Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
JustSomebody
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Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby JustSomebody » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:50 pm

Before they were sent off to LSAC? Because I just got a notification that my first one was received by LSAC, but I'm a little nervous as I have no idea what was said in it, as I obviously waived the right to read it.

At my huge university it was difficult to develop a lot of personal relationships with the professors. So I just asked a professor who I took three classes from and got an A in all of them. Even though he didn't really know who I am, I thought he'd be one of the best to ask just based on my academic record with him... Maybe it's my fault I didn't go to office hours enough or whatever, but I wasn't even sure I'd be going to law school at that point and it didn't cross my mind to start sucking up in hopes of getting a good LOR.

ANYWAY, I see a lot of people here say they have "really good letters of recommendation." How do you all know this? I'm guessing your teachers let you see the drafts first or something, but mine just sent it directly to LSAC. So I have no idea what he wrote and am nervous. I was hoping maybe he'd send me a draft on his own, but... he didn't.

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bceagles182
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby bceagles182 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:53 pm

Most people don't know exactly what they said.

The people who say they had great LOR are people who had close relationships with recognized professors so they have confidence that the professor would write them a great LOR.

If you did well in a class at a large school, most professors understand even if you didn't know them particularly well and will give you a solid LOR because they want students at their school to succeed.
Last edited by bceagles182 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby cinephile » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:58 pm

I'm sure it'll be fine. Even if it's not a stellar, specific LOR, the prof probably has some sort of format s/he uses for LORs and can at least say that you had high marks in each of the classes you've taken with him/her.

I don't know how many people see their recs, but I felt confident about mine because of the close relationships I had with these profs out of class (worked as her research assistant, my advisor, encouraged/helped me to publish a paper). I had talked to these profs about my career goals and felt like they liked me and felt I had academic potential. But for all I know, they might've written completely generic letters.

ETA: pretty much what bceagles182 said

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glewz
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby glewz » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:00 pm

Two gave me copies of their letters after they had sent them to LSAC. I think it depends on how close you are with the professor, but don't worry too much about this; usually professors are courteous enough to tell you if they aren't interested in writing one.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:10 pm

I wouldn't have used it if I didn't know what it said. Honestly, I would have found a professor who was willing to show it to me.

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ahduth
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby ahduth » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:13 pm

I more than approved mine before they were submitted.

acrossthelake
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:14 pm

JustSomebody wrote:
ANYWAY, I see a lot of people here say they have "really good letters of recommendation." How do you all know this? I'm guessing your teachers let you see the drafts first or something, but mine just sent it directly to LSAC. So I have no idea what he wrote and am nervous. I was hoping maybe he'd send me a draft on his own, but... he didn't.


I didn't get to read any of mine. I had one read a paragraph out loud to me, and I could guess from stuff another wrote on a grant application we submitted what he said in my LOR, but mostly I just know because the professors straight up offered to write me the LORs, including one who told me that I have a lifetime offer from him on the table for anything I apply to.

It's unlikely that your prof wrote something bad about you--he probably just wrote something generic if he didn't know you. So I wouldn't stress.

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:32 pm

Both of my professors showed me the letters, but I get the impression that it's not the norm. I know for a fact that some professors at my school had a policy of not showing letters to students, regardless of how good the recommendations were. I wouldn't worry about it. If you were a good student in this professor's class and he agreed to write a letter for you, I'm sure it's at least solid.

Real Madrid
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:50 pm

Yeah, I wouldn't worry. A professor is not going to screw you over in a letter of recommendation. If they couldn't write anything good about you, I'm sure they'd just tell you up front that they can't write you one at all.

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minnbills
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Re: Did a lot of you know what your letters of rec said?

Postby minnbills » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:16 pm

Most profs write at least 1 letter of rec per semester, and many have generic letters prepped in case someone asks and they're not prepared to write anything specific.

I wouldn't worry about it. I do have one prof who wanted to use some website where he could upload the letter and I could have the company send it whenever I needed it after I was done with LS admissions- to maintain confidentiality. I thought that was a bit strange but I trust him.




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