Writing your own LOR

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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HarveyBirdman
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Writing your own LOR

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:09 pm

So I asked a professor to write me a LOR and he agreed and said I was a very good student blah blah blah but then he suggested I write it myself, he will look over it, and then agree to it. He claims he only does this for the very best students....I have no idea what is supposed to be in these things. I have a few from high school to reference but I think they lack the substance law schools will look for. I'm thinking of asking him for at least a few bullet points of what he'd like to be in the letter. Has anyone here had to do this?

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law4vus
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Re: Writing your own LOR

Postby law4vus » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:55 pm

Don't write your own letter. If law schools somehow match the writer of your essays to the LOR writer, it could mean trouble for you. Maybe not C&F trouble, but I doubt they'd admit you.

Tell your professor that you'd rather he write it, and provide a resume and a few bullet points of things you'd like him to add. Also include some coursework for him to look at. If he doesn't want to write it himself, then find someone else.

ClarDarr
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Re: Writing your own LOR

Postby ClarDarr » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:00 pm

law4vus wrote:Don't write your own letter. If law schools somehow match the writer of your essays to the LOR writer, it could mean trouble for you. Maybe not C&F trouble, but I doubt they'd admit you.

Tell your professor that you'd rather he write it, and provide a resume and a few bullet points of things you'd like him to add. Also include some coursework for him to look at. If he doesn't want to write it himself, then find someone else.


You can write your own letter. This isn't plagiarism. I have had this happen before; its horribly difficult to write your own letter and I hate doing it, but your professor has given you explicit permission to do this: there is nothing unethical, especially when he is the one who will be looking it over.

schooner
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Re: Writing your own LOR

Postby schooner » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:42 pm

HarveyBirdman wrote:So I asked a professor to write me a LOR and he agreed and said I was a very good student blah blah blah but then he suggested I write it myself, he will look over it, and then agree to it. He claims he only does this for the very best students....I have no idea what is supposed to be in these things. I have a few from high school to reference but I think they lack the substance law schools will look for. I'm thinking of asking him for at least a few bullet points of what he'd like to be in the letter. Has anyone here had to do this?


I don't think this is a problem. This is exactly what one of my recommenders asked. He even gave me a letter he wrote for another person and said I should customize it for myself, using the same template and language. I obviously changed it enough to make the letter applicable to just me and made sure to discuss strengths that I thought my other letters would miss. He then made a bunch of additional revisions to produce a final glowing & unique letter. (I told him I didn't want to see the final letter but he showed it to me anyway.)

This is a great opportunity for you and a great way for the professor to save time & make sure his letter is as helpful as possible. Take advantage of it!

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Writing your own LOR

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:13 pm

Absolutely do not write your own letter.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=127028

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nygrrrl
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Re: Writing your own LOR

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:15 pm

Shawh wrote:Absolutely do not write your own letter.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=127028

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drdolittle
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Re: Writing your own LOR

Postby drdolittle » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:46 pm

Shawh wrote:Absolutely do not write your own letter.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=127028

Actually, straxen's post makes the most sense on that thread and it says the opposite. Most of the other posts are just 0Ls and law students acting lawyerly, which is great entertainment but not necessarily accurate advice.

LORs usually have minimal effect anyway though a prof that asks you to do this is obviously not the best reference to begin with, but if this is all you can get and this is what the prof instructs you to do, it's technically not a problem. It's not misrepresentation or impersonation because the prof will sign off on the final version with an opportunity to edit it, you're basically providing a draft similar to a targeted personal statement.

Btw, this type of self-drafted letter, which I think is fairly common, is probably one of the reasons LORs are not taken all too seriously.




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