When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

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When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:25 pm

A dumb question indeed, but I’m an international student still trying to figure out American culture and customs. I know it’s common to call associates/partners by their first names when we start working in the firm. I’m specifically asking about networking contacts. I’ve established some contacts through 1L receptions, a few lasting for months, and have been calling them Ms./Mr. xx. My contacts, of course, always address themselves by first names. Just want to check if I appeared too fusty. Thanks!

LazyLASA

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby LazyLASA » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:31 pm

You can call them by their first names immediately (with some exceptions, like judges) .

The general rule is to go by what they refer to themselves as. If they're using their first name with you, you can can probably refer to them by their first name.

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:02 pm

You're fine but the post above accurately describes my experience. I'm at a normal big firm and the only time I referred to co-workers as Mr. or Ms. was sending a followup email after interviewing as a 1L. Definitely switch to first names as an SA unless the party did something to indicate otherwise.

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:28 pm

I did the same thing as a SA - called partners by Mr/Ms. Don't do it. The norm is to call everyone by their first name unless, for some strange reason, they call you Mr./Ms. X (which they probably won't).

ballouttacontrol

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby ballouttacontrol » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:55 pm

Always first name

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby mushybrain » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:26 pm

The only person I've ever referred to as Mr. so-and-so was an older partner that someone had warned me about re preferring that. After we worked together a little, he started signing his emails with his first name, and now that's what I call him. Everyone else is first name right out of the gate unless they're a judge or similar. I've had to work with law professors a little in practice and I still call them Professor XYZ unless otherwise directed.

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:40 am

Thanks for the above responses! Wondering if the rule applies to a cold email directed to junior associates/recent graduates at my school?

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby Yardbird » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the above responses! Wondering if the rule applies to a cold email directed to junior associates/recent graduates at my school?
If you're not working with them currently, I would use Mr/Ms out of respect since you don't know them. Normally people are casual (first names) with people they know or see on a regular basis (e.g. coworkers, friends) but formal with people they don't know until they are told otherwise.

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Re: When is it appropriate to call associates/partners by their first names?

Postby bk1 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the above responses! Wondering if the rule applies to a cold email directed to junior associates/recent graduates at my school?

That are at the firm you're working at or will work at? Definitely first name. In other cases? Still probably first name.




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