Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

(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.
User avatar
King Cayuga
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:11 pm

Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby King Cayuga » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:43 pm

On top of mass-mailing, is it a good idea to reach out to alums at firms you're interested in? If so, should the focus be on talking with an associate or a partner at that firm? It seems like this would be a good way to show interest and learn about the firm while also getting a name to drop.

User avatar
trebekismyhero
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby trebekismyhero » Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:01 pm

King Cayuga wrote:On top of mass-mailing, is it a good idea to reach out to alums at firms you're interested in? If so, should the focus be on talking with an associate or a partner at that firm? It seems like this would be a good way to show interest and learn about the firm while also getting a name to drop.


I emailed partners and associates. Most were responsive and gave me feedback on the firm and what they were looking for. In the end I don't think it really made a difference, but definitely does not hurt

User avatar
King Cayuga
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:11 pm

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby King Cayuga » Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:25 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
King Cayuga wrote:On top of mass-mailing, is it a good idea to reach out to alums at firms you're interested in? If so, should the focus be on talking with an associate or a partner at that firm? It seems like this would be a good way to show interest and learn about the firm while also getting a name to drop.


I emailed partners and associates. Most were responsive and gave me feedback on the firm and what they were looking for. In the end I don't think it really made a difference, but definitely does not hurt


OK, I think I'm only going to try it at the firms at I'm most interested in then. Thanks!

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Cobretti » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:38 pm

King Cayuga wrote:
trebekismyhero wrote:
King Cayuga wrote:On top of mass-mailing, is it a good idea to reach out to alums at firms you're interested in? If so, should the focus be on talking with an associate or a partner at that firm? It seems like this would be a good way to show interest and learn about the firm while also getting a name to drop.


I emailed partners and associates. Most were responsive and gave me feedback on the firm and what they were looking for. In the end I don't think it really made a difference, but definitely does not hurt


OK, I think I'm only going to try it at the firms at I'm most interested in then. Thanks!

I agree, and I will say its really hard to say if it definitely helped, but it definitely made for smoother interviews when I had talking points about the firm and could show a genuine interest in them by referencing contact with them before OCI. Even if it only makes a small difference at the margins, the stakes are high enough that there is no reason why you shouldn't do it. GL

User avatar
cookiejar1
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby cookiejar1 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:50 am

Don't do it because you think it'll give you a recruiting bump. Do it so you can learn more about the firm. Helps tremendously when answering the inevitable, "Why this firm?" question.

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Cobretti » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:03 am

cookiejar1 wrote:Don't do it because you think it'll give you a recruiting bump. Do it so you can learn more about the firm. Helps tremendously when answering the inevitable, "Why this firm?" question.

That's a recruiting bump though....

User avatar
cookiejar1
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby cookiejar1 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:28 am

Cobretti wrote:
cookiejar1 wrote:Don't do it because you think it'll give you a recruiting bump. Do it so you can learn more about the firm. Helps tremendously when answering the inevitable, "Why this firm?" question.

That's a recruiting bump though....


I guess I meant it from the perspective of, "if I get coffee with associate X or partner Y then my chances of getting into the firm are increased by virtue of them knowing me." That is not the case in the vast majority of situations. You need to exploit them as a resource and then utilize the information gleaned to receive a meaningful bump, imo.

I didn't network with anyone important at the firms I was interested in. I targeted young-ish people who have been around long enough to know the firm but who weren't afraid to speak freely about it either.

User avatar
lacrossebrother
Top 17 consensus poster
Posts: 6857
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:31 pm

cookiejar1 wrote:
Cobretti wrote:
cookiejar1 wrote:Don't do it because you think it'll give you a recruiting bump. Do it so you can learn more about the firm. Helps tremendously when answering the inevitable, "Why this firm?" question.

That's a recruiting bump though....


I guess I meant it from the perspective of, "if I get coffee with associate X or partner Y then my chances of getting into the firm are increased by virtue of them knowing me." That is not the case in the vast majority of situations. You need to exploit them as a resource and then utilize the information gleaned to receive a meaningful bump, imo.

I didn't network with anyone important at the firms I was interested in. I targeted young-ish people who have been around long enough to know the firm but who weren't afraid to speak freely about it either.

I think this is an important post and absolutely correct. I feel like my mind was thinking in terms of bumps during OCI

Anonymous User
Posts: 273214
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:22 pm

I might be an outlier, but the three coffee "dates" I've been on so far have all led to the partners telling me to contact recruiting and set up callbacks for before OCI. I basically treated the meetings as screener interviews and really tried to connect to them and sell myself. So targeting partners can help in this aspect.

All V10 btw.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273214
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:42 pm

Sorry if this has already been discussed but I don't have time rn to look through the thread.
What is the best way to reach out alums via email to arrange a coffee date/screener/informational interview? should the email contain resume/transcript? or be more casual and simply ask to get coffee? Any links to previous threads or advice in general (or specific) would be much appreciated.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273214
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:46 am

I'm talking to alumni at my top firms currently and am wondering how weird it would be if I offered to Skype with an associate in lieu of meeting up for coffee (for those that suggest talking in person). Or should I just see if I can get all my questions answered via email? I'm abroad so meeting in person or talking on the phone aren't options for now.

In regards to the anon above, I've been keeping the emails casual and just asking to hear more about the firm, the practice area, and their personal career trajectory (whatever interests me). I've found that many will offer meet in person, especially if you express a lot of interest in the firm and in them personally.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273214
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:16 am

This might have been answered in earlier threads, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what a good subject line would be for an email/reach out like this? I can only imagine the weariness of an overworked biglaw alum who gets another email from a student titled "X Law 2L SA Opportunity"...

RaceJudicata
Posts: 708
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:This might have been answered in earlier threads, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what a good subject line would be for an email/reach out like this? I can only imagine the weariness of an overworked biglaw alum who gets another email from a student titled "X Law 2L SA Opportunity"...


I have had a lot of success this summer saying "Question from (school) 2L" or "(school) 2L seeking advice - name"

I haven't - and don't think its a good idea - to mention the SA. They understand why you are reaching out them, don't wanna sound like you are asking them for a job that they likely cannot provide.

I also have not been including a resume - unsure if that has been a good or bad move.

User avatar
trebekismyhero
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby trebekismyhero » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:06 am

RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:This might have been answered in earlier threads, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what a good subject line would be for an email/reach out like this? I can only imagine the weariness of an overworked biglaw alum who gets another email from a student titled "X Law 2L SA Opportunity"...


I have had a lot of success this summer saying "Question from (school) 2L" or "(school) 2L seeking advice - name"

I haven't - and don't think its a good idea - to mention the SA. They understand why you are reaching out them, don't wanna sound like you are asking them for a job that they likely cannot provide.

I also have not been including a resume - unsure if that has been a good or bad move.


^^ That is exactly what I did last year and I think it was helpful. I never included my resume in the email, but brought it with me when I met with the attorneys.

User avatar
trebekismyhero
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby trebekismyhero » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm talking to alumni at my top firms currently and am wondering how weird it would be if I offered to Skype with an associate in lieu of meeting up for coffee (for those that suggest talking in person). Or should I just see if I can get all my questions answered via email? I'm abroad so meeting in person or talking on the phone aren't options for now.

In regards to the anon above, I've been keeping the emails casual and just asking to hear more about the firm, the practice area, and their personal career trajectory (whatever interests me). I've found that many will offer meet in person, especially if you express a lot of interest in the firm and in them personally.


Personally I would think the skype thing would be weird, but being abroad is a good reason for offering it. Would you be able to talk on the phone or meet with ppl from firms before OCI?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273214
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Contacting Alumni at Firms before OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:45 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:Personally I would think the skype thing would be weird, but being abroad is a good reason for offering it. Would you be able to talk on the phone or meet with ppl from firms before OCI?

It looks like I'll be using Google Hangouts - the last associate I talked with offered to call me (after I said I was abroad and suggested Skype/Google). I spent the past three hours trying to figure out how to give them a phone number they can reach me at. I succeeded in finding like five ways that I can call them for free over wifi... hopefully they're flexible and will let me just call their phone over Hangouts! I get back to the States only a few days before OCI starts so I won't be able to meet up with them (or have a domestic phone conversation) before my interview. I feel bad since I really like this firm and am being more trouble than I'm worth right now - hopefully this all works out!

[Edit: It worked! They are willing to let me call them over Google Hangouts!]

Tl;dr - Some associates seem hesitant to use Skype. Maybe Google Hangouts (or calls done through Gmail) are more acceptable.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.