think something needs to be clarified here.  We all know we are typing, and people try to find a "tone" in that typing, just as when conversing.  Since we don't have a tone in email, alot of people, including myself, oftem make up a tone in their mind thing this poster is mad, angry, shallow, super nice, whatever. 

Jacy and I both believe drafts can be a good thing.  We never said (and this is directed to lexy too) that we expected our profs to just "sign it" as was the case from my doctor.  I know my profs would change this and that, vocabulary, and may omit some stuff from my draft.  All the draft does is give the prof more of an idea of who you are, based on the fact that no prof really knows you REAL well.  If I had a prof just sign my draft, I wouldn't accept it.  I agree, that prof would not be a good recommender.  I brought up my brother, which has nothing to do with law school, because he was admired by his profs, he was more knowledgeable than they were, he was ahead of the game so to speak, that is why he wrote the drafts, and again , it wasn't for law school.  Also, I went to a state college, and I am pretty sure that LOR's for law students are rare.  So in my case, it would be a good idea to give a draft, a resume, some other things that can help that prof write that
LOR.  In my case, I am afraid the profs will look at books that we read, and copy things word for word from it.  That's extreme, but I am afraid of a template they have for people who want to get a master's degree in finance, and have that same template used for me, who is going to law school. 
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply" So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do.  So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..

nekko

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2004, 07:27:16 PM »
I just think it's rude that's all. A prof/employer may ask for a draft in which case I think it's perfectly fine. Just giving them one unsolicited seems improper. We all have fears that a recommender might not write the perfect thing but you giving them a draft without them asking for it is telling them what to write when they're doing you a favor for writing one at all. Hopefully you're on good terms with them so you can certainly suggest particular things and talk with them about what sort of things should be said but writing a draft of what they're supposed to say about you seems a little over the top for me.

dta

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2004, 12:09:14 AM »
no prof really knows you REAL well.   

I disagree. I had proffs from whom I took 3 or more classes in my various majors. I was in their office hours all the time. Did extra credit. Wrote extra papers. Worked extra math problems. Etc. Etc. I really enjoyed the subjects I was studying and I was always asking the professors questions outside of class.

If you do that your proffs WILL know you VERY well and you will get an OUTSTANDING LOR from each and every one of them. I've got 5 LOR's from proffs that i'm absolutely sure are very strong.

The point is, if you made the effort as an undergraduate to take your major very seriously and you did a lot of work and wrote a senior honors thesis, did research on hard unassigned math problems, etc. etc., and demonstrated genuine intellectual curiousity in the subject matter then your proffs will not only know you well but they will be drooling to write you an outstanding LOR.

If you never took the time to be a serious undergraduate student who demonstrated such devotion to your major and engaged with professors outside of class in pursuit of goals above and beyond the normal class assignments, then you only have yourself to blame. If you now find yourself in a situation where you're trying to scrounge out LOR's from proffs who barely know you, that's your own fault.

swifty

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Re: Can LOR's from difficult attorneys hurt you.
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2004, 12:32:36 AM »
no prof really knows you REAL well.   

I disagree. I had proffs from whom I took 3 or more classes in my various majors. I was in their office hours all the time. Did extra credit. Wrote extra papers. Worked extra math problems. Etc. Etc. I really enjoyed the subjects I was studying and I was always asking the professors questions outside of class.

If you do that your proffs WILL know you VERY well and you will get an OUTSTANDING LOR from each and every one of them. I've got 5 LOR's from proffs that i'm absolutely sure are very strong.

The point is, if you made the effort as an undergraduate to take your major very seriously and you did a lot of work and wrote a senior honors thesis, did research on hard unassigned math problems, etc. etc., and demonstrated genuine intellectual curiousity in the subject matter then your proffs will not only know you well but they will be drooling to write you an outstanding LOR.

If you never took the time to be a serious undergraduate student who demonstrated such devotion to your major and engaged with professors outside of class in pursuit of goals above and beyond the normal class assignments, then you only have yourself to blame. If you now find yourself in a situation where you're trying to scrounge out LOR's from proffs who barely know you, that's your own fault.

I was speaking in generalities, and you quoted me, so I am guessing you are addressing me.  I personally did make an effort, not any extra effort, but certainly an effort to get to know my prof's, I've gone to their offices, I've walked out to the parking lot with them.  I am talking about people who get stuck in 150+ students in a classroom, or students who are too shy to get to know their profs; that was definately the case in my younger days. 
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply" So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do.  So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..