Saturday, November 14, 2009

law school application chronicles - recommendations

You know how every book you read about applying to law school and every advisor you speak to about applying to law school and every blog you read chronicling applying to law school talk about that slow 2nd recommendation and you think, "Pshaw! That isn't going to happen to me," as you send that 14th reminder email to that 2nd recommender to please get his ass in gear and send the damn thing?

It happened to me.

I really thought I was above that. I'm not in school and haven't been for 15 years. I'm in regular touch with the 2 people I asked for recommendations and never thought I'd have a problem. The first one came in great time and was processed quickly by the LSDAS and sat in my account just waiting to be assigned to a school.

The 2nd one was my ace in the hole. I expected this one to be the one that kicked all other LoRs in the butt. Especially since I have a stinky LSAT score, I needed my written material to be extra-glowing. The first one was marvellous and I couldn't have asked for more, but I knew the 2nd one was going to go Matsui on it.

After much hounding and unanswered emails to the recommender, I finally get a response that it was sent. It takes 7-10 days for the LSDAS to process it and when I called, 2 weeks after I was told it was sent, they couldn't even tell me if it was received.


So I ask the recommender to tell me when and how he sent it so I can try to track it down. Turns out he was NY and mailed it from his hotel. He gave it to reception and they assured him it would be sent out. So I ring the hotel to find out if they have any unsent mail from that date. The mailroom manager informs me of the procedure for letters and tells me that if it didn't have a return address on the envelope, it doesn't get mailed, even though they submit it to the post office. It is now considered "lost".


I can't blame the recommender, because he didn't know about that and the hotel should have told him, since they sold him the stamp. But I am irked no end because I have been waiting far too long for the letter and I gave him months and a deadline. He repeatedly ignored my emails and I was so frustrated. I didn't want to be angry with him or even let on that I was angry at all because I didn't need him to be pissed off that he was doing me a favor and then be even slower.

I only have myself to blame. I worked with this man for years and knew what was going to happen, but I really felt, and still do, that his recommendation would be amazing. He sent me a draft and I wasn't disappointed. I love the guy and can't wait to see him again, but this is my life here.

He offered to FedEx it, but I had to first mail him a signed attachment. I have no idea why, but LSAC requires the applicant sign a form stating that you agree that the LoR be sent to the revelant law schools and you waive your right to see the finished LoR. I can understand when schools did interviews why the applicant not see the LoR, but no one interviews any more. What a waste of paper and time.

So I put the damn form in the snail mail and pray he gets it by Monday. In the meantime, I called the Internship Coordinator at the publishing company I interned at and pleaded with her to write me a letter and send it poste haste. She was wonderful and agreed. I sent her a form and reminded her she had written me a great LoR last year and she could just tweak that for law school. She still had it and promised to send it out on Monday.

Now, I am only in a tizzic about it because the school I want to go to requires 2 LoRs. It is small and recently became a Tier 1 school, so 2010's applicants are going to be the best. The competition will be stiff and I am very worried.

I've managed to send out 2 completed applications to schools that only needed 1 letter. The other 4 require 2 letters and I am only waiting for the 1. I would have liked to sent them all already. The books, advisors and podcasts all say by Thanksgiving is a good early time to have sent your application in, but everyone is going to do that. I already have the sucky LSAT score to deal with.