Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

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Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:25 pm

Has anyone done this successfully and gotten a screener/CB this way? If so, how did you go about it.

I am talking about firms that I have the grades for, but don't recruit at my school. Thanks.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:24 pm

Yes, I have.

1. Find someone at the firm who went to your school (you can usually search by law school). If there are multiple, see if there is someone you have even more in common with (undergrad, legal interest, minority status, etc)

2. See if you can find a professor who remembers him or her and then ask that professor if you should make contact. The professor will inevitably say yes (because, why not?). If the attorney had a clerkship and your school has a professor who serves as a clerkship advisor he or she will likely remember the attorney.

3. Email the attorney with "Princeton 2L" in the subject line or whatever and then just say that you've applied to blank firm and Professor so and so recommended the attorney as a great resource and said you should drop him an email and see if he had any insight into the firm or advice about the interview process.

Even if you can't find a professor who knew the student, I have found people very generous with their time and have yet to email someone who hasn't gotten back to me.

Good luck.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:40 pm

has anyone had success with this recently, as in the past two weeks? What is the protocol for contacting really high profile alum, as in managing partners, etc. people that can make things happen this late in the game?

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:52 pm

I did this in August during OCI. My grades were mediocre, and I feel that the offers I got through the hiring process were directly linked to talking to influential partners who took an interest in me.

There is no problem in contacting someone high up. In fact, this is what you SHOULD be doing. If they don't have to time to talk to you, they'll ignore your email. The ones who respond, though, are genuinely willing to help, and their say will have weight within the firm. The protocol is the same - except emphasize how much you appreciate and respect their time. Partners are busy people, and when you do call them, tell them at the start of the conversation that you won't take more than 20 minutes of their time and STICK WITH IT. Use a stopwatch if necessary. If they really enjoy talking to you, they may dismiss your attempts to end the conversation - but this must come from them, not you.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I did this in August during OCI. My grades were mediocre, and I feel that the offers I got through the hiring process were directly linked to talking to influential partners who took an interest in me. There is no problem in contacting someone high up. In fact, this is what you SHOULD be doing. If they don't have to time to talk to you, they'll ignore your email. The ones who respond, though, are genuinely willing to help, and their say will have weight within the firm.


Was ur approach to contact them directly and ask for help in a straightforward manner, or by beating around the bush and asking for a meeting for general advice? I feel like taking a direct approach, highlighting my strnghts, I need a job, you have the power within the firm, help a fellow out, and that beating around the bush this late in the game might be futile. thoguhts?

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I did this in August during OCI. My grades were mediocre, and I feel that the offers I got through the hiring process were directly linked to talking to influential partners who took an interest in me. There is no problem in contacting someone high up. In fact, this is what you SHOULD be doing. If they don't have to time to talk to you, they'll ignore your email. The ones who respond, though, are genuinely willing to help, and their say will have weight within the firm.


Was ur approach to contact them directly and ask for help in a straightforward manner, or by beating around the bush and asking for a meeting for general advice? I feel like taking a direct approach, highlighting my strnghts, I need a job, you have the power within the firm, help a fellow out, and that beating around the bush this late in the game might be futile. thoguhts?


I wouldn't come right out and ask for a job, if that's what you mean. I would explain your situation to them, and then ask if they have any advice for you or can recommend people you should talk to. I would avoid sounding desperate, even if you are. You want to come off as a competent, confident person comfortable with yourself who is just going a bit of bad luck. The fact is, the partner KNOWS what you want. It's not hard for them to infer what you're actually asking for, but I feel that being too straightforward might not allow them to take a middle position that could be useful in the future (i.e. they've given out all offers right now, partner can't do anything for you at the moment, but then more people than expected decline and suddenly a spot opens up two weeks later).


EDIT: Also, I would call EVERYONE you can. I probably called 20 people over a two-week period - sometimes I had up to 3 phone calls scheduled a day. Only a small handful of these turned out to be directly useful, and it was extremely tiring. But you can't be afraid to hustle, and it's important not to let your tiredness show. I saved all my energy for these interactions, and enthusiasm coming from a young person goes a long way with some of these older partners.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I did this in August during OCI. My grades were mediocre, and I feel that the offers I got through the hiring process were directly linked to talking to influential partners who took an interest in me. There is no problem in contacting someone high up. In fact, this is what you SHOULD be doing. If they don't have to time to talk to you, they'll ignore your email. The ones who respond, though, are genuinely willing to help, and their say will have weight within the firm.


Was ur approach to contact them directly and ask for help in a straightforward manner, or by beating around the bush and asking for a meeting for general advice? I feel like taking a direct approach, highlighting my strnghts, I need a job, you have the power within the firm, help a fellow out, and that beating around the bush this late in the game might be futile. thoguhts?


I wouldn't come right out and ask for a job, if that's what you mean. I would explain your situation to them, and then ask if they have any advice for you or can recommend people you should talk to. I would avoid sounding desperate, even if you are. You want to come off as a competent, confident person comfortable with yourself who is just going a bit of bad luck. The fact is, the partner KNOWS what you want. It's not hard for them to infer what you're actually asking for, but I feel that being too straightforward might not allow them to take a middle position that could be useful in the future (i.e. they've given out all offers right now, partner can't do anything for you at the moment, but then more people than expected decline and suddenly a spot opens up two weeks later).


Thanks, wud u attach a resume for reference?

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I did this in August during OCI. My grades were mediocre, and I feel that the offers I got through the hiring process were directly linked to talking to influential partners who took an interest in me. There is no problem in contacting someone high up. In fact, this is what you SHOULD be doing. If they don't have to time to talk to you, they'll ignore your email. The ones who respond, though, are genuinely willing to help, and their say will have weight within the firm.


Was ur approach to contact them directly and ask for help in a straightforward manner, or by beating around the bush and asking for a meeting for general advice? I feel like taking a direct approach, highlighting my strnghts, I need a job, you have the power within the firm, help a fellow out, and that beating around the bush this late in the game might be futile. thoguhts?


I wouldn't come right out and ask for a job, if that's what you mean. I would explain your situation to them, and then ask if they have any advice for you or can recommend people you should talk to. I would avoid sounding desperate, even if you are. You want to come off as a competent, confident person comfortable with yourself who is just going a bit of bad luck. The fact is, the partner KNOWS what you want. It's not hard for them to infer what you're actually asking for, but I feel that being too straightforward might not allow them to take a middle position that could be useful in the future (i.e. they've given out all offers right now, partner can't do anything for you at the moment, but then more people than expected decline and suddenly a spot opens up two weeks later).


Thanks, wud u attach a resume for reference?


Hmm, I didn't, but that was back in August. I probably would if I were you, but I would frame it as "here's something for you to get to know my background" rather than "here's part of my job application".

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:29 pm

Also, associate alums can be useful, too, and they might be more sympathetic to your situation since they've just recently been through the same thing. I would ask at the end of a conversation with an associate if there are any partners that they like and get along with particularly well that they could put you touch with. Then you'll get access to partners at a second degree of separation from you.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:49 pm

I would just be cognizant that if you do this and if you get a callback and even an offer, you may risk things a little if you decide to go to another firm. If an alum goes to bat for you, it's best to know that you really want to work at that firm. True, things may change -- maybe you'll be treated poorly by someone in the interview which changes your mind. But you'll later have an awkward situation when you have to tell the alum that you accepted another offer (this happened to me). I tried to make up for it by thanking the alum profusely, following up with a thank you note, and offering to help out future students from my school in spread the good karma. But it still felt really awkward.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would just be cognizant that if you do this and if you get a callback and even an offer, you may risk things a little if you decide to go to another firm. If an alum goes to bat for you, it's best to know that you really want to work at that firm. True, things may change -- maybe you'll be treated poorly by someone in the interview which changes your mind. But you'll later have an awkward situation when you have to tell the alum that you accepted another offer (this happened to me). I tried to make up for it by thanking the alum profusely, following up with a thank you note, and offering to help out future students from my school in spread the good karma. But it still felt really awkward.


Was this recent, or august-ish? Trying to figure out if my time is better spent keeping up my good grades, or taking the time hustling to get a job until i get one?

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I would just be cognizant that if you do this and if you get a callback and even an offer, you may risk things a little if you decide to go to another firm. If an alum goes to bat for you, it's best to know that you really want to work at that firm. True, things may change -- maybe you'll be treated poorly by someone in the interview which changes your mind. But you'll later have an awkward situation when you have to tell the alum that you accepted another offer (this happened to me). I tried to make up for it by thanking the alum profusely, following up with a thank you note, and offering to help out future students from my school in spread the good karma. But it still felt really awkward.


Was this recent, or august-ish? Trying to figure out if my time is better spent keeping up my good grades, or taking the time hustling to get a job until i get one?


Also trying to figure out how to do this at this late stage in the game. If anyone has contacted partners looking to try and get interviews in mid-October, what do you write in an email to them?

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Also trying to figure out how to do this at this late stage in the game. If anyone has contacted partners looking to try and get interviews in mid-October, what do you write in an email to them?


+1

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:48 pm

is the advice being given to call or email?

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:33 pm

Email to ask to set up a time to call. Very much try to talk to them in person or on the phone if possible. It makes you way more memorable.

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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:20 pm

Been contacting alum, requesting to meet/talk and been receiving replies that that they will fwd my resume to recruiting.

Is this a good thing? Or is it the nice way for them to say leave me alone?

Anonymous User
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Re: Contacting Alums in Biglaw Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Been contacting alum, requesting to meet/talk and been receiving replies that that they will fwd my resume to recruiting.

Is this a good thing? Or is it the nice way for them to say leave me alone?

bump




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