Worst LOR in the history of mankind

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby JazzOne » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:57 pm

jaydizzle wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
jaydizzle wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:I didn't read the thread, but I'll just say: never trust unmotivated or incompetent people to represent your interests, whether you've pointed out issues to them before or not. It will bite you in the ass every time.



This is the best response so far in the thread. Some people get such satisfaction from arguing on an internet forum... Is it really worth it? You said I am unethical, no you are an unethical douche. Blah blah. I got an A in an ethics course, I am ethics expert. Haha, this stuff is hilarious.

Great, another 0L who contributes nothing. Just what the forum needed! Let us know how many As you get at your TTT. For the life of me, I can't imagine why a future lawyer would enjoy arguing. You must be a true intellectual to have posed that question all by yourself.


Na, my mommy helped me come up with it. I also have to give credit to the man up there in the sky and my philosophy of ethics professor. This makes me an expert. The funny thing is I completely agree with all your responses. I don't think I can find one thing that makes me disagree. I'm not attacking you at all. I just find this whole thread rather hilarious. It just seemed to me you that you took everything so personally and came in attacking. I didn't find any of that necessary. With your stress levels being so high, have you considered boxing? I work out a lot right now, but boxing seems to do the trick. With my family situation the way it has been, I didn't want to start jumping on everyone for any small little detail.

Perhaps a few semesters of law school will convince you that ethics accusations are more serious in this profession because your ethical reputation is the only stock you have in your career. Law students and lawyers should not go around making blanket ethics accusations, without substantiation, against their classmates and peers. It's not just personally insulting; it's professionally irresponsible.

Also, I never claimed to be an expert. I mentioned one ethics course, but I probably have a total of 30 ethics credits over the course of my academic career, with an A in nearly every class. But I never used that fact to justify my argument. I offered legitimate reasons for my position. The purpose of mentioning my academic interest in ethics was to explain why I was so offended. Philosophy of ethics is something that matters a lot to me, and I'm going to vigorously defend myself against ethics charges regardless of the forum in which they occur.

As I pointed out above, my initial reply was not an attack, but it was met with a challenge to my professional values. So at that point, yeah, the fight was on.

User avatar
fastforward
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:31 pm

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby fastforward » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Ahem, back to the OP's issue . . .

The saving grace of this situation is the fact that the prof allowed you to see the letter before it went out, so you have a damage control opportunity. I do admissions consulting and frankly never cease to be amazed at how clueless faculty can be about writing effective LORs.

You waive your right to view the letter only after it is submitted, so the "ethics" debate here is a canard. Ditto the talk I've seen in these forums about drafting your own letter; I don't advise it, but for reasons other than ethical considerations. If a prof affixes his signature to a draft and sends it, the prof assumes responsibility for the content of the letter. Someone ITT mentioned profs being lazy/busy, and to that I would add "clueless".

What I do with my clients is to help them draft a very detailed and specific list of points they would like to see in a LOR, based on their history with the prof and what adcomms have said is helpful. Then I ask them to schedule an 30 min. appointment with the prof and review the points, one by one, and ask whether they are comfortable/willing to say such things about the applicant. Prior to the meeting, I ask them to provide the prof with the sort of materials the OP did (writing from a class by the prof, resume, etc.). Several other points should be clarified in the meeting. Profs are almost always willing to write what you want assuming you ask them only to write what is accurate. They want to help, and are flattered to be asked. It's just really a chore to craft a letter from scratch. So it's wise to provide a great deal of specific guidance.

Sounds as though your prof did basically a cut-and-paste of his template LOR, which may suffice for some purposes, but not for law school -- and not for you! Adcomms are unmoved by what someone here referred to as "puff" pieces that are mostly descriptive language such as "highly recommend" and "outstanding." They want specifics. A puff piece won't hurt you much -- they see these all the time -- but a good LOR will help, so don't waste the opportunity.

Your prof may be willing to do a rewrite based on this approach. You can approach him by saying, "I've been doing some research on the application process, and I'm afraid I was a little off base when I first asked you to recommend me. Would you be willing to revise a little, based on some new information I've learned?"

If not, find someone else. PM me if you have questions.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby dresden doll » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:25 pm

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


THIS.

Also, this thread makes me eternally grateful for my UG professors who produced thoughful, fantastic and individualized LORs in record time. I cannot understand why anyone would take up such a lazy approach to the task of that nature. He must know this is relevant to you. If he didn't have the time to put together a thoughtful, warm letter, he should have declined your request.

Which brings me back to:

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

User avatar
DeeCee
Posts: 1352
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:09 am

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby DeeCee » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:42 pm

I would thank the person who wrote it, allow them to submit it to LSAC, and NEVER assign it to a school. Then I'd move on and get another recommender. Anyone who writes you such a sloppy letter and doesn't even use your name throughout is ridiculous. You need someone who knows that it is important to have a polished letter.

And also, about recommenders letting you edit/write it-- I know this is commonplace, but I feel that is awkward and if my recommender asked me to write or edit my letter I would probably tell them no, because I'm not really comfortable with that.

Really, just get a new recommender because this one is writing a weak, general letter, rather than a strong one tailored to you.

Curry

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby Curry » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:49 pm

Holy Fuck this thread turned into a shitstorm.

The credited response is scrap.

User avatar
robotclubmember
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:51 pm

Bumping this rather than creating new thread.

I had a former employer write one of my LORs. I have a good relationship with him, but he's not a professor, he's a busy professional and has a tight travel schedule and work schedule. I would never have asked him if he hadn't offered to write it for me first. I was wooed by the fact that he offered to write it -- it meant one less person I had to ask -- neglecting that I know he has a bad habit of over-committing himself. He faxed the LOR in about a month after the deadline we had both agreed on. It was the last piece holding up my application. I am pretty sure he crapped it out at the last possible moment and had no idea what to put in there. I signed a form waiving my right to read the LOR. But he lost it and I had to e-mail him a new copy (at this point everything else in my app, including LSAT score, was good to go). I sent it to him so fast that I didn't think to print, re-sign, and scan it. It's unsigned. So I waived nothing.

Now I've decided I'm curious to read what's in it. I don't want to be going over the top thanking this guy if he wrote a bad LOR. Honestly, though I'm still waiting to hear back from half of the schools I applied to due to late apps, I've been WL'ed at every single one I used his letter in, some I felt pretty confident about. The one school I didn't use his letter for responded with an acceptance almost a month before any other school I applied to sent me WL's, and with a decent scholarship. Even though I am inclined to doubt it's a big deal either way, I think he wrote a terrible LOR and I want to read it. When it was submitted my right to view it was not waived, so long story short, how do I view it? Can I do it in LSAC.org? Have to contact a school? Has anyone done this?

EDIT - Poked around more, I know LSAC won't let me view it, but under Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act I should have the right to see what's in my app unless I waived the right to do so. Is this only for schools you are attending or is it for any school you applied to? Has anyone requested to see their app from a school they applied to and withdrew from before? I'd like to ask one of the schools I was WL'ed then withdrew from...
Last edited by robotclubmember on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
clevermoose
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:15 pm

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby clevermoose » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:53 pm

One time I was doing a workshop with an admissions committee where we would look at applications from the year before. It was at this workshop that I saw the true worst LOR in the history of mankind:


"Dear Admissions Committee,

John Doe has asked me to write him a letter of recommendation. This is that letter"


That's it. That would be sooooo shitty to not know about that LOR

User avatar
DocHawkeye
Posts: 640
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:22 am

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby DocHawkeye » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:39 pm

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...


Wait, you asked for a LOR from a professor you had for one class? Why did you even bother? Speaking as a professor, I'd never write a letter for someone I'd only had in one class. I don't know anything about you.

User avatar
Bildungsroman
Posts: 5548
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:45 pm

robotclubmember wrote:Now I've decided I'm curious to read what's in it. I don't want to be going over the top thanking this guy if he wrote a bad LOR. Honestly, though I'm still waiting to hear back from half of the schools I applied to due to late apps, I've been WL'ed at every single one I used his letter in, some I felt pretty confident about. The one school I didn't use his letter for responded with an acceptance almost a month before any other school I applied to sent me WL's, and with a decent scholarship. Even though I am inclined to doubt it's a big deal either way, I think he wrote a terrible LOR and I want to read it. When it was submitted my right to view it was not waived, so long story short, how do I view it? Can I do it in LSAC.org? Have to contact a school? Has anyone done this?

Two things.
1. Have you considered that maybe schools are not unhappy with the letter but with the fact that you didn't sign the disclosure waiver? I've talked with literally hundreds of people about law school applications and LORs and have never heard of someone not signing that.

2. You don't have the opportunity to see that letter until you matriculate at a school to which you submitted the letter. LSAC won't show it to you.

Edit: From the LOR form itself:
The purpose for which this confidential statement is being obtained is admission to a Credential Assembly Service–participating law school. It will be received and maintained in confidence. If you are admitted and enroll—and if your law school retains letters of recommendation once the admission process is concluded——you may inspect this letter at that school unless you have voluntarily waived this right by signing the following statement:

User avatar
robotclubmember
Posts: 743
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:54 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:Two things.
1. Have you considered that maybe schools are not unhappy with the letter but with the fact that you didn't sign the disclosure waiver? I've talked with literally hundreds of people about law school applications and LORs and have never heard of someone not signing that.

2. You don't have the opportunity to see that letter until you matriculate at a school to which you submitted the letter. LSAC won't show it to you.


I did sign it, my recommender lost it. I was in a rush to get my app out because it was already delayed by two weeks waiting for that LOR, so when I resent the form it wasn't signed, something which I hadn't thought about until after my apps were submitted. I'm annoyed that I didn't ask someone else to do it sooner, in retrospect I could have. We had an agreed upon deadline though, and by the time it came and went, I couldn't just ask someone else to do it and tell them I need it yesterday. Maybe I should have done that though.

I hope that schools don't take it seriously enough to let it have an impact on your application if your letter has a waiver or not, and am also hoping that the LOR that was written by the employer wasn't so weak as to warrant a WL instead of an acceptance. I find it hard to believe it would be weighted that heavily so I'm assuming it's more likely something I did wrong, like applying late, or maybe an essay rubbed someone the wrong way. Still, disconcerted by the trend of a fast decisive acceptance with $$ at the one school where the letter was not used, and WL's and/or long waits everywhere else.

You really can't request your app from a school unless you go there? That seems wild but I can accept it if that's how it is. I think I'll just try sending a request tomorrow morning anyway.

EDIT - Didn't see the quoted part before. That's a bummer. I feel obligated for professional reasons to give the recommender a big thanks for all of his help, since I'll probably never know what he wrote, even though he held up my app by 2 weeks (in January) and probably got a template off the internet and threw my name in it. Lesson: Don't let busy people write you letters, even if they offer, especially if they are employers. I should have picked someone with a lower and less impressive title who was struggling to find assignments, they would have put time in it.
Last edited by robotclubmember on Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DubPoker
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 4:13 pm

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby DubPoker » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:56 pm

This thread makes me wonder what my professors wrote for me lol.

One offered to have me write it and him edit it, but I said that I wouldn't be comfortable doing that, so we sat for an hour talking about thing in my life he didn't know about to better gauge me. I just assumed professors are good at writing letters.

User avatar
beachbum
Posts: 2766
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: Worst LOR in the history of mankind

Postby beachbum » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:57 pm

clevermoose wrote:One time I was doing a workshop with an admissions committee where we would look at applications from the year before. It was at this workshop that I saw the true worst LOR in the history of mankind:


"Dear Admissions Committee,

John Doe has asked me to write him a letter of recommendation. This is that letter"


That's it. That would be sooooo shitty to not know about that LOR


Holy shit. Why even agree to write a letter if that's all you're going to do? You're basically sabotaging the kid's future at that point...


DocHawkeye wrote:Wait, you asked for a LOR from a professor you had for one class? Why did you even bother? Speaking as a professor, I'd never write a letter for someone I'd only had in one class. I don't know anything about you.


Eh, one of my LOR writers I had for only one class. I made a strong effort to get to know that professor outside of class, though, and I went a little above and beyond "A" requirements for written work. It seemed to turn out ok for me.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AnMzungu, guybourdin, hip to be Square, slimjims27 and 8 guests