LORs

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maf70
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LORs

Postby maf70 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:34 pm

Right now I have two letters coming from professors at my law school. Both seemed really happy to write them for me. I asked a third professor and the professor said he would write me an "honest" LOR. The professor said that I would be missed, but it seemed a little forced.

Question is: Should I use this third recommendation letter as well or just submit the other two?
I am not able to see any of them because they are being sent directly to LSAC. I dont think the professor is going to write anything bad, but Im worried a mediocre letter of recommendation might take away from the other two letters that I expect should be pretty good.

Thoughts?

BUbobby24
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Re: LORs

Postby BUbobby24 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:55 pm

Most schools only require 1 or 2 letters of reccommendation so you wouldn't need the third. If you are applying to a school that requires three then you may have an issue, but I doubt law professor would write a reccommendation that would hurt you in anyway.

missinglink
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Re: LORs

Postby missinglink » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:08 pm

If you only need two letters, I would hesitate to submit a third that might be less than enthusiastic. I'm fairly certain the professor wouldn't say anything bad to sabotage you, but if you already have two good letters, there's no need for a lukewarm third letter.

That's assuming you don't need three. If you do need three, you might wait until after this semester, and try to get a stronger letter from a current professor.

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patrickd139
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Re: LORs

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:47 pm

See if your professor would allow you to read the third LOR before submitting it. Otherwise, the "lawyer advice" (which inherently includes hedging bets to the maximum degree) is going to be to not send it, especially if it is not required.

maf70
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Re: LORs

Postby maf70 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:19 pm

How do you go about asking a professor if you can see the LOR without coming across badly?

zomginternets
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Re: LORs

Postby zomginternets » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:23 pm

Definitely don't use the lukewarm rec, IMO. Lukewarm rec=bad rec. Transfer schools are looking for students near/at the top of their class. A rec indicating that the student is average/decent is not one that will help your app.

PatrickD's advice is good, although I was under the impression that within academia it was a bit of a faux pas to ask your prof to read the recommendation.

maf70
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Re: LORs

Postby maf70 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:27 pm

zomginternets wrote:Definitely don't use the lukewarm rec, IMO. Lukewarm rec=bad rec. Transfer schools are looking for students near/at the top of their class. A rec indicating that the student is average/decent is not one that will help your app.

PatrickD's advice is good, although I was under the impression that within academia it was a bit of a faux pas to ask your prof to read the recommendation.


I thought it might be a bit much to ask to read the LOR...especially when the professor told me it'd be an "honest" letter. I think I about died when he said that.

At least I have the other two. Thanks for the advice.

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patrickd139
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Re: LORs

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:36 pm

maf70 wrote:How do you go about asking a professor if you can see the LOR without coming across badly?

1) ask outright (risky)
2) ask for one more letter than you need (ethically questionable)
3) steam and reseal (ethically questionable)
4) hope s/he voluntarily gives you a copy for your viewing pleasure (this happened twice to me)

crockwell
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Re: LORs

Postby crockwell » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:37 pm

Unless you can read it, don't use it. By saying it would be an honest letter, he was telling you he would write you one if you insisted, but would rather not. If someone is unenthusiastic about writing a LOR, you can bet the lack of enthusiasm will show in their writing. If you want to take chances, spend a weekend in Vegas after finals.

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artichoke
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Re: LORs

Postby artichoke » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:39 pm

Just a suggestion for the future: if you post with a more specific topic you might get more responses.... "LORs" could mean a million things.

maf70
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Re: LORs

Postby maf70 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:55 pm

ehh. I got what I needed. Thanks for the heads up though.

missinglink
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Re: LORs

Postby missinglink » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:07 am

I've never asked to read a LOR, but then again, I've never been concerned that they might be anything but glowing.

The thing is, a lukewarm rec is something that sticks out, in a bad way. Pro forma, LORs are supposed to say that X is superlative student, etc. That's what partly diminishes their value, I think. Anything less than that is a red flag.

PhoenicianMonk
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Re: LORs

Postby PhoenicianMonk » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:22 am

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Last edited by PhoenicianMonk on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

maf70
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Re: LORs

Postby maf70 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:31 am

I think you could say that it's officially crunch time. I would be hesitant to ask a professor who Ive had for a month for a LOR, but that's just me. If you think that this professor would write a good letter, go for it.

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MrKappus
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Re: LORs

Postby MrKappus » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:48 am

You'd have to be a dumbass to use a letter that a prof calls TO YOUR FACE "honest." Seriously. This may rock your little world, but if a prof (hell, anyone) says that to you, I've got news for you: CHANCES ARE HE DOESN'T LIKE YOU. Hope your head didn't explode when you read that.

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patrickd139
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Re: LORs

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:21 am

MrKappus wrote:You'd have to be a dumbass to use a letter that a prof calls TO YOUR FACE "honest." Seriously. This may rock your little world, but if a prof (hell, anyone) says that to you, I've got news for you: CHANCES ARE HE DOESN'T LIKE YOU. Hope your head didn't explode when you read that.

Probably a little unnecessarily harsh (especially given the fact that OP hasn't been terribly obtuse ITT), and a little late on the timing, but when read in your 'tar's voice, I lol'd.

maf70
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Re: LORs

Postby maf70 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:08 pm

I understand that an "honest" letter wouldnt be great, but I dont know of anything bad he could/would say about me. I was asking more about whether a 3rd lukewarm letter would be detrimental or beneficial.

I havent done anything to make him dislike me (that Im aware of), though I hadnt talked to him much outside of class. I also think he seemed slightly offended that I was seeking a transfer from the school he's worked to for quite a while.

Though I could be wrong, I think if he had really disliked me or had something bad to say, he would have refused altogether.

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patrickd139
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Re: LORs

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:13 pm

maf70 wrote:I understand that an "honest" letter wouldnt be great, but I dont know of anything bad he could/would say about me. I was asking more about whether a 3rd lukewarm letter would be detrimental or beneficial.

I havent done anything to make him dislike me (that Im aware of), though I hadnt talked to him much outside of class. I also think he seemed slightly offended that I was seeking a transfer from the school he's worked to for quite a while.

Though I could be wrong, I think if he had really disliked me or had something bad to say, he would have refused altogether.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you are assuming "lukewarm" is not "bad."

In the context of LORs, I think this is a mistake.

maf70
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Re: LORs

Postby maf70 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:59 pm

That's why I was asking whether or not the lukewarm letter would possibly add to my other LORs or should be omitted altogether. I had planned on not submitting it and wanted a second opinion.

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patrickd139
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Re: LORs

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:03 pm

maf70 wrote:That's why I was asking whether or not the lukewarm letter would possibly add to my other LORs or should be omitted altogether. I had planned on not submitting it and wanted a second opinion.

If there were a poll, I would pick the "don't submit" option.

keg411
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Re: LORs

Postby keg411 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:08 pm

As long as there are questions about LOR's - if one or more of my potential LOR writers went to one of my target schools, should I ask them to write a separate targeted letter? Or is that too much to ask?

missinglink
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Re: LORs

Postby missinglink » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:31 pm

If they went to your target school, I would ask. Just be sure to give them some extra time.

Neither of my letter writers went to my target schools, but they are very much open to writing targeted letters. I suppose it might depend on how enthusiastic they are about it. You should be able to get a sense after you ask them just how much work they'd be willing to do for you.

keg411
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Re: LORs

Postby keg411 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:04 am

missinglink wrote:If they went to your target school, I would ask. Just be sure to give them some extra time.

Neither of my letter writers went to my target schools, but they are very much open to writing targeted letters. I suppose it might depend on how enthusiastic they are about it. You should be able to get a sense after you ask them just how much work they'd be willing to do for you.


Thanks. Haven't asked yet for LOR's, but I will definitely keep it in mind.




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