Cold e-mailing alumni

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

Cold e-mailing alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:52 pm

I'm a 3L at a T14 looking for small firm jobs in a specific city. I attended grad school in that city, my parents live there, and I worked for a local attorney who is willing to give me a good recommendation, so I do have actual connections. There are a number of small firms that do work in my area and several of them have at least one attorney that graduated from my school. I know the general advice given is to "just e-mail and ask if you can call them for advice" but as a soon-to-be graduating 3L I think that will seem pretty transparent. I don't need "advice," I need a job!

Career Services is useless and told me to just look up firms on Martindale and then cold call/email them to ask about positions. Can it be worse at this point to e-mail alumni and tell them my situation? Is asking if I can talk to them "for advice" actually going to help me at this point?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273122
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Cold e-mailing alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:24 pm

Probably a little different, but I reached out to alumni after doing some database searching and mentioned I had applied to their office (this was for an ADA position). The response I received was overwhelmingly positive and I actually spent some time with one particular alumni before going in for an interview. When I reached out to this alumni, I had not yet received an interview invitation.

My advice would be to go for it. You've got nothing to lose at this point

Anonymous User
Posts: 273122
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Cold e-mailing alumni

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 3L at a T14 looking for small firm jobs in a specific city. I attended grad school in that city, my parents live there, and I worked for a local attorney who is willing to give me a good recommendation, so I do have actual connections. There are a number of small firms that do work in my area and several of them have at least one attorney that graduated from my school. I know the general advice given is to "just e-mail and ask if you can call them for advice" but as a soon-to-be graduating 3L I think that will seem pretty transparent. I don't need "advice," I need a job!

Career Services is useless and told me to just look up firms on Martindale and then cold call/email them to ask about positions. Can it be worse at this point to e-mail alumni and tell them my situation? Is asking if I can talk to them "for advice" actually going to help me at this point?


The fact that you need a job might be transparent, but that's okay. The point is to network, which might lead to a job. You're really not going to be very successful emailing alums simply asking them for a job with your resume attached (and your goal shouldn't necessarily be to get a job at the firm that the person who you are talking to works at). Talk to them about practicing in their practice area. It's definitely okay to explain your situation to them, and many of them might be able to offer valuable advice (much more valuable than what you CSO will give you) and might also be able to help you (e.g. by putting you in touch with the hiring partner at another law firm who is looking for someone right when that opening occurs). FWIW, if you're looking at larger law firms, recent alums are the most useless contacts, and partners, and especially managing partners, are the most useful. Just as an anecdote, when I was a 3L I reached out to an alum who typically did OCI for that office of the firm, he told me he would happy to talk to me during OCI. He didn't end up coming to OCI, but put me in touch with the guy who was doing OCI that year. The guy who came to OCI was the chair of the department that I was interested in, and after talking for a few minutes he told me that I had his vote and that he believed he would be able to sway the rest of the hiring committee if I did X & Y and then forwarded him my resume. And this was at a v10. It can sometimes be difficult getting in touch with people, but the people who have some power (i.e. usually partners) and are willing help, usually really do want to help you.




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