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Author Topic: wanna open it!  (Read 7447 times)

londongirl

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wanna open it!
« on: August 20, 2004, 04:17:44 PM »
Ok, so my letter of recommendation has just arrived in the post, signed and sealed. And I so want to read it! But I can't. And it's sitting on my desk, asking to be opened. But I won't. I hold it to the light hoping to see something, btu nowt. Arghhhhhh, it's so frustrating, and I will NEVER know what it said.....

TDPookie1

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2004, 05:10:14 PM »
So I was thinking about this...  If I ask my recommenders to mail me the letter, how would the law schools know that this happened and that the letter wasn't sent directly to them if I open the letter and put it in a new envelope?  I thought I read somewhere that they only have to sign across the seal if they're sending it to you.  I'm not worried about what my recommenders will say, just curious.  :)  In the end, I think I'll be too scared of being caught to actually open the letters.  And to help myself resist temptation, I'm going to have them send the letters directly to LSAC/the law schools.
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londongirl

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2004, 05:31:15 PM »
Because I was told that if you don't waive your right to read them the law school won't take them very seriously, thinking the prof felt he/she had to be diplomatic and could later be held accountable.
Anyway, if you don't waive the right, you still have to send them in sealed and signed. It just means you can look at them retrospectively. By that point I care less about reading it.

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2004, 06:03:33 PM »
Right. I've heard people outside the admissions process say that, but I had the deans of admissions for three different schools tell me that's silly. One of 'em said, "Hey, you're gonna be a lawyer, right? Why would you start that journey by waiving your rights to something?"

I just asked my recs for my own copy... via email. They were happy to oblige.

Because I was told that if you don't waive your right to read them the law school won't take them very seriously, thinking the prof felt he/she had to be diplomatic and could later be held accountable.
Anyway, if you don't waive the right, you still have to send them in sealed and signed. It just means you can look at them retrospectively. By that point I care less about reading it.

Damn, that's a good point.  Good thing I've been a slacker and haven't sent my recommenders their packets yet.  I'll be sure not to waive my right to read them.  One of my three professors is going to send me a copy of what she sent anyway, but I'm more curious about the other two.  Probably because they didn't offer to send one to me.  Ha ha.  :)
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Ginatio

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2004, 06:22:23 PM »
It does seem silly, but at the same time I'm sure the admissions office would appreciate the candor of a letter of recommendation written in confidence.

Right. I've heard people outside the admissions process say that, but I had the deans of admissions for three different schools tell me that's silly. One of 'em said, "Hey, you're gonna be a lawyer, right? Why would you start that journey by waiving your rights to something?"

I just asked my recs for my own copy... via email. They were happy to oblige.

Because I was told that if you don't waive your right to read them the law school won't take them very seriously, thinking the prof felt he/she had to be diplomatic and could later be held accountable.
Anyway, if you don't waive the right, you still have to send them in sealed and signed. It just means you can look at them retrospectively. By that point I care less about reading it.

londongirl

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2004, 06:37:16 PM »
 Well mine did!
Why wouldn't others?
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lexylit

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2004, 06:42:18 PM »
disagree strongly  >:( must waive right to read.

Ginatio

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2004, 06:44:14 PM »
you're saying that the admissions office "knows" that future lawyers will be dishonest and knowingly breach a waiver? If that's the case, the ethics of our future lawyers is in a sad state of affairs indeed...

Even if the admissions office knows that you have breached your agreement and read the letter of recommendation prior to submitting it, that isn't really the issue. What the admissions office will know is that the professor writing the recommendation wrote his letter with the candor that comes with an assumption of confidentiality... even if that assumption turned out to be an illusion

next you'll tell me that the professor assumes the student will break the waiver as well.
to which I'll reply: if that's his assessment of the student's honesty, then he won't have nice things to say in the first place...

But don't you think that the admissions office knows that people will read them anyway, or that the letter writer will share it... even if they waive that right? I think that they'd have to be wearing some seriously rosey colored glasses to think that a waiver ensures the candor of a letter of rec. 

It does seem silly, but at the same time I'm sure the admissions office would appreciate the candor of a letter of recommendation written in confidence.

Right. I've heard people outside the admissions process say that, but I had the deans of admissions for three different schools tell me that's silly. One of 'em said, "Hey, you're gonna be a lawyer, right? Why would you start that journey by waiving your rights to something?"

I just asked my recs for my own copy... via email. They were happy to oblige.

Because I was told that if you don't waive your right to read them the law school won't take them very seriously, thinking the prof felt he/she had to be diplomatic and could later be held accountable.
Anyway, if you don't waive the right, you still have to send them in sealed and signed. It just means you can look at them retrospectively. By that point I care less about reading it.

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2004, 07:01:28 PM »
disagree strongly  >:( must waive right to read.

Okay, I changed my mind then.  Waiving it is.  That was quick :)
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Ginatio

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Re: wanna open it!
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2004, 07:09:54 PM »
I realize that wasn't your goal, but you left yourself open to that attack on your argument.

I still have to stick with the following point, however: if you breach the waiver and read the letter of recommendation, the admissions office has to assume, nevertheless, that the letter was written with the assumption of confidence.

As long as the person writing the recommendation is under the assumption that the student won't read the letter, it won't matter whether or not the student actually abides by not reading it.

Do you see my point? you can read it, but it will still have been written with candor.

Whereas, if you don't waive your right to access the letter, the professor is 100% assured that you will in fact read his letter, and, thus, cannot possibly write the letter with the honesty that he otherwise would have (unless he had nothing but good things to say in the first place or just doesn't care that you will read it).

:( Geez! No. I am not saying that the admissions office knows that ALL future lawyers will be dishonest... but they'd be stupid to think that ALL people will abide by the highest code of ethics in all things they do. Maybe you're integrity cup overflows like londongirl's Scotswoman's, but there are people who have no cup whatsoever. Admissions knows this. There is only one way that they know you're being 100% honest with them... you refuse to waive your right.

Look, before I talked with these three particular deans I thought it was vital to sign that stupid waiver... that it was just a part of the process. I wasn't psyched about the idea of giving up the chance to read nice things written about me by people whom I respect incredibly, but I was willing to do it and remain faithful to my waiver "promise." After talking with them, though, I changed my mind.

I was merely sharing my view. My goal was to offer an alternative to those who are stuck, not to impugn the integrity of the future lawyers of the world. Honest.

you're saying that the admissions office "knows" that future lawyers will be dishonest and knowingly breach a waiver? If that's the case, the ethics of our future lawyers is in a sad state of affairs indeed...

Even if the admissions office knows that you have breached your agreement and read the letter of recommendation prior to submitting it, that isn't really the issue. What the admissions office will know is that the professor writing the recommendation wrote his letter with the candor that comes with an assumption of confidentiality... even if that assumption turned out to be an illusion

next you'll tell me that the professor assumes the student will break the waiver as well.
to which I'll reply: if that's his assessment of the student's honesty, then he won't have nice things to say in the first place...