Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Life2good893
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Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Life2good893 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:45 pm

So I came to a professor three years after graduating. Even though he didn't remember me, he was kind enough to write me a letter. But he told me it would be done in 5 weeks and I sent him an email telling him I appreciate it but could he get it a little sooner. Suddenly he gets it done in 7 days. Then I email him to thank him and he says "no need to thank me. No need to drop by with a thank you letter either."

I'm scared......do recommenders ever give bad letters? Like not generic but actually bad?

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encore1101
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby encore1101 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:56 pm

Nah, probably just tired of your shit, tbh.

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Br3v
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Br3v » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:57 pm

I would not use that letter unless you absolutely have to.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:59 pm

It's not going to be bad, it's just going to be generic.

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Skool
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Skool » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:00 pm

First off, it was a bad move asking him to do it a little sooner, but what's done is done.

I would bet that this guy would have just said no, I can't write it sooner/at all if he wasn't going to be helpful. A professional who takes mentoring/teaching seriously would have pointedly declined to write instead of blast you in a letter. If your guy is a professional and takes teaching seriously, I would bet he didn't harm your candidacy and is just a little curmudgeonly about doing routine parts of his job and understands himself to deserve no thanks or praise for doing something so routine.

You know the guy best and have the most information. Not sure anyone can tell you better, OP.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:It's not going to be bad, it's just going to be generic.

I think this is right.

Life2good893
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Life2good893 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:03 pm

Thanks for the tips. Here's what I wrote to him verbatim:

Thank you for letting me know. The law school application process is rolling admission, so generally sooner is always better. However I understand that it’s holiday time now and such a busy season, so I am incredibly grateful that you are going out of your way to help me when you definitely don't have to. January 8th (or a week later) will also work. If there is any way I can help, please let me know. Thanks again!.


Hopefully he didn't get annoyed..... =/

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fats provolone
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby fats provolone » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:04 pm

he's probably gonna draw a penis on it you're screwed

Life2good893
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Life2good893 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:26 pm

fats provolone wrote:he's probably gonna draw a penis on it you're screwed


Oh god....I take everything literally so that freaks me out.

But hey, the admissions officer might be into that. You never know.

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bluchai
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby bluchai » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:57 pm

georgetownhopeful893 wrote:So I came to a professor three years after graduating. Even though he didn't remember me, he was kind enough to write me a letter. But he told me it would be done in 5 weeks and I sent him an email telling him I appreciate it but could he get it a little sooner. Suddenly he gets it done in 7 days. Then I email him to thank him and he says "no need to thank me. No need to drop by with a thank you letter either."

I'm scared......do recommenders ever give bad letters? Like not generic but actually bad?


I had 4 recommendation letters written for me the first time I applied to law school. One of them inaccurately stated that I was URM when I am not. It is not uncommon for people from my ethnic group to lie and say they are Mexican even though they are classified as Asian (and I am disgusted with that). I am still unsure as to whether this was a mistake made out of ignorance or something to sabotage my application given that professors at my undergrad are given raises and bonuses based on how many URMs attend graduate/law school after finishing undergrad. I wished that person had just declined to write me a rec letter.

If you ask me, this was an actually bad recommendation letter. I am still very offended thinking about it. Oh well. I had a work-related letter replace it.

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DCfilterDC
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby DCfilterDC » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:00 pm

bluchai wrote:
georgetownhopeful893 wrote:So I came to a professor three years after graduating. Even though he didn't remember me, he was kind enough to write me a letter. But he told me it would be done in 5 weeks and I sent him an email telling him I appreciate it but could he get it a little sooner. Suddenly he gets it done in 7 days. Then I email him to thank him and he says "no need to thank me. No need to drop by with a thank you letter either."

I'm scared......do recommenders ever give bad letters? Like not generic but actually bad?


I had 4 recommendation letters written for me the first time I applied to law school. One of them inaccurately stated that I was URM when I am not. It is not uncommon for people from my ethnic group to lie and say they are Mexican even though they are classified as Asian (and I am disgusted with that). I am still unsure as to whether this was a mistake made out of ignorance or something to sabotage my application given that professors at my undergrad are given raises and bonuses based on how many URMs attend graduate/law school after finishing undergrad. I wished that person had just declined to write me a rec letter.

If you ask me, this was an actually bad recommendation letter. I am still very offended thinking about it. Oh well. I had a work-related letter replace it.


How did you know your professor wrote that? Did you not check the box to conceal the letter?

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bluchai
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby bluchai » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:06 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:
bluchai wrote:
georgetownhopeful893 wrote:So I came to a professor three years after graduating. Even though he didn't remember me, he was kind enough to write me a letter. But he told me it would be done in 5 weeks and I sent him an email telling him I appreciate it but could he get it a little sooner. Suddenly he gets it done in 7 days. Then I email him to thank him and he says "no need to thank me. No need to drop by with a thank you letter either."

I'm scared......do recommenders ever give bad letters? Like not generic but actually bad?


I had 4 recommendation letters written for me the first time I applied to law school. One of them inaccurately stated that I was URM when I am not. It is not uncommon for people from my ethnic group to lie and say they are Mexican even though they are classified as Asian (and I am disgusted with that). I am still unsure as to whether this was a mistake made out of ignorance or something to sabotage my application given that professors at my undergrad are given raises and bonuses based on how many URMs attend graduate/law school after finishing undergrad. I wished that person had just declined to write me a rec letter.

If you ask me, this was an actually bad recommendation letter. I am still very offended thinking about it. Oh well. I had a work-related letter replace it.


How did you know your professor wrote that? Did you not check the box to conceal the letter?


Okay, so:

1. This professor had a course that was heavily intensive. I got an "A" in it, didn't have any significant work experience other than internships and wanted her to write me the letter. I did not know anything about the contents of the letter at the time and I still wonder if it would affect admission to the bar if anyone were to ask about it.

2. I had the same professor write me a letter for an outside scholarship. Her mentioning of my supposed URM status and even my supposed family's socioeconomic status directly conflicted with the required demographic information I checked off for this scholarship. The committee called me up and asked me to explain this discrepancy before determining the scholly recipients. That is how I found out. I was emailed a copy of the letter and at one part she goofed and didn't "mimeograph" it right. And the name of the scholarship was copy-pasted in different font, so she likely used the same letter she wrote me for law school apps.

I am considering postponing law school another year (got a very good job offer and will begin in January). Will the 3 other rec letters still remain in the system by then?

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DCfilterDC
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby DCfilterDC » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:12 pm

bluchai wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:
bluchai wrote:
georgetownhopeful893 wrote:So I came to a professor three years after graduating. Even though he didn't remember me, he was kind enough to write me a letter. But he told me it would be done in 5 weeks and I sent him an email telling him I appreciate it but could he get it a little sooner. Suddenly he gets it done in 7 days. Then I email him to thank him and he says "no need to thank me. No need to drop by with a thank you letter either."

I'm scared......do recommenders ever give bad letters? Like not generic but actually bad?


I had 4 recommendation letters written for me the first time I applied to law school. One of them inaccurately stated that I was URM when I am not. It is not uncommon for people from my ethnic group to lie and say they are Mexican even though they are classified as Asian (and I am disgusted with that). I am still unsure as to whether this was a mistake made out of ignorance or something to sabotage my application given that professors at my undergrad are given raises and bonuses based on how many URMs attend graduate/law school after finishing undergrad. I wished that person had just declined to write me a rec letter.

If you ask me, this was an actually bad recommendation letter. I am still very offended thinking about it. Oh well. I had a work-related letter replace it.


How did you know your professor wrote that? Did you not check the box to conceal the letter?


Okay, so:

1. This professor had a course that was heavily intensive. I got an "A" in it, didn't have any significant work experience other than internships and wanted her to write me the letter. I did not know anything about the contents of the letter at the time and I still wonder if it would affect admission to the bar if anyone were to ask about it.

2. I had the same professor write me a letter for an outside scholarship. Her mentioning of my supposed URM status and even my supposed family's socioeconomic status directly conflicted with the required demographic information I checked off for this scholarship. The committee called me up and asked me to explain this discrepancy before determining the scholly recipients. That is how I found out. I was emailed a copy of the letter and at one part she goofed and didn't "mimeograph" it right. And the name of the scholarship was copy-pasted in different font, so she likely used the same letter she wrote me for law school apps.

I am considering postponing law school another year (got a very good job offer and will begin in January). Will the 3 other rec letters still remain in the system by then?


Yes, LSAC will retain them.

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bluchai
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby bluchai » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:14 pm

Thank you.

And OP's professor could just be really efficient, or doesn't like flowery thank you's. I can't really predict whether it's a bad letter that he'll get because that email could be written with different tones.

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Rigo
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Rigo » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:14 pm

bluchai wrote:I am considering postponing law school another year (got a very good job offer and will begin in January). Will the 3 other rec letters still remain in the system by then?

Yes. My letters written in 2012 & 2013 are still there.

ETA: Scooped. Sorry, my internet is being horridly slow right now.
Last edited by Rigo on Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bluchai
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby bluchai » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:15 pm

Dirigo wrote:
bluchai wrote:I am considering postponing law school another year (got a very good job offer and will begin in January). Will the 3 other rec letters still remain in the system by then?

Yes. My letters written in 2012 & 2013 are still there.


HOW OLD ARE YOU?

I was under the impression you were a young chap, 21 or so.

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Rigo
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby Rigo » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:20 pm

bluchai wrote:
Dirigo wrote:
bluchai wrote:I am considering postponing law school another year (got a very good job offer and will begin in January). Will the 3 other rec letters still remain in the system by then?

Yes. My letters written in 2012 & 2013 are still there.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I was under the impression you were a young chap, 21 or so.

24. Graduated undergrad a semester early in December 2012. Was initially intending to be k-jd so I got my LOR's then and there.
PSA: Get them ASAP when you're fresh in the prof's mind, people!

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bluchai
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby bluchai » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:23 pm

Dirigo wrote:
bluchai wrote:
Dirigo wrote:
bluchai wrote:I am considering postponing law school another year (got a very good job offer and will begin in January). Will the 3 other rec letters still remain in the system by then?

Yes. My letters written in 2012 & 2013 are still there.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?
I was under the impression you were a young chap, 21 or so.

24. Graduated undergrad a semester early in December 2012. Was initially intending to be k-jd so I got my LOR's then and there.
PSA: Get them ASAP when you're fresh in the prof's mind, people!


YAY WE'RE BOTH OLD!

Even if the prof knows you're not going immediately, they are usually more than willing to write you one that you can use later.

sflyr2016
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Re: Anyone heard of getting a bad letter of recommendation?

Postby sflyr2016 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:30 pm

Friend interned for an art iii district court judge this summer and would receive recommendation letters for clerkship applicants everyday. Said he read some that actually said bad things about the candidate. That sucks! So yes, it can happen.




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