I really don't want to have to do this

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
addy11
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:01 pm

I really don't want to have to do this

Postby addy11 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:28 pm

...but I'm not sure I have a choice.

Basically I thought I was all finished with my applications, and then the one school I'd never thought I would have had a chance at encouraged me to apply. It's still a huge outside shot, but my numbers make me competitive.

My ace in the hole is that my boss quite likes me and is an alumnus of this law school. Not only is he an alumnus, but he went to law school with the current dean of the school while both were students there and is friendly with him, to the extent that the dean has asked my boss to speak to 1Ls three times over the past 5 years.

Obviously I asked my boss to write me a LOR, but I was surprised when he told me to draft it myself and then send it to him. I'm not worried about the ethics too much (he said he would change it if he saw anything he disagreed with), but I'm worried about it coming across as something I have written myself.

If this were a professor or someone else I needed to write me my main LORs, I would "move on" to someone else in a heartbeat, but I think the situation here is unique. Basically I don't think it's even worth applying if I don't have this LOR, but if it's going to be shitty or transparent, is it even worth doing?

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Mce252
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby Mce252 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:32 pm

It's common for recommenders to ask you to draft a letter. It's not all that different from providing them with a resume and recommended points to emphasize. As long as they are reviewing it and signing the final letter, I don't think you should avoid asking for the letter for this reason.

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Ludo!
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby Ludo! » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:35 pm

It's a pretty standard thing. I'm sure it would be better to have your recommender actually write it, but LORs matter so little in the process it's really not a big deal. As long as you have it, it doesn't really matter who wrote it.

decaf735
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby decaf735 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:43 pm

If this is your dream school, and you've had this remarkable "in" with the school this entire time, why are you only now applying? Especially if your numbers make you competitive?


?

Because they encouraged you to apply?
Seems woefully naive. I'm not saying knowing this guy will get you an automatic acceptance. Far from that, but the combination of knowing him and your "competitive"-ness probably should have made it worth the app fee from the get-go.

Sorry I know that has nothing to do with the question you asked, I'm just confused.

I believe it's a relatively common occurrence. If you still have a real problem with it, you should express your concern about it to him. He went to law school, if he doesn't think it's an issue, then proceed. And don't dawdle if you're "still a huge outside shot."

CanadianWolf
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Apply now. You are going to be admitted, in my opinion.

addy11
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby addy11 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:53 pm

Thanks for the responses, all (and for the vote of confidence, CanadianWolf :wink: ). I suppose I can always ask him to comb through it to try to say it in his own voice (which is pretty distinctive... that was part of the worry).

Decaf - I think you make some good points, and I thank you for your input. I could respond to what you've said, but many of the details I would have to invoke would undermine the ambiguity I wish to maintain. Suffice it to say, I hope I'm not as "woefully naive" as you said :)

CanadianWolf
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:57 pm

It is not uncommon for one to be asked to draft a letter of recommendation which is to be reviewed & signed by another. (Associates draft many documents which are later signed by other attorneys.) Don't worry about "tone", just make it professional.

83947368
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby 83947368 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:42 am

.
Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cactuarX3
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby cactuarX3 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:52 am

My ace in the hole is that my boss quite likes me and is an alumnus of this law school. Not only is he an alumnus, but he went to law school with the current dean of the school while both were students there and is friendly with him, to the extent that the dean has asked my boss to speak to 1Ls three times over the past 5 years.


you know, some people on TLS would kill to have this kind of opportunity with their schools

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Opie
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Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby Opie » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:33 am

If you're really worried about tone, draft a list of the kinds of things you would like it to say and have a friend who is a good writer write the letter. Then send him that.

ETA: just realized that sounds like I thought you were worried about your writing ability. Not the case. What I meant was that if you're worried about the tone sounding like YOU wrote it.

addy11
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: I really don't want to have to do this

Postby addy11 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:44 am

Opie wrote:If you're really worried about tone, draft a list of the kinds of things you would like it to say and have a friend who is a good writer write the letter. Then send him that.

ETA: just realized that sounds like I thought you were worried about your writing ability. Not the case. What I meant was that if you're worried about the tone sounding like YOU wrote it.


Yeah, that is a slight worry. I have been told (usually by way of criticism, haha) that I have a very distinct voice.

A lot of people have suggested the friend route. I might try it on for size.




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