Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

15
7
22%
20
10
31%
25
9
28%
Hundo
6
19%
 
Total votes: 32

mattbarnes123
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Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby mattbarnes123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:22 pm

I'm going to send out two thank you notes to my LS recommenders, now that my cycle has ended ED at NYU. I just want to include a Starbucks holiday gift card with my thank you note (for convenience reasons, lol). They were both very prompt and helpful with the whole process, and they're also both great people. I'm thinking 20 or 25$ each. Appropriate? FWIW I'm out of school and had them as profs 2 years ago.

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JoeMo
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:24 pm

mattbarnes123 wrote:I'm going to send out two thank you notes to my LS recommenders, now that my cycle has ended ED at NYU. I just want to include a Starbucks holiday gift card with my thank you note (for convenience reasons, lol). They were both very prompt and helpful with the whole process, and they're also both great people. I'm thinking 20 or 25$ each. Appropriate? FWIW I'm out of school and had them as profs 2 years ago.


I'm going to do this as well, but I was thinking of maybe sending a bottle of wine instead of Starbuck's gift certs. Inappropriate?

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby DocHawkeye » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:12 pm

Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate, especially if they are profs at public universities. Generally state employees cannot legally accept gifts worth more than a few dollars (think five). As a prof, it is part of your job to write such letters and placement in grad programs counts toward retnetion and promotion for them. They're not doing you a favor, they're doing their job.

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BiglawOrBust
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby BiglawOrBust » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:13 pm

mattbarnes123 wrote:I'm going to send out two thank you notes to my LS recommenders, now that my cycle has ended ED at NYU. I just want to include a Starbucks holiday gift card with my thank you note (for convenience reasons, lol). They were both very prompt and helpful with the whole process, and they're also both great people. I'm thinking 20 or 25$ each. Appropriate? FWIW I'm out of school and had them as profs 2 years ago.


I think $20 is always a good amount, but Starbucks? Come on!

071816
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby 071816 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:13 pm

I think I did 10. I guess I'm a real cheap ass.

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BiglawOrBust
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby BiglawOrBust » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:14 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate, especially if they are profs at public universities. Generally state employees cannot legally accept gifts worth more than a few dollars (think five). As a prof, it is part of your job to write such letters and placement in grad programs counts toward retnetion and promotion for them. They're not doing you a favor, they're doing their job.


Oh, snap. For realsies?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby Bildungsroman » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:16 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate

Categorical statements are always wrong, except for the categorical statement I just made. I think it's pretty common for people to give a small token of appreciation. A gift card or bottle of wine for a professor would be weird in my opinion, but I know people who have gifted a mug from the school they eventually decide on or some other token of that nature, and even a thank you card sans any gift is a good idea. Of course, it all depends on the individual situation. If you're still that professor's student or might be at some point, then any gift is probably going to be a riskier choice. Whereas if it's an old boss who wrote it then I think something like a bottle of wine is cool.
Last edited by Bildungsroman on Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby DocHawkeye » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:16 pm

BiglawOrBust wrote:
DocHawkeye wrote:Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate, especially if they are profs at public universities. Generally state employees cannot legally accept gifts worth more than a few dollars (think five). As a prof, it is part of your job to write such letters and placement in grad programs counts toward retnetion and promotion for them. They're not doing you a favor, they're doing their job.


Oh, snap. For realsies?


Quite. I was a professor before starting law school.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby DocHawkeye » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:17 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
DocHawkeye wrote:Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate

Categorical statements are always wrong, except for the categorical statement I just made. I think it's pretty common for people to give a small token of appreciation. A gift card or bottle of wine would be weird in my opinion, but I know people who have gifted a mug from the school they eventually decide on or some other token of that nature, and even a thank you card sans any gift is a good idea.


I think the thank-you card would be sufficient.

071816
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby 071816 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:17 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate


This is simply not true in my experience. I just wouldn't overdo it or get something awkward or inappropriate.

mattbarnes123
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby mattbarnes123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:26 pm

Hmm. Now I'm conflicted. Profs are at a public school but I had them two years ago and I'm not going to law school there in the fall. I never really thought a $20 gift card would be inappropriate. Only like 3.5 lattes for all the effort and support they put forth on my behalf. idk now tho. ..

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:32 pm

DocHawkeye wrote:
BiglawOrBust wrote:
DocHawkeye wrote:Gifts to writers of your letters of reference are always inappropriate, especially if they are profs at public universities. Generally state employees cannot legally accept gifts worth more than a few dollars (think five). As a prof, it is part of your job to write such letters and placement in grad programs counts toward retnetion and promotion for them. They're not doing you a favor, they're doing their job.


Oh, snap. For realsies?


Quite. I was a professor before starting law school.

I think a token of gratitude, under the right circumstances, can be appropriate. As long as it's given after your recommender submits their letter, I don't see the harm. It's not as if you're trying to buy their opinion with your gift. I think a gift card might be awkward because it has a fixed monetary value. The line between slipping your prof a Jackson and giving him a twenty-dollar gift card is tricky. I would try to get something a little more thoughtful (personal). Also, try to keep it in the $10-20 range.

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JoeMo
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:55 pm

Then I guess they're getting nothing. Thank you Hawkeye for the heads up.

mattbarnes123
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby mattbarnes123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:58 pm

Just sent it out with a $20 Starbucks card. If they don't feel comfortable or think its boarder unethical, they can throw it out. Whatevz. I think it's fine since I've been out of school for a year or so, and am not going back to that school for LS--so it's not like I'm trying to bribe their opinion or whatever, in anyway. Thanks for all the perspective!

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acrossthelake
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:27 pm

I got them lawl skool mugs and Godiva chocolate boxes.

apollo2015
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby apollo2015 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:42 pm

I would skip the direct gift in favor of continual gifts to your university's fundraising efforts.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby DocHawkeye » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:27 am

apollo2015 wrote:I would skip the direct gift in favor of continual gifts to your university's fundraising efforts.


I retract my previous statement in part. An appropriate gift for a letter of reference would be endowing the professor's chair one you become an über successful lawyer.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:32 am

Just do a thank you note.

Also, wine is a really bad idea for a gift. Don't give alcohol unless you know a person's drinking habits/beliefs about alcohol.

z0rk
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Re: Appropriate Starbucks Gift Amount for LOR recommenders?

Postby z0rk » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:29 pm

JoeMo wrote:
mattbarnes123 wrote:I'm going to send out two thank you notes to my LS recommenders, now that my cycle has ended ED at NYU. I just want to include a Starbucks holiday gift card with my thank you note (for convenience reasons, lol). They were both very prompt and helpful with the whole process, and they're also both great people. I'm thinking 20 or 25$ each. Appropriate? FWIW I'm out of school and had them as profs 2 years ago.


I'm going to do this as well, but I was thinking of maybe sending a bottle of wine instead of Starbuck's gift certs. Inappropriate?


I actually think a nice bottle of wine or even champagne closer to NYE is entirely appropriate. I brew my own beer and I am giving that as a gift to my recommenders.

acrossthelake wrote:I got them lawl skool mugs and Godiva chocolate boxes.


I kind of also like this idea too. If you got into a good school, you are proud of your acceptance, and you want to share in that celebration, a mug from the law school's gift shop along with a $25.00 Starbucks card is actually kind of neat if you ask me. It says "Thank you for helping me get here, let's take pride in this accomplishment together".

Ignore the naysayers about giving gifts to recommenders. It is an appropriate and genuinely kind gesture.




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