Waiving right to view LORs

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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hemicat27
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Waiving right to view LORs

Postby hemicat27 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:32 pm

I have a question about waiving the right to view your LOR before you submit them.

I have a particular person whom I REALLY want to write a LOR for me. I have no doubt that he would say excellent things on my behalf. However, his assistant (who ultimately will be the one that hits send on the LOR) is less than trustworthy. If I do not waive my right to view it, how badly is that frowned upon? I just don't want to end up submitting a scathing LOR without my knowledge because of a snarky assistant. If it's bad, I obviously wouldn't submit it. But if it is good I don't want it discounted because I viewed it. Does that make sense? Hopefully someone can help me on this.

Thanks!
Last edited by hemicat27 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:35 pm

Never use a LOR that you have not waived your right to. It's worthless. Think of it from the school's point of view. The school will view the letter as less honest because a recommender will be less likely to say negative things about you (because they know you have the right to view it).

If you have any doubt, do not use that recommender. Why can't the recommender submit it directly? Why do you think the assistant will tamper with it? I'm pretty sure tampering with your recommender's letter is an offense that warrants firing. Do you really think the assistant will risk his/her job or professional reputation to tamper with your letter?

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midwest17
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:42 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:Never use a LOR that you have not waived your right to. It's worthless. Think of it from the school's point of view. The school will view the letter as less honest because a recommender will be less likely to say negative things about you (because they know you have the right to view it).

If you have any doubt, do not use that recommender. Why can't the recommender submit it directly? Why do you think the assistant will tamper with it? I'm pretty sure tampering with your recommender's letter is an offense that warrants firing. Do you really think the assistant will risk his/her job or professional reputation to tamper with your letter?


Yeah, this seems extreme. If you actually have cause to think that the assistant would do this, discuss it with the recommender, or choose someone else. But *always* waive access.

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Tyr
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby Tyr » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:04 pm

Karen Spivey had input on exactly this question...

Question: I read online that schools look more fondly at
LOR’s that applicants waive their rights to see. Is this
true?


Karen: I really don't think that waiving your right to see the letters (or not) will make a difference in the evaluation. I can't remember the last time I even nlooked at tthat when reviewing an application, so it is totally up to you. Do you think that the professors would write anything differently if you waive or not?


I think Karen would know best in this case.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:22 pm

Tyr wrote:Karen Spivey had input on exactly this question...

Question: I read online that schools look more fondly at
LOR’s that applicants waive their rights to see. Is this
true?


Karen: I really don't think that waiving your right to see the letters (or not) will make a difference in the evaluation. I can't remember the last time I even nlooked at tthat when reviewing an application, so it is totally up to you. Do you think that the professors would write anything differently if you waive or not?


I think Karen would know best in this case.


Meh. She's probably right. I stand by what I say about LORs having more weight when you waive the right, however, LORs, in general, are TTT anyway. They're extremely unlikely to make or break your cycle. Unless you have the stats for Yale and are applying there.

PalmBay
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby PalmBay » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:30 pm

I mean, how untrustworthy is this assistant? Unless he's got a serious vendetta against you, there's no way that person will have the audacity to change someone's personal letter of recommendation.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:31 pm

Tyr wrote:Karen Spivey had input on exactly this question...

Question: I read online that schools look more fondly at
LOR’s that applicants waive their rights to see. Is this
true?


Karen: I really don't think that waiving your right to see the letters (or not) will make a difference in the evaluation. I can't remember the last time I even nlooked at tthat when reviewing an application, so it is totally up to you. Do you think that the professors would write anything differently if you waive or not?


I think Karen would know best in this case.


We got married?

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MoMettaMonk
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby MoMettaMonk » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:34 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Tyr wrote:Karen Spivey had input on exactly this question...

Question: I read online that schools look more fondly at
LOR’s that applicants waive their rights to see. Is this
true?


Karen: I really don't think that waiving your right to see the letters (or not) will make a difference in the evaluation. I can't remember the last time I even nlooked at tthat when reviewing an application, so it is totally up to you. Do you think that the professors would write anything differently if you waive or not?


I think Karen would know best in this case.


We got married?


Congratulations?

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Tyr
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby Tyr » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:39 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:
Tyr wrote:Karen Spivey had input on exactly this question...

Question: I read online that schools look more fondly at
LOR’s that applicants waive their rights to see. Is this
true?


Karen: I really don't think that waiving your right to see the letters (or not) will make a difference in the evaluation. I can't remember the last time I even nlooked at tthat when reviewing an application, so it is totally up to you. Do you think that the professors would write anything differently if you waive or not?


I think Karen would know best in this case.


We got married?


Haha! Sorry, I didn't know. I'm new and thought it was some sort of duo or something. You two do give great advice though.

...And now that I've gone back and saw her s/n, it is much more obvious. Oops! :oops:

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:47 pm

No need to apologize that had me physically LOL.

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midwest17
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:52 pm

Tyr wrote:Karen Spivey had input on exactly this question...

Question: I read online that schools look more fondly at
LOR’s that applicants waive their rights to see. Is this
true?


Karen: I really don't think that waiving your right to see the letters (or not) will make a difference in the evaluation. I can't remember the last time I even nlooked at tthat when reviewing an application, so it is totally up to you. Do you think that the professors would write anything differently if you waive or not?


I think Karen would know best in this case.


I've seen discussions with admissions deans who say the exact opposite.

I generally heed Karen's advice, but this seems like a more idiosyncratic thing about her; my guess is that there are people to whom it would matter a lot. Maybe they wouldn't notice that access wasn't waived (I don't know how obvious LSAC makes it), but if they do notice it could cause big problems.

Also this:

PalmBay wrote:I mean, how untrustworthy is this assistant? Unless he's got a serious vendetta against you, there's no way that person will have the audacity to change someone's personal letter of recommendation.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:19 pm

hemicat27 wrote:I have a question about waiving the right to view your LOR before you submit them.

I have a particular person whom I REALLY want to write a LOR for me. I have no doubt that he would say excellent things on my behalf. However, his assistant (who ultimately will be the one that hits send on the LOR) is less than trustworthy. If I do not waive my right to view it, how badly is that frowned upon? I just don't want to end up submitting a scathing LOR without my knowledge because of a snarky assistant. If it's bad, I obviously wouldn't submit it. But if it is good I don't want it discounted because I viewed it. Does that make sense? Hopefully someone can help me on this.

Thanks!
Kristen

I don't think you understand what the waiver actually does. You are waiving the right under FERPA to demand that your law school let you see the letter after you've matriculated. You are not waiving the ability to see it if the writer shows you.

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midwest17
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:23 pm

malleus discentium wrote:I don't think you understand what the waiver actually does. You are waiving the right under FERPA to demand that your law school let you see the letter after you've matriculated. You are not waiving the ability to see it if the writer shows you.


I think OP's concern is that what gets submitted to LSAC would be different from what the writer actually wrote. So having the writer share it wouldn't help.

Of course, even with the waiver, the OP wouldn't be able to see the letter until after matriculation. But presumably a non-waived letter would be more of a disincentive for the dastardly assistant to screw with things, since there's a greater chance of getting caught.

Of course, this entire scenario seems absurd to me.

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:23 pm

Let me put this entire conversation to rest.

93% of Letters of Rec are sum zero; they neither hurt nor help. They are generically fawning and when you are reading files you just read 75 that seem almost identical.

5% Hurt. They say things like "I do not know Mr. Smith very well, I see from my ledger he achieved a B+ in my class so I can assume he did well. I can not however, recommend him beyond this" -- you do not want to be in this 5% because this is about the only way your LOR will stand out, except in the 2%...

2% Help. They say things like "Hi Bob" (we can pretend Bob is Bib Rasmussen, Dean of USC law School ...who incidentally is a friend and great guy and has done a really good job as Dean), just a quick note that I think very highly of applicant Mr. Smith and hope to see him at USC Law when the new wing is dedicated in my name. I feel very honored to be a part of this. Go Trojans! - "Marty [Scorsese]"

I can not imagine a bigger fan of small balling the details in law admissions than me. When the stakes are high I always believe in getting every little thing precisely right, and in knowing the strategy behind every little thing. But in this case I think it is okay to stop worrying about signing waivers for your LOR. This is almost always the least important part of your recommendation, due to the 93% sounding so similar.

Helpful?

Mike

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midwest17
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby midwest17 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:26 pm

MikeSpivey wrote:Let me put this entire conversation to rest.

93% of Letters of Rec are sum zero; they neither hurt nor help. They are generically fawning and when you are reading files you just read 75 that seem almost identical.

5% Hurt. They say things like "I do not know Mr. Smith very well, I see from my ledger he achieved a B+ in my class so I can assume he did well. I can not however, recommend him beyond this" -- you do not want to be in this 5% because this is about the only way your LOR will stand out, except in the 2%...

2% Help. They say things like "Hi Bob" (we can pretend Bob is Bib Rasmussen, Dean of USC law School ...who incidentally is a friend and great guy and has done a really good job as Dean), just a quick note that I think very highly of applicant Mr. Smith and hope to see him at USC Law when the new wing is dedicated in my name. I feel very honored to be a part of this. Go Trojans! - "Marty [Scorsese]"

I can not imagine a bigger fan of small balling the details in law admissions than me. When the stakes are high I always believe in getting every little thing precisely right, and in knowing the strategy behind every little thing. But in this case I think it is okay to stop worrying about signing waivers for your LOR. This is almost always the least important part of your recommendation, due to the 93% sounding so similar.

Helpful?

Mike


Would you answer the same way for Y/S?

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MikeSpivey
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby MikeSpivey » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:29 pm

midwest17 wrote:
MikeSpivey wrote:Let me put this entire conversation to rest.

93% of Letters of Rec are sum zero; they neither hurt nor help. They are generically fawning and when you are reading files you just read 75 that seem almost identical.

5% Hurt. They say things like "I do not know Mr. Smith very well, I see from my ledger he achieved a B+ in my class so I can assume he did well. I can not however, recommend him beyond this" -- you do not want to be in this 5% because this is about the only way your LOR will stand out, except in the 2%...

2% Help. They say things like "Hi Bob" (we can pretend Bob is Bib Rasmussen, Dean of USC law School ...who incidentally is a friend and great guy and has done a really good job as Dean), just a quick note that I think very highly of applicant Mr. Smith and hope to see him at USC Law when the new wing is dedicated in my name. I feel very honored to be a part of this. Go Trojans! - "Marty [Scorsese]"

I can not imagine a bigger fan of small balling the details in law admissions than me. When the stakes are high I always believe in getting every little thing precisely right, and in knowing the strategy behind every little thing. But in this case I think it is okay to stop worrying about signing waivers for your LOR. This is almost always the least important part of your recommendation, due to the 93% sounding so similar.

Helpful?

Mike


Would you answer the same way for Y/S?


Probably because at the most macro level I know that all LOR sound so similar. I can not say 100% for certain for either one school, though.

Also, LOl to "Bib Rasmussen"...Sorry Bob!

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:58 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:LORs, in general, are TTT

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hemicat27
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Re: Waiving right to view LORs

Postby hemicat27 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:00 pm

Thanks for everyone's input. I think I will just forgo getting a LOR from him. I already have one from a professor and one from my boss (an attorney and alumni of the school I want to attend). This was just another attorney in my firm who is also an alum. So I think it's better to not risk it when I've already got two great ones, and this was just going to be an "extra".

Thanks!




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