Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

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Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:19 am

Fordham rising 2L here at around top 20%, worried about striking out at OCI (no callbacks yet). I want to cover my bases by reaching out to small and midsize firms before the fall semester begins. I'm wondering if anyone could direct me to a list of small to midsize employers in the NYC area. I'm also wondering what the best approach for contacting these firms is. Should I just send them a mass mail cover letter with a resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample? Or would I actually gain any real benefit from customizing each cover letter? If I would, what are some of the best things to customize? Unless a firm is geared toward one particular practice, it doesn't seem like a good idea to highlight a particularly attractive practice group or something like that, because they may not be hiring for that practice group. Thoughts?

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:13 am

anyone?

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:23 am

+1

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:16 pm

Judging from the relatively dismal tone of the Fordham job thread, I'm going to go ahead and send this bad boy to the top for the sake of several of us.

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fordham rising 2L here at around top 20%, worried about striking out at OCI (no callbacks yet). I want to cover my bases by reaching out to small and midsize firms before the fall semester begins. I'm wondering if anyone could direct me to a list of small to midsize employers in the NYC area. I'm also wondering what the best approach for contacting these firms is. Should I just send them a mass mail cover letter with a resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample? Or would I actually gain any real benefit from customizing each cover letter? If I would, what are some of the best things to customize? Unless a firm is geared toward one particular practice, it doesn't seem like a good idea to highlight a particularly attractive practice group or something like that, because they may not be hiring for that practice group. Thoughts?


What type of practice are you targeting? Without knowing that it's hard to give you guidance or provide you a list of small/mid size firms.

As to approach, definitely try to customize -- not so much practice group, but something that is particular to a firm. E.g., does the firm pride itself on targeting smaller companies, or privately held companies? Then highlight that in your CL. Similarly, if the firm is all about working within a certain industry (e.g. labor unions or construction), then mention that. Does it have an alum connection with either your law school or undergrad? That would be good to point out as well.

Fuck, at this point even make shit up. Did a partner write an article? Say you read the article and it piqued your interest.

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby thesealocust » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:38 pm

Your CSO often has a list if the school and market overlap. Failing that, the links in this thread are pretty exhaustive as far as the 'net goes:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157633

I doubt anybody has a 'list' they'll post; it takes work to hunt these firms down. Not to suggest people are cut-throat, but anybody who has done that work probably isn't going to want to pass it around. There's something to be said for applying to a firm that's not on everyone's radar.

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:11 pm

My experience speaks more to litigation, but I'm more than open to M&A work. I don't want to pigeonhole myself in a firm that could realistically be searching for one or the other. Do smaller firms need some kind of stronger commitment? In terms of mailing to these firms, should E-mail suffice or are firms also on the whole traditionalist thing along with judges?

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby anon168 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My experience speaks more to litigation, but I'm more than open to M&A work. I don't want to pigeonhole myself in a firm that could realistically be searching for one or the other. Do smaller firms need some kind of stronger commitment? In terms of mailing to these firms, should E-mail suffice or are firms also on the whole traditionalist thing along with judges?


Well, smaller firms generally do one or the other, either litigation or transactional. And most small firms do not do corporate work (unless you count things like Tax, T/E, Divorce, etc.)

E-mail is fine.

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:35 pm

What's the difference between transactional and corporate?

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby thesealocust » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's the difference between transactional and corporate?


It's used interchangeably at big firms. Amongst smaller ones, if either term is appropriate it's more likely to be transactional for things like wills, trusts, etc.

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:46 pm

So at smaller/mid-size firms, is it important to show an interest in litigation? Since it seems like that's what most small/mid size firms do.

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Re: Best Approach for Reaching out to NYC Midsize and Small Firm

Postby thesealocust » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So at smaller/mid-size firms, is it important to show an interest in litigation? Since it seems like that's what most small/mid size firms do.


Generally, yes. If the firm you're applying to only does litigation - and you're right that a lot of small firms fall into that category - it'd be wise to express an interest in litigation :D

I don't want to discount the possibility of there being corporate boutiques out there, and truly small law firms will do things like small business transactions, tax issues, estate planning, etc. But if you're looking at a small but still significant law firm the odds are very strong you're looking at a firm of litigators.




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