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Author Topic: Ethical question about a LOR  (Read 1102 times)

Googler

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2006, 09:34:26 PM »
I had a former employee ask me for a letter of recommendation for an internship today. While I've written letters before, I've never been asked for one by a student I think has no business being in her field of study. I can't in good conscience write the student a good letter of recommendation. My question is: Would it be better to write her a mediocre letter of recommendation, or tell her that I don't want to write one at all? Her app is aparently due in a few days, so I need to respond soon.

Do you have a legitimate reason for thinking she has no business in that field of study?

Googler

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2006, 09:49:58 PM »
It seems that this person was a bad employee, information that wasn't disclosed originally.

Goolger raises a good point. 

How does being a bad employee translate to being wrong to study in a particular field?



I hadn't read that post yet.  I agree, if someone is bad at her job and/or unethical, I wouldn't write a recommendation either.

I just wanted to make sure it wasn't one of those cases where "I think you'd be very good in business, but I won't recommend you for an MBA because I think you should get a ph.D and stay in academia."  THAT is unethical. 

Googler

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2006, 10:08:33 PM »
I don't have a clue what the hell any of that even means, but to talk about this like some pressing ethical dilemma is ridiculous and a total occurance of 0L, lets-think-about-everything-like-we're-Atticus-Finchism.

Some girl wants a LOR.  HD thinks she doesn't deserve one.  That's her choice.  It's not certain the girl definitely does not deserve to study in a certain field beacuse HD holds that opinion, as though this girl committed a murder and HD can't figure out whether or not to turn her in  ::)

If the girl's a screwup and you don't like her, just tell her you think someone could write her a better LOR (which you've already said you're going to do).   
 

What didn't you understand in my post? 

If someone is dishonest, I wouldn't recommend then for law school or business school either. 

Googler

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2006, 10:10:44 PM »
Not your post.

I understood (and agreed) with your post.

oh ok. 

habeas dorkus!

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2006, 10:17:28 PM »
I had a former employee ask me for a letter of recommendation for an internship today. While I've written letters before, I've never been asked for one by a student I think has no business being in her field of study. I can't in good conscience write the student a good letter of recommendation. My question is: Would it be better to write her a mediocre letter of recommendation, or tell her that I don't want to write one at all? Her app is aparently due in a few days, so I need to respond soon.

Look, you dont have to tell her the truth, but you need at least enough backbone not to write it. Because you cant. Ethically anyway....The way I see it.
Is this yet another form of intellectual cowardice? Hmm.
C'mon people how do you expect to be lawyers when you cant even take up arms against a little puddle of trouble like this? And no, Im not singling you out, its apparent many of the response posters would react the same as you.

Afterall, What would Brian Boitano do?

Huh? It's not a matter of backbone; it's a matter of ethical clarity. I posted because I wanted to weigh my thoughts against those of others I respect. Besides which, I think it's an interesting question.

FWIW, the phrase "take up arms against a little puddle of trouble" reveals just how out-of-kind your response is.
Stop being so cryptic, fuckers.

habeas dorkus!

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2006, 10:21:04 PM »
I don't have a clue what the hell any of that even means, but to talk about this like some pressing ethical dilemma is ridiculous and a total occurance of 0L, lets-think-about-everything-like-we're-Atticus-Finchism.

Some girl wants a LOR.  HD thinks she doesn't deserve one.  That's her choice.  It's not certain the girl definitely does not deserve to study in a certain field beacuse HD holds that opinion, as though this girl committed a murder and HD can't figure out whether or not to turn her in  ::)

If the girl's a screwup and you don't like her, just tell her you think someone could write her a better LOR (which you've already said you're going to do).   
 

What didn't you understand in my post? 

If someone is dishonest, I wouldn't recommend then for law school or business school either. 

Whats really interesting is how this person seeking the LOR thinks that this person who doesnt even belong in the field would give her a good LOR. I cant prove it, but my intuition tells me that someone probably has a history of not being assertive enough. And that person isnt the one asking for the LOR.

I feel like I'm being slighted somewhere in here, but I can't figure out what you're saying.
Stop being so cryptic, fuckers.

habeas dorkus!

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Re: Ethical question about a LOR
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2006, 10:29:17 PM »
I don't have a clue what the hell any of that even means, but to talk about this like some pressing ethical dilemma is ridiculous and a total occurance of 0L, lets-think-about-everything-like-we're-Atticus-Finchism.

Some girl wants a LOR.  HD thinks she doesn't deserve one.  That's her choice.  It's not certain the girl definitely does not deserve to study in a certain field beacuse HD holds that opinion, as though this girl committed a murder and HD can't figure out whether or not to turn her in  ::)

If the girl's a screwup and you don't like her, just tell her you think someone could write her a better LOR (which you've already said you're going to do).   
 

What didn't you understand in my post? 

If someone is dishonest, I wouldn't recommend then for law school or business school either. 

My impression is that the real issue is not so much whether or not he should write the letter but rather how to handle "letting her down easy". Sometimes you just have to face a problem, and its not easy. Truth is, even if she is told "I dont have the time" or something, it will still suck. And unless she is completely out of it, and gullable, she's going to know the truth anyway. Its the LOR equivalent of saying "something suddenly came up" or "Im rearranging my sock drawer".
Whats really interesting is how this person seeking the LOR thinks that this person who doesnt even think she belongs in the field would give her a good LOR. I cant prove it, but my intuition tells me that someone probably has a history of not being assertive enough. And that person isnt the one asking for the LOR.

Oh. So you think I'm not assertive?
Stop being so cryptic, fuckers.