School Pres. Rec letter - help?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Ruthie
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:00 pm

School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby Ruthie » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:50 am

My university president and I worked together a lot while I was in college. He co-taught my senior thesis course, I served on numerous committees with him, etc. So, he offered to write a law school rec letter.
Here is a clicher. He said that I should take a stab at it first then send him my draft to work off of, because if would allow him to see what I want highlighted.

What do I do?

hopper123
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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:49 pm

Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby hopper123 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:01 am

You do it. Employers and many others do this all the time. To be honest, the president of your university is not a total dumb ass ie he won't submit what you wrote verbatim. He has a lot of other--probably more interesting--things to do, so starting to write your letter from scratch is just not worth the effort. If you really feel "guilty" about doing it, pay someone who knows you well to write it, and then give it to him. He basically wants a skeleton and wants to see what you do. On top of it, this is a good exercise for you--one day you will write a letter for someone. I used to think this was unethical or whatever you have it, but if you write it and they substantially edit it (or use it as reference to help them write their own), it's perfectly acceptable.

mr.hands
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby mr.hands » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:05 am

I'd have someone else write it. This is a little sketchy. You are right to feel a little uncomfortable about this. His rec isn't THAT important. If you have an alternative, have someone else write it. That should give you some peace of mind

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LeviF91
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby LeviF91 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:22 am

You absolutely do not do this.

Your uni president might not be an idiot, but he might not care enough to change it to the point where it doesn't "sound" like you.

Your best bet is to share that you're uncomfortable about it with him. Offer to give him a list of things you'd like highlighted, but do not draft a letter yourself.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:11 pm

Get a friend to write it for you in exchange for a case of beer, then give it to your recommender. This happens ALL the time with high level people and tenured professors.

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JustE
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby JustE » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:18 pm

SaintsTheMetal wrote:Get a friend to write it for you in exchange for a case of beer, then give it to your recommender. This happens ALL the time with high level people and tenured professors.


Yeah, this. Not sure why so many people are against this. This happened at a corporate job I worked at. Needed an internal rec for a mentoring program. Did it and won big. I understand your hesitancy. I didn't feel comfortable doing it at first either. But, the reality is this happens more than you think.

Worst case scenario, do it and have him give you a copy of his finished product. You can always decide later which ones to use. I had 5 to choose from. If it turns out bad, just use another.

hopper123
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby hopper123 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:22 pm

LeviF91 wrote:You absolutely do not do this.

Your uni president might not be an idiot, but he might not care enough to change it to the point where it doesn't "sound" like you.

Your best bet is to share that you're uncomfortable about it with him. Offer to give him a list of things you'd like highlighted, but do not draft a letter yourself.


LOL! What a bad recommendation.

Don't you think the president's reputation is on the line if they started to sign what some undergrad hands them? Of course he will change it, anyone with an ounce of intelligence would change it. And since he was able to get to the top of administration, I'm guessing he is wise, as it takes a certain person to get to the top.

Never ever say you are uncomfortable with it. They might retract their offer and worse consider you a threat to their position. If you are stupid enough to say you are uncomfortable with such a trivial thing, imagine how the president would feel if he had to do something ethically questionable (ie firing faculty for some tenuous reason) and you were to be around.

I agree that it would be better if someone drafted it for you, but if they can't, take this as an exercise and be glad that the president wrote it for you.

FYI, when schools sponsor a student's scholarship (ie Rhodes application), usually the president of the university has to make a recommendation. Do you honestly think that the president writes these letters? It's always someone else and the Rhodes people know it. This president is doing you a huge favor, so it would be stupid to turn it down or say gibberish like "I'm not comfortable with doing this." Really, LOL to the poster who thinks you can say that to the president of a college, you are either a cynical ass or you are ignorant as to how these things work.

mr.hands
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby mr.hands » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:48 pm

hopper123 wrote:
LeviF91 wrote:You absolutely do not do this.

Your uni president might not be an idiot, but he might not care enough to change it to the point where it doesn't "sound" like you.

Your best bet is to share that you're uncomfortable about it with him. Offer to give him a list of things you'd like highlighted, but do not draft a letter yourself.


LOL! What a bad recommendation.

Don't you think the president's reputation is on the line if they started to sign what some undergrad hands them? Of course he will change it, anyone with an ounce of intelligence would change it. And since he was able to get to the top of administration, I'm guessing he is wise, as it takes a certain person to get to the top.

Never ever say you are uncomfortable with it. They might retract their offer and worse consider you a threat to their position. If you are stupid enough to say you are uncomfortable with such a trivial thing, imagine how the president would feel if he had to do something ethically questionable (ie firing faculty for some tenuous reason) and you were to be around.

I agree that it would be better if someone drafted it for you, but if they can't, take this as an exercise and be glad that the president wrote it for you.

FYI, when schools sponsor a student's scholarship (ie Rhodes application), usually the president of the university has to make a recommendation. Do you honestly think that the president writes these letters? It's always someone else and the Rhodes people know it. This president is doing you a huge favor, so it would be stupid to turn it down or say gibberish like "I'm not comfortable with doing this." Really, LOL to the poster who thinks you can say that to the president of a college, you are either a cynical ass or you are ignorant as to how these things work.


I'm not sure if you're serious. Why even risk it? It's a LOR, no one cares that it's a university president. Law school admissions is 95% numbers.

hopper123
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:49 pm

Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby hopper123 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:35 am

mr.hands wrote:
hopper123 wrote:
LeviF91 wrote:You absolutely do not do this.

Your uni president might not be an idiot, but he might not care enough to change it to the point where it doesn't "sound" like you.

Your best bet is to share that you're uncomfortable about it with him. Offer to give him a list of things you'd like highlighted, but do not draft a letter yourself.


LOL! What a bad recommendation.

Don't you think the president's reputation is on the line if they started to sign what some undergrad hands them? Of course he will change it, anyone with an ounce of intelligence would change it. And since he was able to get to the top of administration, I'm guessing he is wise, as it takes a certain person to get to the top.

Never ever say you are uncomfortable with it. They might retract their offer and worse consider you a threat to their position. If you are stupid enough to say you are uncomfortable with such a trivial thing, imagine how the president would feel if he had to do something ethically questionable (ie firing faculty for some tenuous reason) and you were to be around.

I agree that it would be better if someone drafted it for you, but if they can't, take this as an exercise and be glad that the president wrote it for you.

FYI, when schools sponsor a student's scholarship (ie Rhodes application), usually the president of the university has to make a recommendation. Do you honestly think that the president writes these letters? It's always someone else and the Rhodes people know it. This president is doing you a huge favor, so it would be stupid to turn it down or say gibberish like "I'm not comfortable with doing this." Really, LOL to the poster who thinks you can say that to the president of a college, you are either a cynical ass or you are ignorant as to how these things work.


I'm not sure if you're serious. Why even risk it? It's a LOR, no one cares that it's a university president. Law school admissions is 95% numbers.


What is there to risk? I really only see gain here in various ways ie OP learns how to write letters of rec and President supports him. At this point I'm curious whether you are envious of the poster or you just wish people bad. If he had the same stats as another applicant, and it came down to letters, this letter would bump him. As you said, numbers is 95%, but I'll add that the other 5% does matter. What's more impressive is that this wouldn't be some standard shit president letter. The president has worked with the OP extensively and knows the OPs character, which will add to the letter a lot. If I were an admin, I would find it quite impressive that a leader of a university worked extensively with this applicant.

JetsFan1990
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:41 am

Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:41 am

hopper123 wrote:
mr.hands wrote:
hopper123 wrote:
LeviF91 wrote:You absolutely do not do this.

Your uni president might not be an idiot, but he might not care enough to change it to the point where it doesn't "sound" like you.

Your best bet is to share that you're uncomfortable about it with him. Offer to give him a list of things you'd like highlighted, but do not draft a letter yourself.


LOL! What a bad recommendation.

Don't you think the president's reputation is on the line if they started to sign what some undergrad hands them? Of course he will change it, anyone with an ounce of intelligence would change it. And since he was able to get to the top of administration, I'm guessing he is wise, as it takes a certain person to get to the top.

Never ever say you are uncomfortable with it. They might retract their offer and worse consider you a threat to their position. If you are stupid enough to say you are uncomfortable with such a trivial thing, imagine how the president would feel if he had to do something ethically questionable (ie firing faculty for some tenuous reason) and you were to be around.

I agree that it would be better if someone drafted it for you, but if they can't, take this as an exercise and be glad that the president wrote it for you.

FYI, when schools sponsor a student's scholarship (ie Rhodes application), usually the president of the university has to make a recommendation. Do you honestly think that the president writes these letters? It's always someone else and the Rhodes people know it. This president is doing you a huge favor, so it would be stupid to turn it down or say gibberish like "I'm not comfortable with doing this." Really, LOL to the poster who thinks you can say that to the president of a college, you are either a cynical ass or you are ignorant as to how these things work.


I'm not sure if you're serious. Why even risk it? It's a LOR, no one cares that it's a university president. Law school admissions is 95% numbers.


What is there to risk? I really only see gain here in various ways ie OP learns how to write letters of rec and President supports him. At this point I'm curious whether you are envious of the poster or you just wish people bad. If he had the same stats as another applicant, and it came down to letters, this letter would bump him. As you said, numbers is 95%, but I'll add that the other 5% does matter. What's more impressive is that this wouldn't be some standard shit president letter. The president has worked with the OP extensively and knows the OPs character, which will add to the letter a lot. If I were an admin, I would find it quite impressive that a leader of a university worked extensively with this applicant.


But you're not an admin. You're an 0L who has no idea what he is talking about. "Law school admission is 95% 99.9% numbers." FTFY

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Samara
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Re: School Pres. Rec letter - help?

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:10 am

Ruthie wrote:My university president and I worked together a lot while I was in college. He co-taught my senior thesis course, I served on numerous committees with him, etc. So, he offered to write a law school rec letter.
Here is a clicher. He said that I should take a stab at it first then send him my draft to work off of, because if would allow him to see what I want highlighted.

What do I do?

The more he writes of the letter, the better it will be. I would send him your resume and a rough outline. That will fulfill his request to see what you want highlighted and hopefully he'll take it from there and flesh it out in his own words. If he wants more, have a friend write a little more. If you write it, A) it's hard to praise yourself in a convincing way and B) it's hard to avoid letting your own writing style color the letter.




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