Worst LOR in the history of mankind

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crumpetsandtea
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Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:47 am

My last semester in school, I took a class that I really excelled in--I really enjoyed the topic, came to all the classes and did all the readings, stayed after class to chat with the prof almost every class, etc etc...

So of course I decided to ask this Professor for a LOR, and he said he'd 'love to write a letter of recommendation' for me. I even sent him a packet of information--LSAT score, grade/performance in class & samples of written work done in class, resume, a brief write up of why I am going to law school, and a current draft of my personal statement.

Then he emailed me the LOR he wrote. It's literally 3/4 of a page, super generic, and not only does he spell my first name incorrectly multiple times, but he also uses the name 'Anja' instead of my name in the second paragraph (??????? I don't even know.) It looks like he took a generic LOR skeleton and inserted random facts about me, and it makes it seem like I just randomly picked a LOR writer from a class that I'd barely even shown up to.

Question--do I email him back, politely asking him to fix these issues? Or do I just scrap him and find another professor to ask? I've asked another prof but I went to a HUGE state school and I didn't really connect with many of my other professors, so right now I only have this guy and 1 other ): ):

Other relevant info--I am applying NEXT CYCLE (fall2011, starting 1L fall2012). I will have WE so I can possibly get an employer to write a 2nd LOR. I'm a splitter, so my application has to be VERY STRONG because I need all the help I can get.

jaydizzle
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby jaydizzle » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:21 am

crumpetsandtea wrote:My last semester in school, I took a class that I really excelled in--I really enjoyed the topic, came to all the classes and did all the readings, stayed after class to chat with the prof almost every class, etc etc...

So of course I decided to ask this Professor for a LOR, and he said he'd 'love to write a letter of recommendation' for me. I even sent him a packet of information--LSAT score, grade/performance in class & samples of written work done in class, resume, a brief write up of why I am going to law school, and a current draft of my personal statement.

Then he emailed me the LOR he wrote. It's literally 3/4 of a page, super generic, and not only does he spell my first name incorrectly multiple times, but he also uses the name 'Anja' instead of my name in the second paragraph (??????? I don't even know.) It looks like he took a generic LOR skeleton and inserted random facts about me, and it makes it seem like I just randomly picked a LOR writer from a class that I'd barely even shown up to.

Question--do I email him back, politely asking him to fix these issues? Or do I just scrap him and find another professor to ask? I've asked another prof but I went to a HUGE state school and I didn't really connect with many of my other professors, so right now I only have this guy and 1 other ): ):

Other relevant info--I am applying NEXT CYCLE (fall2011, starting 1L fall2012). I will have WE so I can possibly get an employer to write a 2nd LOR. I'm a splitter, so my application has to be VERY STRONG because I need all the help I can get.


Ask another professor. I know you don't want to hear this, but I had a similar experience. Mine took forever to write it. I told him I needed it to send my apps in early November. He delayed me until mid-November. I asked the guy write when school started in late August too. In the end, he wanted me to write my own rec and he will "edit" it. I got it back and it was worse than what I gave him. I can't understand how a top graduate would produce such work. I opted to have another professor help me out, and I couldn't be happier.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:32 am

Write him back asking for a new LOR, refer to him as Mrs. ......





seriously scrap this guy

thisguy456
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby thisguy456 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:43 am

Ask someone else. But if you want you can tell this person honestly that you were a little disappointed the letter was not a more personal reflection of the work you've done in class. You can offer to write a sample if they prefer, etc. If you are upfront and mature about it, and not asking why it doesn't make you look better or something like that, who knows maybe you'll get a stellar LOR back.

AztecaRex
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby AztecaRex » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:46 pm

You could always politely "suggest" that he mention some specific things from his class that emphasize your analytical and logical reasoning skills. Just say that law school admissions depend greatly on proof of these skills. I had a similar problem to yours with one of my professors, took this path, and the letter improved tenfold. Either that, or as others say, just scrap this professor and move to someone else.

2011Law
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby 2011Law » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:53 pm

How common is it for the professor to email you the LOR they send, cause neither of mine did? Though I assume they were good, since I got A's in their classes and never missed a class, one of them took about a month longer to send than he said he would, and I had to email him twice after the date he promised to send it just to see if he had tried anything. I kinda feel like he might have done a generic fill in the blank LOR.

mala2
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby mala2 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:54 pm

Well, he sent it to you to edit it. Edit it until it's a good letter and send it back to him to sign. Just make sure it doesn't look like your writing style. Most people are like this with LORs so the fact that you're already at the edit stage is months ahead of another writer. He's busy and doesn't want to do the hard work for nothing, so do it for him. Welcome to the real world.

mala2
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby mala2 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:55 pm

Everyone who wrote me one did, and I didn't even ask them.

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aas911
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby aas911 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:57 pm

If you want to save yourself from having an awkward conversation, you can accept the letter from the professor, thank him/her and never assign it to a school.

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luckyme
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby luckyme » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:58 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:Write him back asking for a new LOR, refer to him as Mrs. ......





seriously scrap this guy

lol

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joebloe
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby joebloe » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:18 pm

Not to pile on, but ask someone else. Count your lucky stars you got to see the letter.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:11 pm

joebloe wrote:Not to pile on, but ask someone else. Count your lucky stars you got to see the letter.


Oh trust me, I am...especially since I hadn't ASKED to see the letter, he just decided to send it to me. Luckily my other professor's LOR should be AWESOME. So now I just need to find a professor who still remembers me after a year or two and can give me a decent LOR.

Thanks for the advice everyone <3

mala2
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby mala2 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:14 pm

it's really strange to me that you're upset about this. No one said you asked to see the letter, why would you do that? it's very normal for people to do that on their own. It's starting to give me a headache how pompous this board tends to be, I think I'll go do something productive.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:23 pm

mala2 wrote:it's really strange to me that you're upset about this. No one said you asked to see the letter, why would you do that? it's very normal for people to do that on their own. It's starting to give me a headache how pompous this board tends to be, I think I'll go do something productive.


? I'm confused. I mentioned I didn't ask to see the letter to express how glad I was that he did, actually, send it to me, so I could catch his mistakes (ie: putting in a name nothing like my own into my LOR). I wasn't upset about that at all, I was relieved.

If you're referencing my OP, I don't see how being worried about an LOR that doesn't spell my name correctly and mentions someone else's name completely = being pompous.

I think there was a miscommunication here somewhere. I'm incredibly thankful that the professor decided to write an LOR for me, but I'm just worried that the LOR misrepresents my dedication/performance in the class. I'm not sure why that would be strange, or why that makes me pompous?

pelmen74
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby pelmen74 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:41 pm

Why are you even reading his letters? You realize that LSAC asks you weather you had access to the letter and gives this information to law schools. Any letter to which you don't waive access to will automatically lose all of its value from the standpoint of admissions counselors.

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Knock
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby Knock » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:43 pm

I'd talk to him and politely explain the situation. The worst thing that's going to happen is that he says no or writes you another crappy LOR, and you are in the same position you are now, and you can scrap him. I know how hard it is to connect with professors at large state schools, so you don't want to squander a potentially solid LOR unless you hve to.

09042014
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:43 pm

pelmen74 wrote:Why are you even reading his letters? You realize that LSAC asks you weather you had access to the letter and gives this information to law schools. Any letter to which you don't waive access to will automatically lose all of its value from the standpoint of admissions counselors.

LSAC only asks if you waive the right to see it in the future. It never asks if you already did.

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JazzOne
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:44 pm

mala2 wrote:it's really strange to me that you're upset about this. No one said you asked to see the letter, why would you do that? it's very normal for people to do that on their own. It's starting to give me a headache how pompous this board tends to be, I think I'll go do something productive.

WTF?


And

pelmen74 wrote:Why are you even reading his letters? You realize that LSAC asks you weather you had access to the letter and gives this information to law schools. Any letter to which you don't waive access to will automatically lose all of its value from the standpoint of admissions counselors.

WTF?

The garbage on TLS continues to amaze me.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:52 pm

Knock wrote:I'd talk to him and politely explain the situation. The worst thing that's going to happen is that he says no or writes you another crappy LOR, and you are in the same position you are now, and you can scrap him. I know how hard it is to connect with professors at large state schools, so you don't want to squander a potentially solid LOR unless you hve to.


Yeah :\ I actually already emailed him and he's already replied with another version...it's like the same letter but with the right names (lol) and like, one more sentence. IDK, I might ask some people to take a look and see if it's worth submitting or if it'd be better to find another professor.

JazzOne wrote:/quote WTF?.../quote...The garbage on TLS continues to amaze me.


Hahaha thank you!!! I was very confused by those responses. Also, pelman, that's another reason why I specifically mentioned that I didn't request to see the letter. I wasn't actively trying to get access to the LOR, I think he just sent it to me for review or to let me know it was done.
Last edited by crumpetsandtea on Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JazzOne
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:54 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
JazzOne wrote:WTF? You're the one being pompous . . . The garbage on TLS continues to amaze me.


Hahaha thank you!!! I was very confused by those responses. Also, pelman, that's another reason why I specifically mentioned that I didn't request to see the letter. I wasn't actively trying to get access to the LOR, I think he just sent it to me for review or to let me know it was done.

I deleted the part about the other poster being pompous. I'll give him/her the benefit of the doubt and assume he/she misread something in this thread. Then again, it's pretty pompous to call someone out without reading carefully.

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joebloe
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby joebloe » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:11 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
Knock wrote:I'd talk to him and politely explain the situation. The worst thing that's going to happen is that he says no or writes you another crappy LOR, and you are in the same position you are now, and you can scrap him. I know how hard it is to connect with professors at large state schools, so you don't want to squander a potentially solid LOR unless you hve to.


Yeah :\ I actually already emailed him and he's already replied with another version...it's like the same letter but with the right names (lol) and like, one more sentence. IDK, I might ask some people to take a look and see if it's worth submitting or if it'd be better to find another professor.


Total facepalm at that. My earlier sentiment goes double. I'd just thank the professor for his trouble and move on. Don't waste any more of your time.

elsam1980
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby elsam1980 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:16 pm

Profs seriously let students write/edit their own letters? And students really feel okay doing that? That's nauseating. If a prof ever asked me to do that, I'd be super insulted and I'd feel really disappointed with him/her. I seriously can't even imagine any of my profs as an undergrad and grad and now any of my colleague profs doing that! And if one of my own students ever suggested doing that, I'd flip! And you guys really feel okay writing/editing your own damn letter and sending that in? Wow...that should be under a new category of ethics questions in those law school applications. "Did you or did you not write your own letter?"
And you are really not supposed to see them. That's whole code of honor and ethics and trust once again!!!
User who originated the post: this is not directed at you.

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JazzOne
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:29 pm

elsam1980 wrote:Profs seriously let students write/edit their own letters? And students really feel okay doing that? That's nauseating. If a prof ever asked me to do that, I'd be super insulted and I'd feel really disappointed with him/her. I seriously can't even imagine any of my profs as an undergrad and grad and now any of my colleague profs doing that! And if one of my own students ever suggested doing that, I'd flip! And you guys really feel okay writing/editing your own damn letter and sending that in? Wow...that should be under a new category of ethics questions in those law school applications. "Did you or did you not write your own letter?"
And you are really not supposed to see them. That's whole code of honor and ethics and trust once again!!!
User who originated the post: this is not directed at you.

It's actually pretty common. There is no honor code issue as long as you're honest. You can't just send the letter in. You have to give it back to the professor for his signature and approval. Get a grip. It doesn't matter who wrote the letter if the professor agrees with the contents.

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Deuce
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby Deuce » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:30 pm

Crumps.... scrap.

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joebloe
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Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby joebloe » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:34 pm

elsam1980 wrote:Profs seriously let students write/edit their own letters? And students really feel okay doing that? That's nauseating. If a prof ever asked me to do that, I'd be super insulted and I'd feel really disappointed with him/her. I seriously can't even imagine any of my profs as an undergrad and grad and now any of my colleague profs doing that! And if one of my own students ever suggested doing that, I'd flip! And you guys really feel okay writing/editing your own damn letter and sending that in? Wow...that should be under a new category of ethics questions in those law school applications. "Did you or did you not write your own letter?"
And you are really not supposed to see them. That's whole code of honor and ethics and trust once again!!!
User who originated the post: this is not directed at you.


Professors are lazy/busy and the recognize LoRs are more or less meaningless puff pieces that (at least for LS admissions) have little bearing on you getting in UNLESS they're not written well. I don't think students are generally "OK" with doing it, but they acquiesce probably because they figure the prof knows better. I doubt students solicit this from their profs.

And where the heck did you get the idea that you aren't supposed to see your LoRs? You have a right under FERPA to see it (presuming you didn't waive and you matriculate somewhere). If I were writing a letter of recommendation to somebody, I would always ask for that person's input on the letter before sending it off, if only because I know how stressful it is to not know what people are writing.




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