A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

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Anonymous User
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A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:01 pm

A partner at a med-large firm in Sacramento, Calif. recently told me that they mark down on the files of everyone who gets a callback whether or not that applicant sent thank-you notes afterwards, and that that does play a role in their hiring decisions. Ignoring the weirdness of basically telling someone to write you a thank-you note (which is what happened), I feel like this is worth mentioning because it directly contradicts the conventional TLS wisdom this season of "TY notes can't help you but they can hurt you, so don't bother with them."

I have no experience on callbacks with big NY/DC firms, but I can imagine a TY note wouldn't move the needle at those sorts of places unless you screw up somehow. But for small firms, and especially smaller firms in smaller markets (like Sac), I really would recommend writing thank you notes. It takes 2 minutes, you can always read over it a second time to insure you didn't make any stupid errors, and therefore at the very least it wont hurt your candidacy.

I haven't written TY notes for any of my prior callbacks, but I do plan to start now. I share this FWIW.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:19 pm

It should be common sense that if someone takes out 30 minutes of their day, which they normally bill out at 400+ dollars, you should thank them. It's not about decreasing or increasing your chances, it's about knowing basic common courtesy.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It should be common sense that if someone takes out 30 minutes of their day, which they normally bill out at 400+ dollars, you should thank them. It's not about decreasing or increasing your chances, it's about knowing basic common courtesy.


I agree. I got overwhelmed with how busy I was juggling a lot of callbacks during classes, journal, etc., and didn't write any thank you e-mails (all NYC firms). I'd planned on it, but after the first offer from a firm where I didn't send notes, it kind of reinforced my bad behavior. I ended up with several offers.

But that just shows that you don't need to write them to get the jobs. It's still the right thing to do, and I'm still embarrassed that I didn't send them after people took time to meet with me and often offered really useful advice. It's manners.

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rayiner
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby rayiner » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A partner at a med-large firm in Sacramento, Calif. recently told me that they mark down on the files of everyone who gets a callback whether or not that applicant sent thank-you notes afterwards, and that that does play a role in their hiring decisions. Ignoring the weirdness of basically telling someone to write you a thank-you note (which is what happened), I feel like this is worth mentioning because it directly contradicts the conventional TLS wisdom this season of "TY notes can't help you but they can hurt you, so don't bother with them."

I have no experience on callbacks with big NY/DC firms, but I can imagine a TY note wouldn't move the needle at those sorts of places unless you screw up somehow. But for small firms, and especially smaller firms in smaller markets (like Sac), I really would recommend writing thank you notes. It takes 2 minutes, you can always read over it a second time to insureensure you didn't make any stupid errors, and therefore at the very least it wont hurt your candidacy.


Like those.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:33 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:A partner at a med-large firm in Sacramento, Calif. recently told me that they mark down on the files of everyone who gets a callback whether or not that applicant sent thank-you notes afterwards, and that that does play a role in their hiring decisions. Ignoring the weirdness of basically telling someone to write you a thank-you note (which is what happened), I feel like this is worth mentioning because it directly contradicts the conventional TLS wisdom this season of "TY notes can't help you but they can hurt you, so don't bother with them."

I have no experience on callbacks with big NY/DC firms, but I can imagine a TY note wouldn't move the needle at those sorts of places unless you screw up somehow. But for small firms, and especially smaller firms in smaller markets (like Sac), I really would recommend writing thank you notes. It takes 2 minutes, you can always read over it a second time to insureensure you didn't make any stupid errors, and therefore at the very least it wont hurt your candidacy.


Like those.

You're wrong. I wrote that to deliberately suggest that people read over their than-you notes a second time and, by so doing, somehow purchase an insurance policy pertaining to the success or failure of those notes. Quit jumping to conclusions.

legends159
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby legends159 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:37 pm

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:A partner at a med-large firm in Sacramento, Calif. recently told me that they mark down on the files of everyone who gets a callback whether or not that applicant sent thank-you notes afterwards, and that that does play a role in their hiring decisions. Ignoring the weirdness of basically telling someone to write you a thank-you note (which is what happened), I feel like this is worth mentioning because it directly contradicts the conventional TLS wisdom this season of "TY notes can't help you but they can hurt you, so don't bother with them."

I have no experience on callbacks with big NY/DC firms, but I can imagine a TY note wouldn't move the needle at those sorts of places unless you screw up somehow. But for small firms, and especially smaller firms in smaller markets (like Sac), I really would recommend writing thank you notes. It takes 2 minutes, you can always read over it a second time to insureensure you didn't make any stupid errors, and therefore at the very least it wont hurt your candidacy.


Like those.


LOL Rayiner strikes again

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A partner at a med-large firm in Sacramento, Calif. recently told me that they mark down on the files of everyone who gets a callback whether or not that applicant sent thank-you notes afterwards, and that that does play a role in their hiring decisions. Ignoring the weirdness of basically telling someone to write you a thank-you note (which is what happened), I feel like this is worth mentioning because it directly contradicts the conventional TLS wisdom this season of "TY notes can't help you but they can hurt you, so don't bother with them."

I have no experience on callbacks with big NY/DC firms, but I can imagine a TY note wouldn't move the needle at those sorts of places unless you screw up somehow. But for small firms, and especially smaller firms in smaller markets (like Sac), I really would recommend writing thank you notes. It takes 2 minutes, you can always read over it a second time to insure you didn't make any stupid errors, and therefore at the very least it wont hurt your candidacy.

I haven't written TY notes for any of my prior callbacks, but I do plan to start now. I share this FWIW.


Worked for a large NY V-50. Can confirm. Some partners are old-school about this sort of thing. If you "luck out" and don't get one of those partners as an interviewer, good for you. I didn't risk it with my thank-you's.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:49 pm

Went to lunch with two partners at a top flight firm. Asked about TY notes. They said not receiving TY notes never puts an applicant into the "hire" pile. They also said that TY notes that are clearly mass sent (not mentioning something specific about the conversation) actually hurts the applicant.

The benefit is probably negligible.

sbalive
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby sbalive » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It should be common sense that if someone takes out 30 minutes of their day, which they normally bill out at 400+ dollars, you should thank them. It's not about decreasing or increasing your chances, it's about knowing basic common courtesy.


Not to comment one way or another on the thank you not issue, but this isn't really something they need to be thanked for. Partners need to recruit entry-level associates. It's part of their job. The only reason to do something like this is if you somehow talk to the partner outside of the actual interview schedule. An interview isn't a favor.

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Objection
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Objection » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:11 pm

I always thank the people who organize my interview schedule and walk me from place to place.

Outside of that, it depends on the individual conversations. Usually, I make sure to thank them for their time on the spot, and will send a thank you note email if there is something else to the conversation beyond the normal interview.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It should be common sense that if someone takes out 30 minutes of their day, which they normally bill out at 400+ dollars, you should thank them. It's not about decreasing or increasing your chances, it's about knowing basic common courtesy.

I don't see what's so courteous about it. You already thank them at the end of the interview. What's so special about thanking them again? It's like saying "thanks, and oh by the way, thanks again... and thanks again."

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hmlee
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby hmlee » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It should be common sense that if someone takes out 30 minutes of their day, which they normally bill out at 400+ dollars, you should thank them. It's not about decreasing or increasing your chances, it's about knowing basic common courtesy.

I don't see what's so courteous about it. You already thank them at the end of the interview. What's so special about thanking them again? It's like saying "thanks, and oh by the way, thanks again... and thanks again."


Because there are just certain things that are expected in the world. And nobody is going to notice the absence of a "thanks" at the end of an interview... you could just say very nice to meet you and/or bye. Some people do notice the absence of a thank you note later, though.

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wiseowl
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby wiseowl » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:35 pm

My experience has been the smaller the firm and the smaller the market the more that thank you notes are noticed and appreciated.

latelatelate
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby latelatelate » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:24 pm

I don't understand why anyone would pass up a chance to express interest and appreciation ITE. Thank you notes might not help you, but if you take ten minutes to write (and proofread) something thoughtful, they certainly can't hurt. Why take the chance?

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Objection » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:27 pm

latelatelate wrote:I don't understand why anyone would pass up a chance to express interest and appreciation ITE. Thank you notes might not help you, but if you take ten minutes to write (and proofread) something thoughtful, they certainly can't hurt. Why take the chance?


They can hurt if you send a standardized thank you note to everyone. Or an unpersonalized note.

At least that's what I was told.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:59 pm

When one has 10 callback interviews over 2 weeks, each with 5-8 attorneys, I can see how it could be a herculean effort to come up with earnest and personalized thank you emails to send to everyone. In those situations it seems reasonable not to.

FWIW i had several associates tell me that thank you emails were unnecessary.

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Blindmelon
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Blindmelon » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:13 pm

THIS IS A GREAT THING THAT WE SHOULD ALL TALK ABOUT. I WONDER WHY NO ONE ELSE ON TLS THOUGHT ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:42 pm

After getting an offer from a v30 where I did NOT send thank you notes, and getting rejected from another v30 where I did send thank you notes...I'm not really sure I believe that the hiring committee keeps track of thank you notes, at least not at large firms.

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NewHere
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby NewHere » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:59 pm

It takes 2 minutes


Ooooooh, no. If you're in the position of a student hoping to be hired, writing to a lawyer and expecting him or her to scrutinize anything you write, you bet it takes more than two minutes. More like two hours.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:05 pm

NewHere wrote:
It takes 2 minutes


Ooooooh, no. If you're in the position of a student hoping to be hired, writing to a lawyer and expecting him or her to scrutinize anything you write, you bet it takes more than two minutes. More like two hours.


TCR. I personalize all emails I send to interviewers as well as every recruiter I meet. It takes about 2-3 hours FOR EACH FIRM.

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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:It should be common sense that if someone takes out 30 minutes of their day, which they normally bill out at 400+ dollars, you should thank them. It's not about decreasing or increasing your chances, it's about knowing basic common courtesy.


FWIW, I think this is completely wrong. First of all, unless you're talking about an equity partner, the person interviewing you is not losing money interviewing you. The firm bills them out at $400/hour, but their salary is their salary. Second, no one is really doing you a favor by interviewing you. They need associates, you need a job. They're interviewing you because you might be able to do work for them which they WILL bill out at WAY more than they pay you. Hence the interview has a mutual purpose.

I recognize that no one who matters will think like me on this, but that's what I think.

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tome
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby tome » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:23 am

I never received a single thank you note or email from a single person or firm that interviewed me.

They are looking for a great candidate, you are looking for a great firm. Thank yous are unnecessary and unprofessional.

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Objection
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby Objection » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:26 am

tome wrote:I never received a single thank you note or email from a single person or firm that interviewed me.

They are looking for a great candidate, you are looking for a great firm. Thank yous are unnecessary and unprofessional.


Why should they thank you? You want to work for them -- they don't particularly care. It makes more sense for you to be the polite and suck up-y one.

That's a bit strong.

It's probably unnecessary if it was just a standard interview. But if there is anything particularly stand-out about it, why not?

If someone offers to put you in touch with someone in your area of interest, for example. Why not thank them for that and taking the time to speak with you?

Also, thanking the person who organized your visit and schedule is just a matter of common courtesy.

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doyleoil
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby doyleoil » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:34 am

Thank-you notes, like this thread, are unnecessary. However, all of you, please do carry on for several more pages, for my entertainment's sake.

rynabrius
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Re: A quick PSA on the TY note controversy

Postby rynabrius » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:37 am

My default is to not send them, but I like to ask the more junior interviewers if they would be appreciated, and send them if they say "yes."
Last edited by rynabrius on Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.




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