Emailing Associates and Partners

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jnorsky
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:26 pm

Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby jnorsky » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:53 pm

Hey guys,

I was wondering if emailing lawyers at firms that I would one day like to work at that went to my law school is a smart idea. I currently work in NYC and live right outside, so would asking them to grab lunch one day to ask them about their firm, their law school experience, etc be a good idea, or is it not worth my time?

If it is worth my time, who should I contact? A lot of lawyers at large NYC firms went to my school, so which ones should I target if this is a pretty good idea?

Thanks for the info if anyone gives me any suggestions.

270910
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:05 pm

Go for it.

I'd hunt for one who you look like you have the most in common with. Same UG / LS would lead to lots of conversation fodder and increase the odds of a response.

SBimmer
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby SBimmer » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:07 pm

jnorsky wrote:Hey guys,

I was wondering if emailing lawyers at firms that I would one day like to work at that went to my law school is a smart idea. I currently work in NYC and live right outside, so would asking them to grab lunch one day to ask them about their firm, their law school experience, etc be a good idea, or is it not worth my time?

If it is worth my time, who should I contact? A lot of lawyers at large NYC firms went to my school, so which ones should I target if this is a pretty good idea?

Thanks for the info if anyone gives me any suggestions.


I did just what you're asking. I sought-out a partner with whom I have a similar background. I called him and explained my interest in law school, and asked would he be inclined to meet and further discuss law school and my future as a lawyer. It was a shot in the dark, but I was glad he obliged my request. In fact, he'll sorta be a mentor as I traverse through the law school admissions process, law school, during the time-frame I look for a job after law school and during my time as a lawyer.

P.S. Worst case - they'll say no. Move on to another alum. Keep knocking on doors until someone answers. Tenacity is a key element in becoming a successful lawyer.

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irie
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby irie » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:09 pm

if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.

i think you'd have better luck seeking out partners who lecture or serve as adjunct professors at your law school and seeing if you can catch them after class for a chat, i'm sure they would be far more receptive than the ones you approach at their offices.

jnorsky
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby jnorsky » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:14 pm

I mean, not really a leg up, but at least to have some contacts, advice, etc. Who knows if I will meet some one that really likes me, I don't know. I still have all summer before I start Law School and I do not feel like doing real work, but think this could really help me out in terms of employment knowledge. But its funny because my school contacted alumni who's interests mirrored students' and I got an email from a guy who does M&A law in NYC. I emailed him back...twice and never heard back from him. So I am just trying to talk to some people in that field that can help me out to get there.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:17 pm

@SBimmer:
Worst case scenario is that he'll bill you for his time.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby TheBigMediocre » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:19 pm

irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.

i think you'd have better luck seeking out partners who lecture or serve as adjunct professors at your law school and seeing if you can catch them after class for a chat, i'm sure they would be far more receptive than the ones you approach at their offices.


I disagree with the first part of this. While it's not plausible, it is possible for a Partner to take some time out of his or her day to talk to you. This is especially the case if you can forge a meaningful connection in a few line e-mail by mentioning a mutual acquaintance, coming from the same undergrad, or something else. Anyway, it will take at most twenty-minutes to do the research and craft an introductory e-mail or letter and the worst thing that could happen is being ignored or told no.

Also realize though that the higher up the totem pole you try to contact, the more likely you're going to encounter a gatekeeper in the form of an administrative assistant. Still though, it's worth the time and effort even if you come up with twenty rejections and one who says "sure thing".

rando
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby rando » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:20 pm

irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.


Yes and no. If you are doing it solely for an "in" and not putting in the time necessary to develop a mentor relationship then it won't help. But if you actually develop the relationship (as I had the opportunity to do) then it will absolutely give you a huge leg up if you are dealing with a partner.

I don't think an associate would ever be able to help your future prospects.

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romothesavior
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby romothesavior » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:22 pm

rando wrote:
irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.


Yes and no. If you are doing it solely for an "in" and not putting in the time necessary to develop a mentor relationship then it won't help. But if you actually develop the relationship (as I had the opportunity to do) then it will absolutely give you a huge leg up if you are dealing with a partner.

I don't think an associate would ever be able to help your future prospects.


Can you give a little more insight as to what you mean by "mentor relationship?" What all is involved in this mentor relationship that you've forged, and how did you go about establishing it?

Anonymous User
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:26 pm

romothesavior wrote:
rando wrote:
irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.


Yes and no. If you are doing it solely for an "in" and not putting in the time necessary to develop a mentor relationship then it won't help. But if you actually develop the relationship (as I had the opportunity to do) then it will absolutely give you a huge leg up if you are dealing with a partner.

I don't think an associate would ever be able to help your future prospects.


Can you give a little more insight as to what you mean by "mentor relationship?" What all is involved in this mentor relationship that you've forged, and how did you go about establishing it?


He means handjobs. Lots of them.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby TheBigMediocre » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:27 pm

romothesavior wrote:
rando wrote:
irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.


Yes and no. If you are doing it solely for an "in" and not putting in the time necessary to develop a mentor relationship then it won't help. But if you actually develop the relationship (as I had the opportunity to do) then it will absolutely give you a huge leg up if you are dealing with a partner.

I don't think an associate would ever be able to help your future prospects.


Can you give a little more insight as to what you mean by "mentor relationship?" What all is involved in this mentor relationship that you've forged, and how did you go about establishing it?


Read the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.

Renzo
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:33 pm

irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.

i think you'd have better luck seeking out partners who lecture or serve as adjunct professors at your law school and seeing if you can catch them after class for a chat, i'm sure they would be far more receptive than the ones you approach at their offices.

This couldn't be more wrong. When you get asked "why do you want to work at X firm?" or, "why are you interested in Y practice area?" or some similar question, the answer, "well, I've had the opportunity to speak with Z, an associate at X or in Y practice, and it made me realize _________" is exactly the kind of shit that gets you a leg-up on future employment prospects.

It's called an "informational interview" and pretty much 100% of all career placement experts in all fields say it's a great way to get yourself a leg-up.

270910
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Renzo wrote:
irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.

i think you'd have better luck seeking out partners who lecture or serve as adjunct professors at your law school and seeing if you can catch them after class for a chat, i'm sure they would be far more receptive than the ones you approach at their offices.

This couldn't be more wrong. When you get asked "why do you want to work at X firm?" or, "why are you interested in Y practice area?" or some similar question, the answer, "well, I've had the opportunity to speak with Z, an associate at X or in Y practice, and it made me realize _________" is exactly the kind of shit that gets you a leg-up on future employment prospects.

It's called an "informational interview" and pretty much 100% of all career placement experts in all fields say it's a great way to get yourself a leg-up.


Renzo is wise and speaks the truth.

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romothesavior
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby romothesavior » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:41 pm

How early is too early to do this? I'm a 0L and I would like to talk to a partner at a law firm who 1) graduated from my soon-to-be law school, 2) works at a firm I am very interested in, and 3) is an adjunct professor at my soon-to-be law school. I figure I can touch on a whole lot of relevent topics (the market in this city, how to succeed in LS, what types of classes to take, what firm culture is like, etc.) I just don't want to come off as a gunner 0L.

Would it be appropriate to email this partner and ask to do lunch sometime?

rando
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby rando » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:41 pm

romothesavior wrote:
rando wrote:
irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.


Yes and no. If you are doing it solely for an "in" and not putting in the time necessary to develop a mentor relationship then it won't help. But if you actually develop the relationship (as I had the opportunity to do) then it will absolutely give you a huge leg up if you are dealing with a partner.

I don't think an associate would ever be able to help your future prospects.


Can you give a little more insight as to what you mean by "mentor relationship?" What all is involved in this mentor relationship that you've forged, and how did you go about establishing it?


I actually did just as OP mentioned, e-mailing law firm partners that went to my UG/LS. I used martindale and straight up spammed them. In the end I only heard back from maybe 4 out of ~12ish. And from that ended up having lunch with 3 of them. I still have an e-mail relationship with those 3 and one of them I have had lunch/dinner with him and other associates/partners at his firm maybe a half dozen times.

The first time we had lunch it was very much a "what do you do?" This was pretty genuine on my part as I had no idea what went on at big firms at the time. After that, and I did really well in school, it was spot-checking my resume, mock-interview, or just nothing but getting together and catching up. Right now he is gathering a group of lawyers at his firm that clerked and we're going to do a clerking lunch in the next few weeks as I go through the clerkship application process.

Re; handjobs. It is actually a lot like a courtship process. My fiancee calls him my lawyermatch.com partner. I don't think it is typical to get the same sort of relationship that I have. However, I will say that if you go into these networking relationships with genuine interests in getting to know them and learning about what they do, you have a good shot in developing something worthwhile.

rando
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby rando » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:44 pm

romothesavior wrote:How early is too early to do this? I'm a 0L and I would like to talk to a partner at a law firm who 1) graduated from my soon-to-be law school, 2) works at a firm I am very interested in, and 3) is an adjunct professor at my soon-to-be law school. I figure I can touch on a whole lot of relevent topics (the market in this city, how to succeed in LS, what types of classes to take, what firm culture is like, etc.) I just don't want to come off as a gunner 0L.

Would it be appropriate to email this partner and ask to do lunch sometime?


I would say this summer is a great time. It is a time when you are eager about law school and you are allowed to be naive without being seen as dumb or uninformed. It is also the time when 1L's aren't gunning for jobs and he/she won't be weary of your motives. Not to mention, school isn't in session and adjuncts won't be swamped with work + classes/grading.

Posner
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby Posner » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:44 pm

...
Last edited by Posner on Tue May 11, 2010 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:50 pm

100% agree with irie.

Renzo
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:23 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:100% agree with irie.

And if there was any doubt, it's a good rule of life to never do what CanadianWolf says.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:33 pm

Sounds like somebody needs a diaper change.

rando
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby rando » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:41 pm

Renzo wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:100% agree with irie.

And if there was any doubt, it's a good rule of life to never do what CanadianWolf says.


+1. In fact, doing the opposite will usually yield substantial benefits.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:44 pm

Okay, so don't change his diapers. You should know best as you have your nose up his butt.

Anonymous User
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Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:44 pm

rando wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
rando wrote:
irie wrote:if you are doing this for a leg-up on your prospects of future employment, don't bother. if an associate isnt busy racking up billable hours and presenting face time at the office they probably have better things to do. a junior partner/counsel has more work and even less time... and i doubt you could convince a more senior partner who bills clients $700-$1100/hour to notice you.


Yes and no. If you are doing it solely for an "in" and not putting in the time necessary to develop a mentor relationship then it won't help. But if you actually develop the relationship (as I had the opportunity to do) then it will absolutely give you a huge leg up if you are dealing with a partner.

I don't think an associate would ever be able to help your future prospects.


Can you give a little more insight as to what you mean by "mentor relationship?" What all is involved in this mentor relationship that you've forged, and how did you go about establishing it?


I actually did just as OP mentioned, e-mailing law firm partners that went to my UG/LS. I used martindale and straight up spammed them. In the end I only heard back from maybe 4 out of ~12ish. And from that ended up having lunch with 3 of them. I still have an e-mail relationship with those 3 and one of them I have had lunch/dinner with him and other associates/partners at his firm maybe a half dozen times.

The first time we had lunch it was very much a "what do you do?" This was pretty genuine on my part as I had no idea what went on at big firms at the time. After that, and I did really well in school, it was spot-checking my resume, mock-interview, or just nothing but getting together and catching up. Right now he is gathering a group of lawyers at his firm that clerked and we're going to do a clerking lunch in the next few weeks as I go through the clerkship application process.

Re; handjobs. It is actually a lot like a courtship process. My fiancee calls him my lawyermatch.com partner. I don't think it is typical to get the same sort of relationship that I have. However, I will say that if you go into these networking relationships with genuine interests in getting to know them and learning about what they do, you have a good shot in developing something worthwhile.


Did you email multiple partners from the same law firm? OR did you broaden your net with 1 partner per law firm? When you say UG/LS, do you mean a partner that went to both or one of the two?

rando
Posts: 908
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby rando » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rando wrote:
I actually did just as OP mentioned, e-mailing law firm partners that went to my UG/LS. I used martindale and straight up spammed them. In the end I only heard back from maybe 4 out of ~12ish. And from that ended up having lunch with 3 of them. I still have an e-mail relationship with those 3 and one of them I have had lunch/dinner with him and other associates/partners at his firm maybe a half dozen times.

The first time we had lunch it was very much a "what do you do?" This was pretty genuine on my part as I had no idea what went on at big firms at the time. After that, and I did really well in school, it was spot-checking my resume, mock-interview, or just nothing but getting together and catching up. Right now he is gathering a group of lawyers at his firm that clerked and we're going to do a clerking lunch in the next few weeks as I go through the clerkship application process.

Re; handjobs. It is actually a lot like a courtship process. My fiancee calls him my lawyermatch.com partner. I don't think it is typical to get the same sort of relationship that I have. However, I will say that if you go into these networking relationships with genuine interests in getting to know them and learning about what they do, you have a good shot in developing something worthwhile.


Did you email multiple partners from the same law firm? OR did you broaden your net with 1 partner per law firm? When you say UG/LS, do you mean a partner that went to both or one of the two?


It ended up that I never doubled up on partners at the same law firm. They also ranged from relatively small law, 12-25 lawyers to large 200+ lawyer firms. I honestly didn't think about whether to e-mail partners from the same firm but if it is large enough I don't think it would hurt.
As to UG/LS, I mean both. If I would have done just law school then my search would have been enormous. I wanted to use a very focused search so that I would get a legitimate response rate and not just some random spam "hey alum from xxx." I used something more along the lines of "I just joined the xxx at Emory Law alumni group and saw that you have taken a similar path. I would love to hear what you do etc. etc."

rando
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Re: Emailing Associates and Partners

Postby rando » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:03 pm

By the way. The partner that I ended up forming a great relationship with is the hiring partner at a large atlanta firm. So the above posters who say that busy partners are not going to spend their time on law students are not necessarily correct.




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