LORs - Prof super secretive

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby angiej » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:46 am

I have a professor who I have asked to write a LOR for a scholarship and will likely ask the same prof to write my LOR for law school this year. She is super secretive about it, will not even give hints as to what it says, and despite the scholarship app not requiring her to submit it herself, she insists it "looks better" for her to hand deliver it to my campus scholarship office. My two other profs who are writing LORs for the same scholarship app (and who I will also likely ask for LORs for law school apps from) were happy to show me what they wrote, and it was great.

So what reason, if any, would the super secretive prof have to not show me the LOR? Should I be concerned? Should I not use her for my law school LOR (knowing that I have two other profs who are delighted to write for me)? I chose her because I have maintained a close relationship with her, I've taken two classes with her and she is my academic advisor, faculty advisor for two clubs I participate in, and my work study boss (I'm her research assistant). So she is far more qualified to write about me than the other two profs.

eudaimondaimon
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby eudaimondaimon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:02 am

angiej wrote:So what reason, if any, would the super secretive prof have to not show me the LOR? Should I be concerned?


I wouldn't be concerned. Some people just have different expectations of privacy.

User avatar
BaiAilian2013
Posts: 921
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:06 am

Did you ask her what it says?? It is pretty standard procedure not to talk about what is in an LOR, both for the comfort of the recommender and the integrity of the system. She's probably just old-fashioned, and by "old-fashioned" I mean "normal."

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby englawyer » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:07 am

no reason to be concerned. some professors tend to live by the "LOR code". they would like to think the other professors do the same, so that when they read LOR for their own grad programs and whatnot they are genuine and not influenced by the student.

orphanarium
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:12 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby orphanarium » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:08 am

...
Last edited by orphanarium on Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby angiej » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:14 am

BaiAilian2013 wrote:Did you ask her what it says?? It is pretty standard procedure not to talk about what is in an LOR, both for the comfort of the recommender and the integrity of the system. She's probably just old-fashioned, and by "old-fashioned" I mean "normal."


I didn't, I'm not really sure how to ask but since the others offered up the info and even gave me copies I assumed that was "normal." But thank you for the reassurance!

User avatar
Sauer Grapes
Posts: 1222
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:02 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:21 am

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby angiej » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:27 am

Sauer Grapes wrote:When soliciting for recommendations, it is always a good idea to ask the recommender, "Do you feel you can give me an unambiguously positive recommendation?" If they have reservations, that is the time to find out.

I bet you are OK though. Unless you are an incredible douche, then she would not have volunteered to write the recommendation if she didn't feel she could give you a good one.


Haha, thanks. I have worked extremely hard for this professor, both academically and professionally. Though, she can be very moody. I recently saw her DESTROY a student who was caught talking negatively about her to other students. She actually called the LSAC and law schools she wrote recommendations for and asked they be rescinded. See why I'm so paranoid?

User avatar
Sauer Grapes
Posts: 1222
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:02 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:28 am

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby angiej » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:32 am

Sauer Grapes wrote:I see. I still think you are OK. I say leave it alone and try not to worry about it. Asking her anything else may set her off.


Thanks! And does anyone know what a good LOR for l.s. length wise would be? One of my LOR's for this scholarship was about a 1 1/4 page and even talked about my analytical and writing skills, he claimed I was of the top 10% of students he taught in the last 28 years. Maybe that is boilerplate? But I'm thinking I probably want him to write the same thing for l.s.
Last edited by angiej on Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
CKuleba
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:11 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby CKuleba » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:32 am

I wouldnt worry about it... I had a teacher write me a LOR and wouldn't send it to me.. I told him essentially that there was no way I was going to submit a LOR without seeing what it said. He sent it to me and it is by far my best LOR.

slider
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:35 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby slider » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:44 am

angiej wrote:I have a professor who I have asked to write a LOR for a scholarship and will likely ask the same prof to write my LOR for law school this year. She is super secretive about it, will not even give hints as to what it says, and despite the scholarship app not requiring her to submit it herself, she insists it "looks better" for her to hand deliver it to my campus scholarship office. My two other profs who are writing LORs for the same scholarship app (and who I will also likely ask for LORs for law school apps from) were happy to show me what they wrote, and it was great.

So what reason, if any, would the super secretive prof have to not show me the LOR? Should I be concerned? Should I not use her for my law school LOR (knowing that I have two other profs who are delighted to write for me)? I chose her because I have maintained a close relationship with her, I've taken two classes with her and she is my academic advisor, faculty advisor for two clubs I participate in, and my work study boss (I'm her research assistant). So she is far more qualified to write about me than the other two profs.


I'm going to go the opposite direction on this one.

I had the exact same situation with a professor who was on my thesis committee. I had two classes with her. I received A/A+ in her classes and she helped me write my thesis. When I asked her to write me a LOR she became very secretive and she didn't want to show me the letter. I didn't ask her to see it, but my other professors sent me a copy of their LORs before even sending it out.

Paranoia got the best of me and I decided not to send her letter to any of the law schools I applied to. I didn't want to take the chance since I felt I was a borderline applicant. My cycle was much too important for me to take a chance with someone who felt they needed to be secretive.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Kohinoor » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:58 am

angiej wrote:
Sauer Grapes wrote:I see. I still think you are OK. I say leave it alone and try not to worry about it. Asking her anything else may set her off.


Thanks! And does anyone know what a good LOR for l.s. length wise would be? One of my LOR's for this scholarship was about a 1 1/4 page and even talked about my analytical and writing skills, he claimed I was of the top 10% of students he taught in the last 28 years. Maybe that is boilerplate? But I'm thinking I probably want him to write the same thing for l.s.

You are hella thinking too hard about this.

User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby angiej » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:00 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
angiej wrote:
Sauer Grapes wrote:I see. I still think you are OK. I say leave it alone and try not to worry about it. Asking her anything else may set her off.


Thanks! And does anyone know what a good LOR for l.s. length wise would be? One of my LOR's for this scholarship was about a 1 1/4 page and even talked about my analytical and writing skills, he claimed I was of the top 10% of students he taught in the last 28 years. Maybe that is boilerplate? But I'm thinking I probably want him to write the same thing for l.s.

You are hella thinking too hard about this.


Story of my life. :roll: I think I need to be on prozac until after I have been accepted to my law school of choice.

User avatar
calawbiz
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:05 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby calawbiz » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:54 pm

angiej wrote:
Sauer Grapes wrote:I see. I still think you are OK. I say leave it alone and try not to worry about it. Asking her anything else may set her off.


Thanks! And does anyone know what a good LOR for l.s. length wise would be? One of my LOR's for this scholarship was about a 1 1/4 page and even talked about my analytical and writing skills, he claimed I was of the top 10% of students he taught in the last 28 years. Maybe that is boilerplate? But I'm thinking I probably want him to write the same thing for l.s.


Those topics are considered to be standard for LORs and recommendation writers should absolutely include information about how you compare to your peers. However, because adcoms find detailed anecdotes of situations in which you demonstrated your analytical/communication/critical thinking abilities to be the most useful information provided in a LOR, 1.25 pages seems a bit short. If you can, encourage your LOR writers to cite specific examples of your strengths. As far as the length of LORs, you should check each school's application to see if they provide guidelines about that, and if they don't, I've heard that two to three pages is perfectly acceptable. Anna Ivey, the former Chicago admissions dean, basically says in her book that longer LORs are better, provided they contain lots of detail that give the adcom insight into your candidacy that aren't mentioned in your other materials (Ivey also says that five-page LORs are ok if they're really detailed and useful, so it sounds like maximum length isn't an issue, but that LORs that are too short could be a problem).

User avatar
Moose Thompson
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Moose Thompson » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:43 pm

angiej wrote:
Sauer Grapes wrote:When soliciting for recommendations, it is always a good idea to ask the recommender, "Do you feel you can give me an unambiguously positive recommendation?" If they have reservations, that is the time to find out.

I bet you are OK though. Unless you are an incredible douche, then she would not have volunteered to write the recommendation if she didn't feel she could give you a good one.


Haha, thanks. I have worked extremely hard for this professor, both academically and professionally. Though, she can be very moody. I recently saw her DESTROY a student who was caught talking negatively about her to other students. She actually called the LSAC and law schools she wrote recommendations for and asked they be rescinded. See why I'm so paranoid?



So, you have the soup nazi as a professor?

User avatar
Gamecubesupreme
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:43 pm

...am I the only one who actually followed the rules and never asked for a copy of the LoR after I signed away my rights on the LoR form?

MPMP
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:32 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby MPMP » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:51 pm

Gamecubesupreme wrote:...am I the only one who actually followed the rules and never asked for a copy of the LoR after I signed away my rights on the LoR form?


+1.

I didn't either, I really can't imagine asking any of my writers to "proof" what they are going to submit.

User avatar
TheLuckyOne
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby TheLuckyOne » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:55 pm

Ahem... I dunno, OP: --LinkRemoved--

Technically, you don't know what is sent unless you seal and send it yourself. Even the "copy" could be not the one sent..

User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby angiej » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:01 pm

^^^ True, I hadn't thought of that.

And I didn't ask, they willingly provided. And this is for a scholarship, not for law school admissions.

User avatar
T14_Scholly
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby T14_Scholly » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:05 pm

Gamecubesupreme wrote:...am I the only one who actually followed the rules and never asked for a copy of the LoR after I signed away my rights on the LoR form?


I think you only sign away your rights to inspect the letter at the school, so it would seem that seeing the letter before it gets to the school is no problem.

User avatar
Zapatero
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:14 pm

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Zapatero » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:05 pm

MPMP wrote:
Gamecubesupreme wrote:...am I the only one who actually followed the rules and never asked for a copy of the LoR after I signed away my rights on the LoR form?


+1.

I didn't either, I really can't imagine asking any of my writers to "proof" what they are going to submit.



I never saw any of my LOR's. I thought that was normal.

User avatar
Sauer Grapes
Posts: 1222
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:02 am

Re: LORs - Prof super secretive

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:11 pm

....




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Finickywalrus and 3 guests