Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

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LoriBelle
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Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby LoriBelle » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:36 pm

Had an interview today with a judge (county courthouse, not federal). What kind of thank you is appropriate - full-blown letter or standard issue thank you card? Handwritten or typewritten?

He's pretty old-school, so email is NOT an option (not that I'd ever send a thank you email to anyone anyway).

mythosopher
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby mythosopher » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:26 pm

I think the handwritten/type depends on whether you send a letter or note/card. If it's a letter, type. If it's a note/card, only if your handwriting is exquisitely legible.

LoriBelle
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby LoriBelle » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:33 pm

My handwriting is in fact "exquisitely legible." I've heard the drawback of a typewritten letter is that it lacks personal touch, and I wondered if handwriting it would alleviate that. On the other hand, perhaps dropping specific references to interview content into the typewritten letter would make the letter personal? Maybe I'm overanalyzing this, but I REALLY want the job. REALLY.

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Wholigan
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby Wholigan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:37 pm

LoriBelle wrote:Had an interview today with a judge (county courthouse, not federal). What kind of thank you is appropriate - full-blown letter or standard issue thank you card? Handwritten or typewritten?

He's pretty old-school, so email is NOT an option (not that I'd ever send a thank you email to anyone anyway).


Why would you never send a thank-you email to anyone?

LoriBelle
Posts: 106
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby LoriBelle » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:45 pm

Wholigan wrote:
LoriBelle wrote:Had an interview today with a judge (county courthouse, not federal). What kind of thank you is appropriate - full-blown letter or standard issue thank you card? Handwritten or typewritten?

He's pretty old-school, so email is NOT an option (not that I'd ever send a thank you email to anyone anyway).


Why would you never send a thank-you email to anyone?

I meant that I'd never send a thank you email to a potential employer after an interview. Certainly I wouldn't hesitate to send my friend Laura a thank you email for some small favor. In the employment context, however, I really feel like thank you emails are too informal and don't show enough effort on the part of the interviewee.

mythosopher
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby mythosopher » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:48 pm

LoriBelle wrote:
Wholigan wrote:
LoriBelle wrote:Had an interview today with a judge (county courthouse, not federal). What kind of thank you is appropriate - full-blown letter or standard issue thank you card? Handwritten or typewritten?

He's pretty old-school, so email is NOT an option (not that I'd ever send a thank you email to anyone anyway).


Why would you never send a thank-you email to anyone?

I meant that I'd never send a thank you email to a potential employer after an interview. Certainly I wouldn't hesitate to send my friend Laura a thank you email for some small favor. In the employment context, however, I really feel like thank you emails are too informal and don't show enough effort on the part of the interviewee.


I would agree. If it's worth writing a thank you, i.e., it's not a large firm of busy attorneys who find them to be "just another thing to read and go into the trash," then e-mail is likely not an appropriate medium.

LoriBelle wrote:My handwriting is in fact "exquisitely legible." I've heard the drawback of a typewritten letter is that it lacks personal touch, and I wondered if handwriting it would alleviate that. On the other hand, perhaps dropping specific references to interview content into the typewritten letter would make the letter personal? Maybe I'm overanalyzing this, but I REALLY want the job. REALLY.


Your note should always be specific to your interview, regardless of medium, which will almost always ensure personal touch. Otherwise, I have no further advice on which to choose.

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Wholigan
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby Wholigan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:57 pm

LoriBelle wrote:I meant that I'd never send a thank you email to a potential employer after an interview. Certainly I wouldn't hesitate to send my friend Laura a thank you email for some small favor. In the employment context, however, I really feel like thank you emails are too informal and don't show enough effort on the part of the interviewee.



Oh, I see. I have heard neutral/negative things about sending thank you cards in general after interviews, but I imagine that may be somewhat regional and dependent on how "old-school" the firm or judge is. I thought you meant in general, like even if you met someone networking. Email works really well there, since it's a lot easier for the other person to reply and have some continued dialogue.

LoriBelle
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby LoriBelle » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:07 pm

I'm in the South and the judge in question is very traditional. Thank yous for interviews are a part of the culture and expected.

LoriBelle
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby LoriBelle » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:38 pm

Anybody have any thoughts on card vs. letter?

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:45 pm

LoriBelle wrote:
Wholigan wrote:
LoriBelle wrote:Had an interview today with a judge (county courthouse, not federal). What kind of thank you is appropriate - full-blown letter or standard issue thank you card? Handwritten or typewritten?

He's pretty old-school, so email is NOT an option (not that I'd ever send a thank you email to anyone anyway).


Why would you never send a thank-you email to anyone?

I meant that I'd never send a thank you email to a potential employer after an interview. Certainly I wouldn't hesitate to send my friend Laura a thank you email for some small favor. In the employment context, however, I really feel like thank you emails are too informal and don't show enough effort on the part of the interviewee.


This isn't universally true. Some firms actually are modern. My firm did OCI communiques by email with a duplicate sent in the mail. If the employer engaged in email to communicate with you initially, email is entirely appropriate. I mean it shows up on a blackberry instantaneously, and if you send it first thing in the morning after the interview, you may increase the chance they'll remember you. I wouldn't at all look down on an email - what is this, the 1930's? Everyone has email, and its fricken attached to my hip every day. The substance of an email can be exactly the same as a letter - the letter just required you to address the envelope and stamp it and mail it. Format and write the email just like you would a letter, keep the tone entirely professional but leave off the recipients address and whatnot at the beginning.

Emails can be highly formal, its just that kids these days, what with their sexting and youtubing, have forgotten that you can be formal in an email. Say

"Dear Mr. Judge,

blah blah blah.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Me."

And don't have your bullshit email signature line saying you're a JD candidate or something. That always sounded so stupid to me, people trying to say "I'm just a law student," but phrasing it to sound professional. You're a law student, that is NOT a title. You are in fact unemployed. Even non-legal people won't be impressed. Just say "Sincerely," then your name, address, phone number, and email address, just like a normal address block you would find in a business letter.

But I got off topic, as you noted this judge is not the email type.

As to a handwritten card vs. letter - this is totally just me, but a handwritten card seems weaker, less business like, less assertive. This isn't a note to your grandma. You want to work for a person who decides issues of freedom and rights. Treat it fricken formally, not like a note you pass to Susie in class asking her if she likes you. And for other legal jobs, I just feel handwritten notes a way too informal. You don't know this person. You want them to give you cash in exchange for your time. They don't care about you personally (yet, if ever), so don't send them something personal. Handwritten notes are personal. Do a real letter, but reference something concrete from the interview. I'm sure someone disagrees with me on this, however, but there you go. (Oh, and this is going to sound weird, but I'd think less of a handwritten note from a man than a woman. Welcome to the real world. What sex you are dictates social norms.)

LoriBelle
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Re: Thank You Card or Letter for a Judge?

Postby LoriBelle » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:36 pm

Our CSO says handwritten card for firm interviews; it's an official policy. I just thought it felt a little informal for a judge. I'm well acquainted with writing formal emails. I did so in a business setting for years before I started law school. I just don't think it's formal enough for an interview thank you.




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