3 LORs if only 2 Required?

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I'm_All_In

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3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby I'm_All_In » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:33 am

Any current/former clerks want to chime in on whether enclosing 3 letters of recommendation is completely fine or just plain annoying when under "Number of Recommendations Required" the judge lists "2" (whereas most judges list "3")? I'm somewhat torn between submitting the strongest overall package and possibly annoying the judge/clerk, who are bombarded with paper to review. Technically, I'm still following directions and all the letters will be enclosed with the completed package. I'm just having a tough time deciding among the 3 equally strong LORs, which cover different strengths. I understand all chambers are different, and thanks in advance.

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:54 am

I submitted 4 to everyone. I doubt it hurt me, but maybe some of the judges I didn't interview with got mad at the extra letter, but I doubt it.

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ArtistOfManliness

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:20 pm

I wouldn't care if we got a fourth LOR (even though we ask for three)... and since they're not repetitious of each other, I'd say go for it.

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mjb447

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby mjb447 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:14 pm

It's *possible* that someone could ding your application for this (as is true for almost any deviation from what's requested), but it's very unlikely.

Torts Illustrated

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby Torts Illustrated » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:35 pm

It definitely wouldn't have bothered me.

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:04 am

what about 2 writing samples when only one is asked for? I feel like I don't have any one writing sample that has ever done my application justice.

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mjb447

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby mjb447 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:what about 2 writing samples when only one is asked for? I feel like I don't have any one writing sample that has ever done my application justice.

Same answer from me, although for your sake I'd hope you'd be able to find a single, high-quality writing sample that does everything you want.

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:what about 2 writing samples when only one is asked for? I feel like I don't have any one writing sample that has ever done my application justice.


I don't think this can help you and it could theoretically hurt you if someone wanted to ding you for not following instructions. I definitely wouldn't expect both to get read. I can only speak for what happens with my judge, but he doesn't read writing samples and I only read the first few pages to get a feel for the applicant's writing style/whether they have made any egregious typos. A person can only read so many 1L memos before they start to go cross-eyed.

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:44 pm

I think 2 writing samples is not the same as an extra LOR. Two times the chance of having a typo to ding you. I don't see what the upside is either to have two meh samples. Probably they won't both be read and it shows you're not able to follow directions. It would annoy me. The exception being if one was really different, like a short article or something.

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:11 am

For both my judges, the clerkship hiring process looked loosely like this:

1. I'd look at your grades and school to see whether it was worth reading your resume.
2. If you passed #1, I'd read your resume and see if you seemed particularly cool, interesting, or accomplished. (I'd probably also read your letters of recommendation at this point to see if I could get a sense of your personality, but I wouldn't spend a lot of time on them. FWIW, for me, letters of rec were the least important part of the application by miles and miles. Did you know that each and every one of you is one of the strongest students that your recommender has ever had the pleasure to teach? Congratulations.)
3. If you passed #2, I'd read your writing sample to see if you could write well.

If you made it to this point, I'd tell the judge to take a look. The judge would basically repeat the same three steps. If you made it past those three steps again with the judge, we'd call you in for an interview.

This is all just to stay that, given this framework, a second writing sample wouldn't really help you. It doesn't fit into this process anywhere--it just wouldn't have any impact on our hiring workflow. I'd probably leave it completely unread, unless I was really on the fence about your writing ability after reading your first writing sample (and that wouldn't have been common at all). Two pretty-good writing samples definitely wouldn't be better than one pretty-good writing sample, and would be much worse than one excellent writing sample.

Conversely, the mere fact that you sent two writing samples definitely wouldn't hurt you. But you should know that a single problem in any writing sample was, for us, basically disqualifying. Maybe--MAYBE--you could get away with a few minor Bluebooking errors involving (though my co-clerk would still probably make fun of you for them), but anything worse than that was basically an auto-ding. And two writing samples gives you twice as many opportunities to make a mistake.

Of course, tons of other chambers are going to do things differently. But in the chambers where I clerked, there'd be basically no upside and some significant downside risk to a second writing samples.

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mjb447

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Re: 3 LORs if only 2 Required?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:Two pretty-good writing samples definitely wouldn't be better than one pretty-good writing sample, and would be much worse than one excellent writing sample.

Conversely, the mere fact that you sent two writing samples definitely wouldn't hurt you.

Agreed: this is what I was trying (probably unsuccessfully, now that I re-read it) to get at above. It's best for your chances if you submit a single piece of your absolute best work rather than submitting multiple 'good' pieces.



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