Contacting alums from your undergrad

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stratocophic
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Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby stratocophic » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:59 pm

Contacting undergrad alumni when no one from your law school works at a certain firm - yea or nay? I went to a smaller private UG with a very good reputation, and it's not far behind HYP in terms of respect within the region I'm interested in. Problem is that I chose not to go back for law school because I got an offer I couldn't refuse. A lot of the people in this area did both their UG and JD at the school, and I'm worried I might be kind of stepping on toes if I contact them because I'm competing against the people who went back to that school. Thoughts on whether I'd be better off contacting someone who went to my school for UG but a different one for law school?

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Knock
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Re: Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby Knock » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:02 pm

stratocophic wrote:Contacting undergrad alumni when no one from your law school works at a certain firm - yea or nay? I went to a smaller private UG with a very good reputation, and it's not far behind HYP in terms of respect within the region I'm interested in. Problem is that I chose not to go back for law school because I got an offer I couldn't refuse. A lot of the people in this area did both their UG and JD at the school, and I'm worried I might be kind of stepping on toes if I contact them because I'm competing against the people who went back to that school. Thoughts on whether I'd be better off contacting someone who went to my school for UG but a different one for law school?


I think it's worth a shot. The worst that will happen is that they will ignore your email. Is the person an undergrad alum of your school or a law school alum? If they are an undergrad alum, I don't think they will really begrudge you attending a better school. It's worth a shot at least. If it's a law school alum, it's not going to help as much but I think i'd still shoot them an email.

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stratocophic
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Re: Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby stratocophic » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:23 pm

Knock wrote:
stratocophic wrote:Contacting undergrad alumni when no one from your law school works at a certain firm - yea or nay? I went to a smaller private UG with a very good reputation, and it's not far behind HYP in terms of respect within the region I'm interested in. Problem is that I chose not to go back for law school because I got an offer I couldn't refuse. A lot of the people in this area did both their UG and JD at the school, and I'm worried I might be kind of stepping on toes if I contact them because I'm competing against the people who went back to that school. Thoughts on whether I'd be better off contacting someone who went to my school for UG but a different one for law school?


I think it's worth a shot. The worst that will happen is that they will ignore your email. Is the person an undergrad alum of your school or a law school alum? If they are an undergrad alum, I don't think they will really begrudge you attending a better school. It's worth a shot at least. If it's a law school alum, it's not going to help as much but I think i'd still shoot them an email.
We went to the same undergrad. There are a fair number of them in the firm (and most of the other firms in town), but like I said, a modest percentage of those went back for law school. There are 2 people in the practice group I want that I might contact, since they didn't go back for law school either - I feel like that way there'll be less of a chance of people potentially thinking about turf or something (since neither of their schools really aim for this city). Probably overthinking it, but I'm not taking chances till I've got an offer in hand from somewhere.

Unfortunately, not a better school - slightly worse, but with a sizable scholarship that recently got bigger due to a unique situation. With the increase at this school I'd have had over twice as much debt if I'd chosen to go back to my alma mater. Couldn't justify it.

viking138
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Re: Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby viking138 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:34 pm

I contacted a bunch of alums of my undergrad and I personally think it's a better strategy than contacting law school alums. Oftentimes people have a stronger connection to their undergrad than their grad school. I have had an AMAZING response about 1/3 of the time when I've contacted alums, and never a poor response.

Good luck!

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stratocophic
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Re: Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby stratocophic » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:40 pm

viking138 wrote:I contacted a bunch of alums of my undergrad and I personally think it's a better strategy than contacting law school alums. Oftentimes people have a stronger connection to their undergrad than their grad school. I have had an AMAZING response about 1/3 of the time when I've contacted alums, and never a poor response.

Good luck!
Awesome. Much appreciated, friend.

viking138
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Re: Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby viking138 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:12 am

stratocophic wrote:
viking138 wrote:I contacted a bunch of alums of my undergrad and I personally think it's a better strategy than contacting law school alums. Oftentimes people have a stronger connection to their undergrad than their grad school. I have had an AMAZING response about 1/3 of the time when I've contacted alums, and never a poor response.

Good luck!
Awesome. Much appreciated, friend.


One thing I would recommend is to tailor each email. I had a basic form (introduce myself, tell them I'm contacting them as a fellow alum), but then I would give more of a reason for contacting them (I was interested in their practice area and wanted to learn more, etc). I was told that the fact that I had clearly read their bios and wasn't just trying to get help from an alum without putting in my own work made the lawyer more eager to help me out.

Finally, if people don't respond, especially after they've initially responded (say, they said they want to get together but aren't responding to questions about dates), feel free to follow up a few days/weeks later. Lawyers are extremely busy and things like this can slip their minds, so following up politely can actually be helpful to them.

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stratocophic
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Re: Contacting alums from your undergrad

Postby stratocophic » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:09 pm

viking138 wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
viking138 wrote:I contacted a bunch of alums of my undergrad and I personally think it's a better strategy than contacting law school alums. Oftentimes people have a stronger connection to their undergrad than their grad school. I have had an AMAZING response about 1/3 of the time when I've contacted alums, and never a poor response.

Good luck!
Awesome. Much appreciated, friend.


One thing I would recommend is to tailor each email. I had a basic form (introduce myself, tell them I'm contacting them as a fellow alum), but then I would give more of a reason for contacting them (I was interested in their practice area and wanted to learn more, etc). I was told that the fact that I had clearly read their bios and wasn't just trying to get help from an alum without putting in my own work made the lawyer more eager to help me out.

Finally, if people don't respond, especially after they've initially responded (say, they said they want to get together but aren't responding to questions about dates), feel free to follow up a few days/weeks later. Lawyers are extremely busy and things like this can slip their minds, so following up politely can actually be helpful to them.
Seems like good advice, thanks again networking master.




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