How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273598
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:17 am

I tried skimming the board for this but couldn't find anything specifically addressing how to utilize "loose" networks/ties.

About me: I'm a 1L at a T3 (had to take the scholarship over some good T2's). I got A's on both my midterms so I am optimistic about doing well enough on the finals to actually get a glance from some of the bigger firms (knock on wood). Anyways, on with the subject of the post...

My dad works for a very small private company, so he's not a partner or anything at a big or even mid-size firm. However, he does have some ties with several attorneys who have been employed with a BigLaw firm for quite some time. The "best" connection he has is with an attorney who has worked at this BigLaw firm for about 8-9 years. She is the daughter of my dad's boss, whom he has worked for since 1992. He has known her since she was in middle school (almost 20 years) and knows her quite well. Also, from what he has told me, she is extremely well respected at the firm.

Unfortunately, my dad and I are both absolutely clueless as to how I can use this connection to my advantage. It's not like my dad's a big deal or she's partner or anything. Should he contact her first and have her mention me to the recruiting coordinator? Should I contact her? Hell, is this type of contact even substantial enough to utilize?

Sorry for the blatant ignorance but I've spent 100% of my time on grades and 0% on the job search. Any help is appreciated.

noxhil
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby noxhil » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:21 am

;
Last edited by noxhil on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273598
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:32 am

noxhil wrote:You say she's been there 8-9 years; is she a partner?

I don't think so. I could be off on how many years she has worked there, but at the least she's been there for 5 years. I'll ask my dad tomorrow.

User avatar
DrGuano
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby DrGuano » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
noxhil wrote:You say she's been there 8-9 years; is she a partner?

I don't think so. I could be off on how many years she has worked there, but at the least she's been there for 5 years. I'll ask my dad tomorrow.


I paralegaled at a V15 for two years - came to know many associates. The best an associate, no matter how senior could do, is get you an interview. Coming from a T3 - that is probably the best case scenario for you anyway. Even with top grades you're really going to need to sell yourself in interviews in order to land a Big Law job over T1s. I've never heard of an associate at a Big Law firm with enough clout to land someone an SA, though I'm sure somewhere it has happened.

Anyway, what you should do is have your dad talk to her, mention that you're interested in working in Big Law, and ask her if it'd be alright for you to contact her/feel her out til she makes the same offer. Once you do, establish a relationship and eventually tell her how you'd really like to work there and hopefully, she offers to hook up an interview.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Some ideas:

Have your dad ask her if she could look at your resume and talk to you to give you some advice on finding a job at a firm like hers. If she can help you and likes your resume/dad enough, she'll pass it to the next person.

Apply to the firm the old fashioned way and if you get an interview, mention you are interested in the firm from the positive things you've heard from her/her parent about the firm.

Have your dad shamelessly ask her if she knows of anyone who can help you because you ended up at this T3 for financial reasons and it is really sucking to get a job these days.

The goal here is to leave her an out where she can say "oh, sorry, I don't know anyone" instead of "no, I won't give your resume to HR."

I should also add that a "loose" connection has been very very hit or miss for me. My father's cubiclemate's son who is a partner at a bigfirm was unable to get me an interview. A professor who knew a partner at a firm when they went to law school 20 years ago was able to make a call and get me a callback. A classmate's mother who was a former partner at a big firm got me two callbacks in different offices at that firm because she liked me. What got me an offer was mentioning in an interview that I worked with a former associate at the firm who had left for an agency and that I knew some old coworkers who the interviewer had worked with in a past career. It's really so random at that point that it's not something you should count on.

noxhil
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby noxhil » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:41 am

/

Anonymous User
Posts: 273598
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to Utilize a "Loose" Connection/Tie

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:03 am

1. Talk to her, in person if possible - on the phone if not.

2. Ask her about what she likes about the firm, her experiences there, law school, how she has developed her practice, etc.

3. Tell her about your interests and goals (they don't have to mesh with her's, but if you're interested in the firm, make sure they're compatible) and how you've come to arrive at them. This part is important as it shows maturity, thoughtfulness and long term viability based on your career path to this point.

4. Shoot the shit, be likeable. She's a friend of your dad's so best case is she'll got to bat for you, worst case she'll be candid and helpful going forward. Either way, she's an ally.

5. Don't count on her for anything or expect her to get you an interview. But since you're so interested in her firm (practice area x or whatever), ask if there is anyone she can put you in touch with.

6. Follow up appropriately.

Repeat steps 1-6 with your new contact.

Make as many contacts as possible. If you can, use step 5 to get you names at other firms. You're t3 so you can't count on getting jobs through recruiting, but if you get yourself talking to enough people, something will eventually click.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.