one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

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Anonymous User
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one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:11 am

I am a 2L at a T14, and worked at a firm last summer. I listed one of the partners there as a reference, and I heard through the grapevine from a couple of sources that he has been giving me bad references, and even making unsolicited negative remarks about me to other attorneys. When I worked for him, he never said my work was unsatisfactory or anything, and when I asked him if he'd be a reference for me, he said "sure." I am thinking about sending him the following letter. What do you guys think?
Dear ____________:

I hope you've been doing well, and that you had a relaxing holiday break with at least a day or two off of work.

Also, I'd just like to clear the air about some remarks I've heard from a couple of unidentified sources. I'll start by reiterating that I had a great learning experience working at [Firm X] last summer. Admittedly, I definitely had to make some adjustments from the kind of work I learned to do in law school to the kind of work that one does practicing law. [Firm X] was a positive environment for making that transition, and a good bit of the research work I did while making that transition was for you. While you told me at times that some of the cases I pulled were distinguishable from the facts of your cases, or unnecessary for the argument, I always revised any work that you thought needed it, and you never expressed to me that the work I did for you was sub-par or that I needed to do something substantially differently. If you had, I certainly would have worked to change my approach to research. I do hope that you would kindly make any complaints you have about the quality of my work product known to me, so that I could improve in those areas in the future, before making such complaints known to anyone else without my knowledge. I hope to be as able an attorney as possible, and would appreciate as much feedback about the quality of my work as possible, so that I can improve. I also hope that if you had serious concerns about my abilities, that you would not have agreed to be a reference for me. I have no delusions that any work I have done at any point in the past has been exceptional in any way, but I would appreciate, as mere professional courtesy, to be the first to know of dissatisfaction you may have with it.

Thank you for your kind consideration,

______

Alexandria
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Alexandria » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:16 am

Honestly, it doesn't seem like there's much point to the letter other than to basically complain to the guy about his behavior. I think your situation completely sucks, but you may be better off in the long run just dropping it and stopping using the guy as a reference. I'm afraid dealing with it by sending this letter may just hurt your reputation further, if the guy you send it to starts telling people about it (with his own spin on it, of course).

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Lonagan
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Lonagan » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:21 am

If I were to send such a letter, I would couch it as more of a question than an accusation. As written it sounds like "I know you're saying bad things about me, please stop." I would aim for "I have heard _______, was this in error?"

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Tanicius
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Tanicius » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:21 am

Lonagan wrote:If I were to send such a letter, I would couch it as more of a question than an accusation. As written it sounds like "I know you're saying bad things about me, please stop." I would aim for "I have heard _______, was this in error?"


I agree.

sofibee
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby sofibee » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:23 am

I would just stop using him as a reference altogether. He'll get the hint, and it prevents any further conflict.

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GeePee
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby GeePee » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:24 am

That's pretty douchey... sorry, OP. First off, before sending a letter like this, I think you need to be pretty close to 100% sure that this person has in fact made negative comments. I don't think it should be phrased as a question of uncertainty, because it will be taken as an accusation regardless. It would be terrible to burn bridges by sending an inaccurate email. I think that, as stated, you should be entitled to this "professional courtesy" and hopefully you will get something useful out of this. However, if the attorney was enough of a dick to agree to act as a reference despite having nothing good to say, you probably won't.

Although I don't have experience in applying to law firms, I would send similar correspondence to any of my own professional references if he agreed to act as such insincerely.

EDIT: If this reference is acting like this, there's a good chance OP's chances at this firm are donezo anyway. I don't think it could hurt much, although a phone call might be better.
Last edited by GeePee on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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chadwick218
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:25 am

Tanicius wrote:
Lonagan wrote:If I were to send such a letter, I would couch it as more of a question than an accusation. As written it sounds like "I know you're saying bad things about me, please stop." I would aim for "I have heard _______, was this in error?"


I agree.


I would be hesitant to contact him whatsoever given the source of the information (as reliance as it may seem). Is it possible to just stop using him as a reference altogether or is it pretty much too late as applications are already out the door?

I think that the damage has already been done ... I would not send this letter to any prospective employers. At most, I might reach out to the recommender (by phone) and discuss your concerns.
Last edited by chadwick218 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

06072010
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby 06072010 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:28 am

I'd just stop using him as a reference. This letter will get you burned, IMO.

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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:31 am

OP here

application season is over--i got rejected by every firm i applied to. i don't know how much of that is due to the economy and how much is due to that guy. i'm really pissed and bitter right now though.

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chadwick218
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here

application season is over--i got rejected by every firm i applied to. i don't know how much of that is due to the economy and how much is due to that guy. i'm really pissed and bitter right now though.


It's an unfortunate predicament to be in, but it's unlikely that you are going to be able to change anyone's mind at this point. Hiring decisions have already been made. The best that you can do is go forward, stop using this guy as a reference, and prevent any further damage.

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Drake014
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Drake014 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:36 am

You have little hope of accomplishing anything if this guy is this douchey. My advice?

If he's married, spray a hint of perfume on his collar. Put the following items in his various coat pockets.

1. a woman's name and phone number on a slip of paper along with a lipstick smeared kiss
2. a receipt for flowers (if you want to make a major investment, then a receipt for a hotel room)
3. a pack of condoms minus a couple of condoms from the pack

If possible, have a woman call his home phone from a hotel/motel when he's not home and his wife is certain to pick up. Have her ask for him. Then hang up abruptly when the wife asks who is this. If you can't get a woman, then you can call yourself from a hotel/motel and tell his wife that they found his watch and it'll be waiting for him at the front desk.
Last edited by Drake014 on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

06072010
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby 06072010 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:36 am

Drake014 wrote:You have little hope of accomplishing anything if this guy is this douchey. My advice?

If he's married, spray a hint of perfume on his collar. Put the following items in his various coat pockets.

1. a woman's name and phone number on a slip of paper along with a lipstick smeared kiss
2. a receipt for flowers (if you want to make a major investment, then a receipt for a hotel room)
3. a pack of condoms minus a couple of condoms from the pack
4. If possible, have a woman call his home phone from a hotel/motel when he's not home and his wife is certain to pick up. Have her ask for him. Then hang up abruptly when the wife asks who is this. If you can't get a woman, then you can call yourself from a hotel/motel and tell his wife that they found his watch and it'll be waiting for him at the front desk.


I love the way this thread is going now. Let's keep up with suggestions like these.

nycparalegal
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby nycparalegal » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:39 am

Damage is done. I would stop using him as a reference, and would not send that letter. It sucks, and you won't ever know the reason why you didn't get a job, but if you send a letter that is something that you can never take away.

You have no idea how vindictive this partner can be. I would limit further contact.

Don't try to burn any bridges.

First rule, do no harm.

06072010
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby 06072010 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:40 am

Second rule: petty petty revenge

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fusion
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby fusion » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:42 am

Drake014 wrote:You have little hope of accomplishing anything if this guy is this douchey. My advice?

If he's married, spray a hint of perfume on his collar. Put the following items in his various coat pockets.

1. a woman's name and phone number on a slip of paper along with a lipstick smeared kiss
2. a receipt for flowers (if you want to make a major investment, then a receipt for a hotel room)
3. a pack of condoms minus a couple of condoms from the pack

If possible, have a woman call his home phone from a hotel/motel when he's not home and his wife is certain to pick up. Have her ask for him. Then hang up abruptly when the wife asks who is this. If you can't get a woman, then you can call yourself from a hotel/motel and tell his wife that they found his watch and it'll be waiting for him at the front desk.


This..and all this, too.
http://lifehacker.com/373817/top-10-har ... eek-pranks

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superserial
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby superserial » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:45 am

sue his balls off.

06072010
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby 06072010 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:47 am

superserial wrote:sue his balls off.


A VALID SECTION 90 CLAIM PERHAPS? 1LS, spout your new found knowledge. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!

06072010
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby 06072010 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:47 am

Also,

IBBS (beta steve)

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Aeroplane
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Aeroplane » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:48 am

You worked at this firm as a 1L SA? From what I've heard, many firms reserve 1L SA positions for people they have especially solid reason to believe will remain with the firm.
Is it possible this guy feels you "led his firm on" before jumping ship and then added insult to injury by asking him to be a reference for you at other firms? This wouldn't excuse his behavior at all, but it could be an explanation.

The above isn't really helpful to you at this point, but if true then you at least shouldn't feel bad about the quality of your work.

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superserial
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby superserial » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:50 am

PKSebben wrote:
superserial wrote:sue his balls off.


A VALID SECTION 90 CLAIM PERHAPS? 1LS, spout your new found knowledge. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!


I will not be spouting knowledge until January 11th. For now, only obscenities and useless advice.

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Drake014
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Drake014 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:52 am

nycparalegal wrote:Damage is done. I would stop using him as a reference, and would not send that letter. It sucks, and you won't ever know the reason why you didn't get a job, but if you send a letter that is something that you can never take away.

You have no idea how vindictive this partner can be. I would limit further contact.

Don't try to burn any bridges.

First rule, do no harm.


He will only take this as a sign of weakness. You need to hit him where it hurts. For instance, if he's a homophobe:

Step 1: Begin hiding gay porno magazines and receipts from well known gay clubs just barely sticking out from under his files.
Step 2: Put a rainbow bumper sticker on his car
Step 3: Send him a sex change operation brochure at work (make sure its addressed to him and appears as if he requested it)
Step 4: drop a love note in the break room addressed to him from "Mark" or "Stephen"--Be sure to include many XOs for authenticity.

Anonymous User
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:27 am

predetermined wrote:Could some form of discrimination be at work?


we're both short white male philosophy majors who went to lower T14s. . .

RE: all the marital revenge--he recently got divorced, so this is unlikely to be effective revenge. maybe i'll just fuck his daughter. she's pretty hot (and 18, still living at home I think; he's really conservative and Christian).

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GeePee
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby GeePee » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
predetermined wrote:Could some form of discrimination be at work?


we're both short white male philosophy majors who went to lower T14s. . .

RE: all the marital revenge--he recently got divorced, so this is unlikely to be effective revenge. maybe i'll just fuck his daughter. she's pretty hot (and 18, still living at home I think; he's really conservative and Christian).

Awesome. Do that. And take pictures. Or it didn't happen ;)

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cantaboot
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby cantaboot » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:35 am

I feel really really bad for OP as I went through his posts...

I hate it when people who promised to write reference letters retract their promises... come to think of it: retracting promises is better than affirmatively writing bad references..

yes, follow others' advice. do nothing...

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Lonagan
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Re: one of my references has been saying bad stuff. email him?

Postby Lonagan » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:38 am

Do it in his bed.




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