Sketchy LOR?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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loomstate
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Sketchy LOR?

Postby loomstate » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:24 pm

Alright guys, before you write this off I want you to actually consider that you're in my shoes.

My dad is a moderately successful lawyer, and thus, has connections. He's older, and something tells me that when he went to LS things may have been a bit different. He offered to get a judge to write me a LOR. Would this stink to high heaven? Is it worth the risk? Would it be a red flag for admissions?

I have 2 LORs that should be strong, excluding this hypothetical LOR. Cheers. 8)

wojo96
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby wojo96 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:26 pm

Do not: solicit recommendation from judge who hardly knows you.

Do: leverage father’s relationship with judge for clerking/internship purposes once in school.

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cinephile
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:06 pm

I don't think it can hurt you, but it's definitely a waste of a LOR. If this judge doens't know you personally, he can't really speak about you in his recommendation.

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fatduck
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:06 pm

also, this isn't "sketchy" at all.

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Corwin
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby Corwin » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:15 pm

wojo96 wrote:Do not: solicit recommendation from judge who hardly knows you.

Do: leverage father’s relationship with judge for clerking/internship purposes once in school.

+1

CanadianWolf
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:49 pm

Are you applying to your state law school from which the judge graduated ? Does the judge have political connections or influence in this state ? Is the judge close with the law school dean or dean of admissions ?

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loomstate
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby loomstate » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:21 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Are you applying to your state law school from which the judge graduated ? Does the judge have political connections or influence in this state ? Is the judge close with the law school dean or dean of admissions ?


Sorry, I should have elaborated further - judge graduated from a school I will be applying to. Any connection to dean or admissions is unclear.
Last edited by loomstate on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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loomstate
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby loomstate » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:22 pm

fatduck wrote:also, this isn't "sketchy" at all.


That's good to hear.

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loomstate
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby loomstate » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:25 pm

wojo96 wrote:Do not: solicit recommendation from judge who hardly knows you.

Do: leverage father’s relationship with judge for clerking/internship purposes once in school.


But I want my pound of flesh now, dammit!

run26.2
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby run26.2 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:37 pm

IMO (from personal experience):

It seems better in the eyes of the applicant to have someone prestigious who is affiliated with the institution to write the LOR.

It seems better in the eyes of the school to have someone who knows the applicant well and has modest to respectable credentials to write the LOR.

Obviously, the more recognizable the writer is, the better. But more renown does not make up for an inability to make informed, comparative (or superlative) statements about you.

I asked someone who was moderately well known to write a rec for me when I was applying. It was about 4 lines long, all positive, and devoid of substance. Completely worthless.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:43 pm

I do think normally having a close relationship (even if just on a professional or academic level) is important to getting a strong recommendation. That way the person can directly comment on his or her impression of your abilities and character, hopefully in a very positive manner. Some law schools specifically say that they don't want generic letters, even from very important people.

I think this approach probably holds true in your situation as well, but I also think there may be exceptions to this standard advice. If the judge is high-ranking in some sense (state supreme court judge or a federal district or appeallate judge) or otherwise particularly well-known (as opposed to a City or Superior Court level judge), and he is willing to say that he or she is aware of your circumstances and thinks you make a particularly strong candidate to attend X law school, which he attended, then I think the letter might not be such a bad idea. But probably just using it at the school he attended (rather than across the board) would be indicated. Just my opinion.

shoeshine
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby shoeshine » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:51 pm

wojo96 wrote:Do not: solicit recommendation from judge who hardly knows you.

Do: leverage father’s relationship with judge for clerking/internship purposes once in school.

TITCR

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Older Chest
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby Older Chest » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:59 pm

fatduck wrote:also, this isn't "sketchy" at all.


Sketchy LOR = Pimp exalting your tremendous work ethic

That said, since you already have 2 potentially quality LORs, I would say that you are fine. Do follow-up with judge once in law school and make the most of the connection.

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YaSvoboden
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Re: Sketchy LOR?

Postby YaSvoboden » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:17 pm

wojo96 wrote:Do not: solicit recommendation from judge who hardly knows you.

Do: leverage father’s relationship with judge for clerking/internship purposes once in school.


This. But first ask for the LOR from the judge to start a small connection with him. Thank him for his help in getting you in to the law school of your choice and then use the small relationship and your father's influence to get a a good summer position or something.




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