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Friday, November 04, 2011

Letters of recommendation, and gratitude

A few months back, I received the file that "my" judge had kept on me.  It contained our correspondence, before and after the clerkship, and a few other snippets and photos that I imposed on him over the years.  It also contained the letters of recommendation that my professors and law-firm supervisors had submitted on my behalf.  Reading those letters, I was (not to sound too melodramatic or cheesy) really overcome with gratitude to those who wrote them.  Putting aside the fact that, in accord with tradition, they made me sound better than I was or am, I was struck by the fact, or reminded again of the fact, that it is primarily because of others' help, encouragement, pushing, and -- yes -- generous writing of rec-letters that I am enjoying the work that I so enjoy now.  I cannot pay these folks back, but I was, after reading through the file, reminded of the importance of "paying it forward."

 

Posted by Rick Garnett on November 4, 2011 at 02:27 PM in Rick Garnett | Permalink

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Comments

Really enjoyed the post!

Posted by: Michael Helfand | Nov 4, 2011 7:35:55 PM

I couldn't agree more. Gratitude is the biggest motivator. I jump at the chance to speak on job search panels and write rec letters because I love the idea that I am paying forward all of the generous support and mentoring that got me here--to my dream job.

Posted by: Kerri Stone | Nov 5, 2011 11:16:18 AM

Does this mean that the other people who applied for that same clerkship and lost it to you should express ingratitude towards your recommenders?

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 6, 2011 10:15:46 PM

Amen, Professor.

Posted by: Vincent Stark | Nov 28, 2011 11:22:24 AM

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