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(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
UCFtau
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Postby UCFtau » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:37 am

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Last edited by UCFtau on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

justhockey31
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby justhockey31 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:44 am

I would do Dear "Mr./Mrs. (Head or director of admissions) and the admission committee"

justhockey31
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby justhockey31 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:46 am

Also, I would'nt waive the confidentiality...you should be absolutely sure your profs who are writing your LOR will write something positive. For example, I got 3 LORs written but only used two because I was uncertain what the 3rd said as she seemed a little less than thrilled to do it for me.

veritas curat
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby veritas curat » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:21 am

justhockey31 wrote:I would do Dear "Mr./Mrs. (Head or director of admissions) and the admission committee"


I was under the impression that you had recommenders send in generic letters to lsac that you could then send on to all of the schools to which you apply. so how would you have them write the name of the particular admissions committees? I was going to just have them say "to whom it may concern".

Do i have this wrong?

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acrossthelake
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:38 pm

veritas curat wrote:
justhockey31 wrote:I would do Dear "Mr./Mrs. (Head or director of admissions) and the admission committee"


I was under the impression that you had recommenders send in generic letters to lsac that you could then send on to all of the schools to which you apply. so how would you have them write the name of the particular admissions committees? I was going to just have them say "to whom it may concern".

Do i have this wrong?

You're correct.
Unless they're writing a targeted letter, which they should not be doing for more than one or two schools, then yes it should be a generic letter. I don't know what my LOR writers wrote, but something generic like "To whom it may concern" should be fine.

I would absolutely waive confidentiality. It looks strange when you don't.

Lastly, people often know that they submitted LORs in their application package for one of two reasons:

1) The professor offered to let them look at it, and they did.
2) They have really close relations with the professor, so it would be very odd for the professor to not write a strong LOR.

It is not standard practice, and I actually think it to be a faux pas, to ask for a copy of the letter they will be sending unless you are absolutely certain that you're close enough for that to be okay.

I was close to mine, and I still did not ask.

thederangedwang
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:47 pm

justhockey31 wrote:Also, I would'nt waive the confidentiality...you should be absolutely sure your profs who are writing your LOR will write something positive. For example, I got 3 LORs written but only used two because I was uncertain what the 3rd said as she seemed a little less than thrilled to do it for me.


In my opinion, this is very bad advice. You should always waive this right. If you are not confident that the prof is going to write u an outstanding letter, you should not have even considered choosing him/her. Waiving this right shows the professor, and the adcomms, that I trust this prof, this prof's letter is pure, candid and of unbiased opinion.

By not choosing to waive, some prof may feel uncomfortable writing you a letter and/or they will write an "not confidential" letter which would carry far less weight and be bad

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Xifeng
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby Xifeng » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:13 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
veritas curat wrote:
justhockey31 wrote:I would do Dear "Mr./Mrs. (Head or director of admissions) and the admission committee"


I was under the impression that you had recommenders send in generic letters to lsac that you could then send on to all of the schools to which you apply. so how would you have them write the name of the particular admissions committees? I was going to just have them say "to whom it may concern".

Do i have this wrong?

You're correct.
Unless they're writing a targeted letter, which they should not be doing for more than one or two schools, then yes it should be a generic letter. I don't know what my LOR writers wrote, but something generic like "To whom it may concern" should be fine.

I would absolutely waive confidentiality. It looks strange when you don't.

Lastly, people often know that they submitted LORs in their application package for one of two reasons:

1) The professor offered to let them look at it, and they did.
2) They have really close relations with the professor, so it would be very odd for the professor to not write a strong LOR.

It is not standard practice, and I actually think it to be a faux pas, to ask for a copy of the letter they will be sending unless you are absolutely certain that you're close enough for that to be okay.

I was close to mine, and I still did not ask.


This. Definitely waive confidentiality, because if you're THAT concerned about what they're writing you shouldn't be asking them in the first place.

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Samara
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby Samara » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:27 pm

Also, doesn't signing the waiver just mean that you've waived the right to see the letters after the decision is rendered? I don't think it actually has anything to do with viewing the letters beforehand.

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citygirl000
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby citygirl000 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:28 pm

Samara wrote:Also, doesn't signing the waiver just mean that you've waived the right to see the letters after the decision is rendered? I don't think it actually has anything to do with viewing the letters beforehand.


I think they can offer to show your the LOR beforehand, but you probably still shouldn't be asking...

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Bildungsroman
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:33 pm

Samara wrote:Also, doesn't signing the waiver just mean that you've waived the right to see the letters after the decision is rendered? I don't think it actually has anything to do with viewing the letters beforehand.

If you don't sign the waiver on the LSAC LOR form, then you can view the LOR only after you've enrolled at a school to which you submitted that letter. LSAC will not provide you with a copy of the letter, schools will not supply you with a copy of the letter until you enroll, and the LOR writers will still have no obligation to ever provide you with a copy. If you do not waive the right to view it you still won't get to see the letter until long after seeing it has lost any potential usefulness. Weigh the absolute uselessness of retaining the right to view the letter against the risk of a writer or school reading negative meaning into your failure to sign. This is a no-brainer.

Note that waiving the right to view your letter does not mean you are certifying that you've never seen the letter or will not see it. A LOR writer may offer to let you see the letter, and seeing it under these circumstances is not a violation of the rules even if you waived your right to see it.

schooner
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby schooner » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:24 pm

I suggested to my recommenders that they could write:

Dear Sir or Madam:
[/quote]

ALWAYS waive your right to see the letter, and don't ask your recommenders if you can see it. (They may offer to show it to you without you asking, in which case go ahead.) Concern about the strength of the letter is why you should use your judgment and common sense about whom to ask in the first place. If no one offers to write one for you, you give people a polite, indirect way out of saying no to you, like "would you have time to write me a strong letter? if you won't have the time for it by date X, absolutely please feel free to say no."

EDIT: now that I remember, all my recommenders wrote a generic letter for LSAC, which just included the Dear Sir or Madam: opening. One, a law professor, wrote a letter specific just to one of my schools -- and that was addressed to the Dean.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:33 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
veritas curat wrote:
justhockey31 wrote:I would do Dear "Mr./Mrs. (Head or director of admissions) and the admission committee"


I was under the impression that you had recommenders send in generic letters to lsac that you could then send on to all of the schools to which you apply. so how would you have them write the name of the particular admissions committees? I was going to just have them say "to whom it may concern".

Do i have this wrong?

You're correct.
Unless they're writing a targeted letter, which they should not be doing for more than one or two schools, then yes it should be a generic letter. I don't know what my LOR writers wrote, but something generic like "To whom it may concern" should be fine.

I would absolutely waive confidentiality. It looks strange when you don't.

Lastly, people often know that they submitted LORs in their application package for one of two reasons:

1) The professor offered to let them look at it, and they did.
2) They have really close relations with the professor, so it would be very odd for the professor to not write a strong LOR.

It is not standard practice, and I actually think it to be a faux pas, to ask for a copy of the letter they will be sending unless you are absolutely certain that you're close enough for that to be okay.
I was close to mine, and I still did not ask.

Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."

schooner
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby schooner » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:36 pm

CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:40 pm

schooner wrote:
CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

Already did it, with several professors. None of them had a problem with it and most of them saw it as normal. And on top of it I did not have a close relationship with any of them.

dkt4
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby dkt4 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:26 am

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schooner
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby schooner » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:18 am

CastleRock wrote:
schooner wrote:
CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

Already did it, with several professors. None of them had a problem with it and most of them saw it as normal. And on top of it I did not have a close relationship with any of them.


If you don't care about maintaining any relationship with them after you get your letter, and the professors with you, I can see why baldly asking to get what you want isn't a big deal. I see it as bad manners. Ideally, academic letters of recommendation are supposed to be confidential.

MumofCad
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby MumofCad » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:37 am

I would address as To Whom it may Concern or Dear Admissions Committee, something like that. I am not sure what my recommenders did as I've never seen any of their letters, nor did any ask how it should be addressed. So I would assume they probably get a variety of methods and its not typically a big deal. After all, they aren't trying to get into law school, you are. More important what they say about you.

As for confidentiality, I have read several places (I think it explicitly states on Stanford's LOR description or another t-6's) that they will not view letters that aren't confidential with the same weight. They should always be confidential. None of my recommenders this round have asked if I wanted to see them and I would never ask. I am confident based on their enthusiasm that they will write positive letters, as they all really want to help me get into a good law school. I do often have professors ask if there is anything specific I would like them to flag up in addition to their recommendation. To me, this is always a good indication that they are taking it very seriously and really want to make sure they help you get in. In that context, you just can't worry and understand that it would be pretty shady for a professor to ever tell a student they would love to help them, and then write something else in their recommendation. If they seem less than enthused to help, seek out someone else.

thederangedwang
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:25 am

CastleRock wrote:
schooner wrote:
CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

Already did it, with several professors. None of them had a problem with it and most of them saw it as normal. And on top of it I did not have a close relationship with any of them.


Castlerock, you may have just royally screwed up your applications.

Firstly, you need good LOR's and since you already said you did not have close relationships with them, your LOR's may not be the best you could have gotten

Secondly and most importantly....did they tell you the difference between confidential and non-confidential LOR's? If they decided to show you their LOR, then that means they wrote, on your LOR, that is was NOT a confidential recommendation. Which means, you have royally screwed yourself over.

A non-confidential letter is virtually worthless since the ad-comm do not know if the LOR is candid and written without pressure.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:29 am

thederangedwang wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
schooner wrote:
CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

Already did it, with several professors. None of them had a problem with it and most of them saw it as normal. And on top of it I did not have a close relationship with any of them.


Castlerock, you may have just royally screwed up your applications.

Firstly, you need good LOR's and since you already said you did not have close relationships with them, your LOR's may not be the best you could have gotten

Secondly and most importantly....did they tell you the difference between confidential and non-confidential LOR's? If they decided to show you their LOR, then that means they wrote, on your LOR, that is was NOT a confidential recommendation. Which means, you have royally screwed yourself over.

A non-confidential letter is virtually worthless since the ad-comm do not know if the LOR is candid and written without pressure.


Lol. No, no, and no. My recommendations did not say confidential or not confidential. This confidential stuff is bullshit. I'm not going to justify anything else because your post is ridiculous

WestOfTheRest
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:37 am

thederangedwang wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
schooner wrote:
CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

Already did it, with several professors. None of them had a problem with it and most of them saw it as normal. And on top of it I did not have a close relationship with any of them.


Castlerock, you may have just royally screwed up your applications.

Firstly, you need good LOR's and since you already said you did not have close relationships with them, your LOR's may not be the best you could have gotten

Secondly and most importantly....did they tell you the difference between confidential and non-confidential LOR's? If they decided to show you their LOR, then that means they wrote, on your LOR, that is was NOT a confidential recommendation. Which means, you have royally screwed yourself over.

A non-confidential letter is virtually worthless since the ad-comm do not know if the LOR is candid and written without pressure.

On second read over, this is a flame, right?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:47 am

thederangedwang wrote:
CastleRock wrote:
schooner wrote:
CastleRock wrote:Disagree completely. If you want a copy, ask if they would be ok with it and make it clear that if they are not ok with it you have no problem with that. Definitely not a "faux pas."


You're creating a very awkward situation for your recommender. YOU may feel fine with it, but very likely your recommender will not. That is why this is a major faux pas. Don't do it.

Already did it, with several professors. None of them had a problem with it and most of them saw it as normal. And on top of it I did not have a close relationship with any of them.


Castlerock, you may have just royally screwed up your applications.

Firstly, you need good LOR's and since you already said you did not have close relationships with them, your LOR's may not be the best you could have gotten

Secondly and most importantly....did they tell you the difference between confidential and non-confidential LOR's? If they decided to show you their LOR, then that means they wrote, on your LOR, that is was NOT a confidential recommendation. Which means, you have royally screwed yourself over.

A non-confidential letter is virtually worthless since the ad-comm do not know if the LOR is candid and written without pressure.

This is just the spewing of secondhand bs. It's far more valuable to get confidential letters, but not as big a deal as you make it out to be. the rest of the post is just silly.

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acrossthelake
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:58 pm

thederangedwang wrote:
Castlerock, you may have just royally screwed up your applications.

Firstly, you need good LOR's and since you already said you did not have close relationships with them, your LOR's may not be the best you could have gotten

Secondly and most importantly....did they tell you the difference between confidential and non-confidential LOR's? If they decided to show you their LOR, then that means they wrote, on your LOR, that is was NOT a confidential recommendation. Which means, you have royally screwed yourself over.

A non-confidential letter is virtually worthless since the ad-comm do not know if the LOR is candid and written without pressure.


Lol, no, while I still think it's poor form to ask (though who knows, maybe things are different where you are CR, ideas of etiquette are somewhat based on where you are), I doubt it had any impact on CR's cycle. They don't write whether it's confidential or not. The only reason why it's even an issue is because an education act passed in I don't remember when made it so that schools are supposed to be able to show you the LORs after you enroll if you so choose, unless you waive the right. So, schools added the option of waiver, and now in practice everyone signs agreeing to waive the right to see the LOR after enrolling. It has no impact on whether you see it beforehand--that's up to you and your LOR writer, just whether the school itself will let you see what they submitted later.

dkt4
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Re: To whom should LOR's be addressed to? (actual letter)

Postby dkt4 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:11 pm

it's just poor form to not waive it. plain and simple. it's not some egregious error, just kinda neurotic.




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