Recommendation Regrets

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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patfeeney
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Recommendation Regrets

Postby patfeeney » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:38 am

I've sent applications in for all but two schools on my list, and I'm beginning to freak out. I have three letters of recommendation: two from professors I'm very close with (A+B) and one from a professor (C) who knows me quite well and has taught me in legal classes.

One of these professors (B) just won't send their letter, and I believe he may be sending my most important recommendation. I first asked him before the fall semester even started. Since then, I've spoken with him three times, giving him more information about myself, including spilling my guts about some pretty personal stuff that would help him understand me better.

This last session happened last Monday, after B told me he had finished a draft of the letter. This meeting was so he could make the draft "more personal." B told me he now had plenty of information to work with, so I sent in my applications, thinking he'd send the letter in.

It's now Wednesday, nine days later, and still there's no letter. I know I will get a notification about it immediately after he sends it - this happened with both of my other recommenders. I've emailed him, asked him if he needs any help, all semester. I set an arbitrary deadline for the end of October, then right before Thanksgiving, then before Thanksgiving break ends. Still nothing, and now I don't know what to do. I just checked my Harvard application and they've already sent it in for review, even though I noted in the application that I needed one more letter sent to them.

How do I approach this? Do I try to go through with my applications sans this letter and hope for the best? Or should I pressure the recommender to get it in ASAP? A, I know, is fine. C could be a wild card (the professor told me the focus of my personal statement should be the law classes I've taken and the grades I got in them). I have Yale and NYU left to do, but I'm beginning to worry that the lack of this third letter could harm my chances even at Cornell, even though my numbers are above their range.

jttoplawschools93
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Recommendation Regrets

Postby jttoplawschools93 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:44 am

just call him and ask what the status is, or go to office hours

some form of direct (non email/text) communication allows you to clear up any uncertainties regarding when it should be turned in

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Cicero76
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Re: Recommendation Regrets

Postby Cicero76 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:49 pm

There is no way this is your most important letter. If this professor knew you well and cared about you much, he wouldn't be so lazy and indifferent. If this is how he's acted in the process, it's almost certain he didn't act much better in the actual writing. The letter probably isn't one you should use at all

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Catherinelo365
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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:56 pm

Re: Recommendation Regrets

Postby Catherinelo365 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:53 pm

I had exactly the same problem and it was my ex-advisor. I just could not find him anymore and he didn't respond to my emails or anything. So I just sent my other two without his.

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tigersaresexy
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:32 am

Re: Recommendation Regrets

Postby tigersaresexy » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:22 pm

I had a similar problem with my recommender. I was primarily communicating by email and while he agreed to write a letter he never seemed to get it done so I sent him an email in the end of october saying my applications were due at this particular date and it would be really great if he could send it in before then. I gave him about 2 weeks notice. He sent it in a few days before the 'deadline'.

I don't agree with everyone saying that a professor who takes too long won't be writing you a great recommendation. The professor I just talked about is someone I knew really well, we are still friendly over email. He gave me the gist of his letter and it was much better and more personal than I had expected.

I just think that professors are busy, and they work best with a deadline. If they can pencil you in for some concrete date, as opposed to an abstract "I'll get to it" they'll stick to it. The problem was that I would just email him saying "any updates on the letter" and he'd be like "oh yeah I'm working on it" and then forget about it. When I gave him a date, I didn't hear back from him until he had sent the letter in.

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lawschool22
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Re: Recommendation Regrets

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:35 pm

Cicero76 wrote:There is no way this is your most important letter. If this professor knew you well and cared about you much, he wouldn't be so lazy and indifferent. If this is how he's acted in the process, it's almost certain he didn't act much better in the actual writing. The letter probably isn't one you should use at all


I'll echo this as well.

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patfeeney
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Re: Recommendation Regrets

Postby patfeeney » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:50 pm

I'll talk to him tomorrow and tell him I need it by Sunday at the latest.




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