LOR - odd question

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delusional
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LOR - odd question

Postby delusional » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:08 pm

I am a few years out of full-time school, and until a few hours ago, I was very uptight about my LORs. I have a former boss, and any number of profs who won't really remember me, but will be happy to write a vanilla LOR. I don't want my current boss to be involved at all.

Anyway, I just found out that someone who knows me well, now has a prestigious position in my old school. He knew me when I was a student, and even better, he completely coincidentally worked with a business that I founded, and was very happy. The catch is that when I was a student, he was not in the position that he's in now.

Here's my question: Should I ask him to write an LOR, sign it with his current title, and assume all is well? Should he write a glowing LOR, and specify that when he knew me as a student it was not in his current role? Or should I just forgo his LOR, which can be great, in favor of a few nondescript but more traditional LORs?

Secondary question: In a case where a professor happens to have additional knowledge of a nontraditional applicant from a setting other than school, is it appropriate for him to make mention of that relationship, whether as part of his recommendation, or as a sort of disclaimer?

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BrownBears09
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby BrownBears09 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:17 pm

delusional wrote:Anyway, I just found out that someone who knows me well, now has a prestigious position in my old school. He knew me when I was a student, and even better, he completely coincidentally worked with a business that I founded, and was very happy. The catch is that when I was a student, he was not in the position that he's in now.

Here's my question: Should I ask him to write an LOR, sign it with his current title, and assume all is well? Should he write a glowing LOR, and specify that when he knew me as a student it was not in his current role? Or should I just forgo his LOR, which can be great, in favor of a few nondescript but more traditional LORs?


I'm under the assumption that your friend will establish your relationship with him in the letter. I'm not sure how he would describe it, but unless he was your boss or professor, he would have a "personal" relationship with you. Why do you seem so against having your friend disclose your actual relationship?

Also, the entire LOR from your friend seems a bit sketchy to me. I'm interpreting that you want your friend to write an LOR under the assumption that the law schools will think it is from a business/academic relationship. Thereby, you believe you'll gain a larger admission boost from this perceived "business/academic" relationship relative to a "personal" relationship LOR. In effect, it's almost like withholding information and a borderline lie. Does not seem very ethical imo.

delusional
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby delusional » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:28 pm

BrownBears09 wrote:
I'm under the assumption that your friend will establish your relationship with him in the letter. I'm not sure how he would describe it, but unless he was your boss, he would have a "personal" relationship with you. Why do you seem so against having your friend disclose your actual relationship?

Also, the entire LOR from your friend seems a bit sketchy to me. I'm interpreting that you want your friend to write an LOR under the assumption that the law schools will think it is from a business relationship. Thereby, you believe you'll gain a larger admission boost from this perceived "business" relationship relative to a "personal" relationship LOR. In effect, it's almost like withholding information. Does not seem very ethical imo.


Let me clarify: I want to fulfill the requirement for a LOR from my undergrad. This fellow, who knew me when I was a student, would be happy to write his impression of me as a student. Additionally, he can write his impression of me as someone who encountered me in a business setting. He can sign the letter with his current position as a faculty member at my undergrad. However, when I was actually at the school, it was more of a peer relationship, and he was barely on the fringes of the faculty at that point.

Were he to write "I consulted Delusional on several papers and he was brilliant, wise and articulate," and then were he to sign his current name and position, it would give the false impression that he consulted with me on these papers, and formed these impressions, while he was serving in his current capacity, which is not, in fact, the case. OTOH, if he specifically mentions that while I was a student, he was barely a librarian's assistant, and we hung out together and discussed some assignments, and he found me brilliant, wise, and articulate, it lacks the same punch. I guess I kind of have my answer, now that I've laid it out like that...

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BrownBears09
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby BrownBears09 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:37 pm

delusional wrote:
BrownBears09 wrote:
I'm under the assumption that your friend will establish your relationship with him in the letter. I'm not sure how he would describe it, but unless he was your boss, he would have a "personal" relationship with you. Why do you seem so against having your friend disclose your actual relationship?

Also, the entire LOR from your friend seems a bit sketchy to me. I'm interpreting that you want your friend to write an LOR under the assumption that the law schools will think it is from a business relationship. Thereby, you believe you'll gain a larger admission boost from this perceived "business" relationship relative to a "personal" relationship LOR. In effect, it's almost like withholding information. Does not seem very ethical imo.


Let me clarify: I want to fulfill the requirement for a LOR from my undergrad. This fellow, who knew me when I was a student, would be happy to write his impression of me as a student. Additionally, he can write his impression of me as someone who encountered me in a business setting. He can sign the letter with his current position as a faculty member at my undergrad. However, when I was actually at the school, it was more of a peer relationship, and he was barely on the fringes of the faculty at that point.

Were he to write "I consulted Delusional on several papers and he was brilliant, wise and articulate," and then were he to sign his current name and position, it would give the false impression that he consulted with me on these papers, and formed these impressions, while he was serving in his current capacity, which is not, in fact, the case. OTOH, if he specifically mentions that while I was a student, he was barely a librarian's assistant, and we hung out together and discussed some assignments, and he found me brilliant, wise, and articulate, it lacks the same punch. I guess I kind of have my answer, now that I've laid it out like that...


I know that's what you're implying, it's withholding the actual fruit of the LOR, which is the relationship with you during the time period of evaluation. Hence, it is sketchy and unethical.

You're trying to masquerade your friend, who now works at your old UG, as a faculty member during your academic tenure. This is dangerous. All it would take would be a simple Google search to determine his hire date, as well as his undergraduate institution. The adcomms are not dumb, they'll easily put the pieces together (if they even make a lame attempt.)

To be blunt, it sounds completely wrong.

Edit: Not to mention, if you actually pull it off, who's to say this won't come up during your C&F with the bar? This is a completely nightmare situation, but it still poses a possibility.

delusional
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby delusional » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:43 pm

Yeah, I guess you're right. :( .

Well, I'll have to start a topic about creative ideas to write an LOR.

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joebloe
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby joebloe » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:50 pm

A little OT, but why would one's LoRs be available for review by the bar if you sign the confidentiality waiver? Furthermore, beyond the concern of playing tricks to fulfill the LoR requirements, why would you be held responsible by C&F for the content of a LoR? It's not like you're writing it...

All that said, I wouldn't take the risk if it were me.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:54 pm

delusional wrote:when I was actually at the school, it was more of a peer relationship, and he was barely on the fringes of the faculty at that point.

delusional wrote:he was barely a librarian's assistant


What exactly was his position? Was he a fellow undergrad? Was he a grad student who was never your GTA/instructor? Your posts don't make it exactly clear. If he's just some friend you occasionally bounced ideas off of, do you really think that qualifies him to write an academic LOR?

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JenDarby
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby JenDarby » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:47 pm

I had a lot of difficulty thinking about someone from my UG to write a letter of recommendation for me. I graduated in two years, worked full time, and when I wasn't working, well, I certainly wasn't going to office hours....I finally remembered a TA of mine who I knew would welcome the opportunity to write the letter, and he pulled together a pretty good LOR considering. To supplement it, I am a ways out of UG and had glowing letters from employers. I think you should go with a professor who you think will write you a vanilla LOR. Provide him with your resume, perhaps your PS, and whatever else you think might jog their memory, or assist them in writing a more compelling LOR.

As far as your second question, I think it depends what type of relationship you are referring to. If you ended up doing volunteer work outside of the classroom with an ex professor and they can speak towards your character, integrity, etc as a result then I think its encouraged they mention it. If the relationship is of a less...appropriate nature, then they certainly shouldn't include a disclaimer, and depending on the transparency of that relationship, you may want to rethink including a letter from that individual.

delusional
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Re: LOR - odd question

Postby delusional » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:24 am

JenDarby wrote:I had a lot of difficulty thinking about someone from my UG to write a letter of recommendation for me. I graduated in two years, worked full time, and when I wasn't working, well, I certainly wasn't going to office hours....I finally remembered a TA of mine who I knew would welcome the opportunity to write the letter, and he pulled together a pretty good LOR considering. To supplement it, I am a ways out of UG and had glowing letters from employers. I think you should go with a professor who you think will write you a vanilla LOR. Provide him with your resume, perhaps your PS, and whatever else you think might jog their memory, or assist them in writing a more compelling LOR.

As far as your second question, I think it depends what type of relationship you are referring to. If you ended up doing volunteer work outside of the classroom with an ex professor and they can speak towards your character, integrity, etc as a result then I think its encouraged they mention it. If the relationship is of a less...appropriate nature, then they certainly shouldn't include a disclaimer, and depending on the transparency of that relationship, you may want to rethink including a letter from that individual.

:) :) :) Hell no! I meant an interaction, not a relationship relationship!

Anyway, I appreciate everybody who weighed in. I guess I kind of knew that it's not right, and may be a recipe for disaster; I'm just at wit's end over these ******* LORs. Well, like everything else, I guess the answer is to hope for a higher LSAT score! Problem is, if my diversity statement isn't perfect, I'm going to need a 186.




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