Writing my own LORs... help!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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gargoyle
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Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby gargoyle » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:26 pm

Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

bp shinners
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:11 pm

gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?


Highlight the capabilities you showed in class with specific stories that the professor might remember. If it's something the professor is unlikely to have remembered, speak in more general terms. Make sure to highlight different strengths in each letter. Try to take a different tack in each one so that it seems like they were written by different people. Don't be afraid to straight-up compliment yourself - it feels weird, but it's what would happen in a letter of recommendation.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:55 pm

gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

Writing your own LOR is unethical. Don't do it.

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altoid99
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby altoid99 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:59 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

Writing your own LOR is unethical. Don't do it.


How exactly is it unethical if the recommenders specifically asked the OP to do it? It's not like the OP would be fabricating LORs--the professors will make edits/sign their names on to it at the end. I don't follow.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:17 pm

altoid99 wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:
gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

Writing your own LOR is unethical. Don't do it.


How exactly is it unethical if the recommenders specifically asked the OP to do it? It's not like the OP would be fabricating LORs--the professors will make edits/sign their names on to it at the end. I don't follow.

The professor will be signing their name to something they didn't write but that law schools will treat as having been written by that person. That's unethical. The fact that the professor permits it to happen doesn't change that.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby UnicornHunter » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:31 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
altoid99 wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:
gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

Writing your own LOR is unethical. Don't do it.


How exactly is it unethical if the recommenders specifically asked the OP to do it? It's not like the OP would be fabricating LORs--the professors will make edits/sign their names on to it at the end. I don't follow.

The professor will be signing their name to something they didn't write but that law schools will treat as having been written by that person. That's unethical. The fact that the professor permits it to happen doesn't change that.


I assume you're K-JD? In the professional world, people sign documents they didn't write all the time. All The Time. It's not unethical, because by signing the document (and in theory reviewing it before they sign the document) they're taking ownership of whatever is in the document.

HYSenberg
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby HYSenberg » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:42 pm

I'd probably ask different professors if that happened. Writing my own LOR seems so pathetic.

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altoid99
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby altoid99 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:43 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
altoid99 wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:
gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

Writing your own LOR is unethical. Don't do it.


How exactly is it unethical if the recommenders specifically asked the OP to do it? It's not like the OP would be fabricating LORs--the professors will make edits/sign their names on to it at the end. I don't follow.

The professor will be signing their name to something they didn't write but that law schools will treat as having been written by that person. That's unethical. The fact that the professor permits it to happen doesn't change that.


No, it's not. Have you never written a report, a letter, etc. and have it be signed by your boss/superior at work and have them take all the credit for it? Welcome to the real world.

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altoid99
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby altoid99 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:44 pm

Hadn't even seen what AfghanTourist wrote. But yeah, that.

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gargoyle
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby gargoyle » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:48 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
altoid99 wrote:
malleus discentium wrote:
gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?

Writing your own LOR is unethical. Don't do it.


How exactly is it unethical if the recommenders specifically asked the OP to do it? It's not like the OP would be fabricating LORs--the professors will make edits/sign their names on to it at the end. I don't follow.

The professor will be signing their name to something they didn't write but that law schools will treat as having been written by that person. That's unethical. The fact that the professor permits it to happen doesn't change that.


To clarify, the reason I think my professors want me to do this is to a) save them some time and b) get some idea of what exactly I'd like them to discuss in the letters. Both of them mentioned that they would be rewriting the letters in light of their own opinons. I'm an engineering major at a large research university, which means my professors are very busy and don't write very many LORs for law school applicants. Unconventional? Maybe. Unethical? Hardly.

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gargoyle
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby gargoyle » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:52 pm

HYSenberg wrote:I'd probably ask different professors if that happened. Writing my own LOR seems so pathetic.


It's an awkward exercise - no doubt. However, I'm close with both professors. It's not as if they shirked me off... they just want a better understanding of my ideal letter, I suppose. Thanks for the constructive input though, HYSenberg.

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gargoyle
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Re: Writing my own LORs... help!

Postby gargoyle » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:53 pm

bp shinners wrote:
gargoyle wrote:Two of the professors I have approached about writing LORs have suggested that I write one myself that they can then edit, sign and submit. While this wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting, I'm thinking it may turn out to be a pretty awesome opportunity.

I was wondering if any of you might have had similar experiences, and can lend me some advice on how to craft a good LOR. I've never written one before, and honestly the nature of personal endorsement is proving to be a little awkward. Should I stick to specific examples of leadership and academic success, take a more broad approach, describing why my personality and learning style would be conducive to law school, or blend the two angles throughout the letter?


Highlight the capabilities you showed in class with specific stories that the professor might remember. If it's something the professor is unlikely to have remembered, speak in more general terms. Make sure to highlight different strengths in each letter. Try to take a different tack in each one so that it seems like they were written by different people. Don't be afraid to straight-up compliment yourself - it feels weird, but it's what would happen in a letter of recommendation.


Great advice, thanks!




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