Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

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lavarman84

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
yay wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Associate here. I have no interest in spending 20 minutes, or probably any time, on an informational interview. If you're an alum of my college I MIGHT make time. If you're an alum of my law school, I probably won't (because I'm clearly one of dozens/hundreds of alumni you've probably contacted). If I have no connection at all to you there's no chance.

People are busy and asking for favors of complete strangers is not a good way to make them want to hire you.


Thanks! So another bad advice the career office gives?


Career services people are the worst. For one, majority of them are not lawyers. Two, they have zero clue about legal employment. They suck.


All of my school's CS people used to work at biglaws as an associate or partner. I am sure they know what they are talking about. I don't think the above post is an accurate description. In my experience, their advice is great but the success depends on how YOU execute it.

I made a bunch of cold emails and cold calls to assos and partners and most of them, even total strangers who had ZERO ties to me (even race/gender/hometown was different) kindly responded to my request and spent more than 20 minutes to answer my stupid questions. People seemed super busy but super nice to me and I was touched.

But to be fair, I have extensive WE prior to law school, and it is safe to say that I have more sophisticated interpersonal/networking/sales skills than most kids. Still, cold calling/emailing is hard for me, too.


I had the same experience. I too would say that I have very strong interviewing/sales skills, based on my background and the fact that my grades sucked, so something had to get me this job.

Generally though, people were nice. People like the poster above that said he "has no time/interest" in talking to a stranger will probably ignore your email. But for every 3 of him (maybe 1 of him, and 2 legitimately busy people), there is 1 non-asshole that will happily respond to your request, because most lawyers generally love talking about what they do (cause if you're like me your family is sick of hearing about it or doesn't understand what you do, so you have no one to tell lol).


People are nice. It's not the "sophisticated" or "strong" interpersonal/sales/networking/whatever skills that allowed this sort of thing to happen. People were willing to help. There are a lot of people out there who are like that.

Dixiecup is not one of those people. It doesn't make him/her an asshole. You aren't entitled to informational interviews. Some people are willing to go out of their way to help others. Some people are not. I'm sure there are assholes in both groups.(probably more in the latter camp than the former)

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:37 pm

@reasonable_man - The head of career services at my law school when I was there was a former biglaw partner (very secondary market and my sense was s/he had bailed from a not very good situation, but a former biglaw partner nonetheless).

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:44 pm

lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
People are nice. It's not the "sophisticated" or "strong" interpersonal/sales/networking/whatever skills that allowed this sort of thing to happen. People were willing to help. There are a lot of people out there who are like that.

Dixiecup is not one of those people. It doesn't make him/her an asshole. You aren't entitled to informational interviews. Some people are willing to go out of their way to help others. Some people are not. I'm sure there are assholes in both groups.(probably more in the latter camp than the former)


I disagree. The issue here is that why some people get no good response from cold emailing but some people do. Your assertion that it is because people are generally nice does not explain the discrepancy in terms of response rates/quality between people. If it is the reason, everyone should have gotten warm responses to their cold emails, but as we can see the op's complaints, it is not true. For your assertion to be correct, the op or someone like the op accidentally chose only those who do not respond, which does not make sense because the sample size is not small (e.g. it is not like the op contacted only a couple of people and complained about it).

It heavily depends on how YOU execute it. For example, when I choose assos/partners whom I want to have an informational interview with, I read their bios carefully and take a close look at pictures to see which one would be more accommodating. If they did some voluntary work, I'd probably cold email them. I also take into consideration alum/race/gender/seniority/hometown and then have my email tailored.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
People are nice. It's not the "sophisticated" or "strong" interpersonal/sales/networking/whatever skills that allowed this sort of thing to happen. People were willing to help. There are a lot of people out there who are like that.

Dixiecup is not one of those people. It doesn't make him/her an asshole. You aren't entitled to informational interviews. Some people are willing to go out of their way to help others. Some people are not. I'm sure there are assholes in both groups.(probably more in the latter camp than the former)


I disagree. The issue here is that why some people get no good response from cold emailing but some people do. Your assertion that it is because people are generally nice does not explain the discrepancy in terms of response rates/quality between people. If it is the reason, everyone should have gotten warm responses to their cold emails, but as we can see the op's complaints, it is not true. For your assertion to be correct, the op or someone like the op accidentally chose only those who do not respond, which does not make sense because the sample size is not small (e.g. it is not like the op contacted only a couple of people and complained about it).

It heavily depends on how YOU execute it. For example, when I choose assos/partners whom I want to have an informational interview with, I read their bios carefully and take a close look at pictures to see which one would be more accommodating. If they did some voluntary work, I'd probably cold email them. I also take into consideration alum/race/gender/seniority/hometown and then have my email tailored.


You answered your own question. It wasn't some sophisticated networking skills/interpersonal skills/whatever. It was putting work in and hoping you found nice people. Any socially-aware person in law school can do the same if they put in the time.

Hell, you can still get informational interviews by just tossing out a bunch of generic emails at random. Because there are plenty of nice people out there who like to talk about their job and mentor future lawyers. It doesn't take a special skill-set. It just takes finding the right people.

It's definitely easier to convince someone to do it if it looks like you put some work in and have something in common with them, though.

My assertion is that people do it because they're nice. Not because your skills blew them away. I don't think anyone, including myself, disagrees with the notion that you're more likely to have success by strategically targeting people and tailoring your letters to them. But, again, that just means putting in the work. It's not a specialized skill.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:I disagree. The issue here is that why some people get no good response from cold emailing but some people do. Your assertion that it is because people are generally nice does not explain the discrepancy in terms of response rates/quality between people. If it is the reason, everyone should have gotten warm responses to their cold emails, but as we can see the op's complaints, it is not true. For your assertion to be correct, the op or someone like the op accidentally chose only those who do not respond, which does not make sense because the sample size is not small (e.g. it is not like the op contacted only a couple of people and complained about it).

The OP's sample size actually is pretty small, given that s/he sent out 35 apps, and plenty of people here have described sending 100-200 apps. And even then most people have described getting a small number of responses - often single digit - which doesn't seem at all inconsistent with what the OP described.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:
You answered your own question. It wasn't some sophisticated networking skills/interpersonal skills/whatever. It was putting work in and hoping you found nice people. Any socially-aware person in law school can do the same if they put in the time.

Hell, you can still get informational interviews by just tossing out a bunch of generic emails at random. Because there are plenty of nice people out there who like to talk about their job and mentor future lawyers. It doesn't take a special skill-set. It just takes finding the right people.

It's definitely easier to convince someone to do it if it looks like you put some work in and have something in common with them, though.

My assertion is that people do it because they're nice. Not because your skills blew them away. I don't think anyone, including myself, disagrees with the notion that you're more likely to have success by strategically targeting people and tailoring your letters to them. But, again, that just means putting in the work. It's not a specialized skill.


You do not seem to understand what I meant. You state only your assertions such as "you can still get informational interviews by just tossing out a bunch of generic emails at random" among others, so I don't see the point of arguing about this with you any more. You just again judge by saying that it is just putting in the work and not a skill. Well, I will then say it is a specialized skill. Then did I win the argument? Your response has no ground, no logic, no evidence but only your judgment and your own assertion based on your personal thing. Sorry for being blunt, but this is the impression that I got from your posts. Again, I won't respond to this any more, since I'd like TLSers to read more helpful posts.
Yes, people are nice but my point is that how you approach can make a difference.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:43 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I disagree. The issue here is that why some people get no good response from cold emailing but some people do. Your assertion that it is because people are generally nice does not explain the discrepancy in terms of response rates/quality between people. If it is the reason, everyone should have gotten warm responses to their cold emails, but as we can see the op's complaints, it is not true. For your assertion to be correct, the op or someone like the op accidentally chose only those who do not respond, which does not make sense because the sample size is not small (e.g. it is not like the op contacted only a couple of people and complained about it).

The OP's sample size actually is pretty small, given that s/he sent out 35 apps, and plenty of people here have described sending 100-200 apps. And even then most people have described getting a small number of responses - often single digit - which doesn't seem at all inconsistent with what the OP described.



You are in the wrong post. The OP does not talk about 35 apps, but only asked about the informational interview. The post that you are referring to is a different one.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:50 am

You're right, I'm sorry, I mixed this up with the "massmailing doesn't work" thread.

I was confused mostly because you talked about the OP's complaints and response rate, and as far as I can tell, the OP didn't make any complaints or have any response rate yet, since they're asking about whether they should even do this at all. Pretty much everyone who has given responses about requesting informational interviews has said they got a bunch of positive responses, so I don't know what the disparity is that you're talking about. (But we've already demonstrated I didn't read very closely so I may have done that again.)

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:06 am

To be clear on my stance on this: I am happy to talk to people who have upcoming interviews (or job offers) and want to learn more about my firm. I actually do this a lot. I'm also always happy to talk to friends of friends, or people who have some personal basis for contacting me. I'm generally not willing to make time to talk to whatever random person found my bio and is just hoping to get a job interview. When I've experienced this, it's been clear it's someone taking a shotgun approach who doesn't appear to have any well-formed questions and is just hoping to increase their odds over submitting a resume to recruiting. Again - ymmv, but I sincerely doubt I'm the only one who feels this way.

Also keep in mind - the recruiting season is extremely busy for anyone involved on the firm side. A lot of attorneys will be spending dozens of hours in August-September going to OCIs, doing callbacks, lunches, writing feedback, attending hiring committee meetings, fielding follow up inquiries from candidates, etc. This is on top of actual legal work, which means people are spending extra hours in the office. A cold call/email that is not very well-targeted can come off as inconsiderate in light of all this.

Maybe none of this matters because as a candidate, it's fine to irritate 95% of people you contact if the other 5% react positively. But as someone on the receiving end, these are the considerations.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby monsterman » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:19 am

"I don't want someone sucking up to me because they think I am going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me."

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:20 am

I will make 10-15 min. to talk with people from my undergrad or law school (and friends/ friends of friends). But I agree in that you better have your sh*t together when you speak with me. Its just rude not to. "Why is you firm different then the rest of the V10?" is not a informational call request appropriate Q.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:07 pm

Talking to eager students about how you ended up in your amazing situation also strokes the ego.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Lawyers&Commissary » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:47 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
yay wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Associate here. I have no interest in spending 20 minutes, or probably any time, on an informational interview. If you're an alum of my college I MIGHT make time. If you're an alum of my law school, I probably won't (because I'm clearly one of dozens/hundreds of alumni you've probably contacted). If I have no connection at all to you there's no chance.

People are busy and asking for favors of complete strangers is not a good way to make them want to hire you.


Thanks! So another bad advice the career office gives?


Career services people are the worst. For one, majority of them are not lawyers. Two, they have zero clue about legal employment. They suck.


All of my school's CS people used to work at biglaws as an associate or partner. I am sure they know what they are talking about. I don't think the above post is an accurate description. In my experience, their advice is great but the success depends on how YOU execute it.

I made a bunch of cold emails and cold calls to assos and partners and most of them, even total strangers who had ZERO ties to me (even race/gender/hometown was different) kindly responded to my request and spent more than 20 minutes to answer my stupid questions. People seemed super busy but super nice to me and I was touched.

But to be fair, I have extensive WE prior to law school, and it is safe to say that I have more sophisticated interpersonal/networking/sales skills than most kids. Still, cold calling/emailing is hard for me, too.



You have met Career Services people that were former biglaw partners?


I'm a 0L but when I was visiting schools I met at least one head of career services who had been a biglaw partner for a long time (at a T14). I got the impression this was fairly common but could have been misled.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:59 pm

Anyone with such a fall from grace as Biglaw partner to career services is a huge red flag.

Most of the associate ---> CSO is people who couldn't hack the workload and wanted an easy job. You can (and probably should if no debt) spend 18 months in biglaw and never really get the biglaw experience.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby patentlitigatrix » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:32 pm

^This.

And OMG CSO people, even T14 ones. I have heard tons of horror stories. I went to get advice on what firms to target give my interests. Interests, CSO person told me I shouldn't even bother doing OCI because I won't get a biglaw job. Granted, this was during the recession and I needed a work visa, but still....TERRIBLE ADVICE. And ended up being far from accurate.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:14 pm

[quote="patentlitigatrix"]^This.

And OMG CSO people, even T14 ones. I have heard tons of horror stories. I went to get advice on what firms to target give my interests. Interests, CSO person told me I shouldn't even bother doing OCI because I won't get a biglaw job. Granted, this was during the recession and I needed a work visa, but still....TERRIBLE ADVICE. And ended up being far from accurate.[/quote

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I will make 10-15 min. to talk with people from my undergrad or law school (and friends/ friends of friends). But I agree in that you better have your sh*t together when you speak with me. Its just rude not to. "Why is you firm different then the rest of the V10?" is not a informational call request appropriate Q.



How do you all deal with people who seem sincere, but then you get on the phone and they absolutely do not have their shit together? Do you tell them they're wasting your time and hangup? Because sometimes I have the urge to do that. One kid from my alma mater asked me blatantly to see my cover letter I used and then also wanted ones I sent for each geographic market I applied to. I basically said wtf and just started ignoring his/her emails.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby BarbellDreams » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:49 pm

Unless you're super weird, I will always make time to meet with you for lunch. I will never let you pay, thats just weird. I would feel like the most pathetic attorney ever if I let some 1L pay for my lunch.

I remember what it was like when I was in LS, I want to pay it forward. I also am very blunt according to all my colleagues, so if I get a "How is your firm different?" or other weird fluff question that I feel like is just angling awkwardly to ask me for a job, I'm gonna call them out on it and tell them how it is. Honestly, anyone in LS should know that unless you have over 5 years of experience, you have absolutely zero power in getting someone a job.

But I've met a couple of people and they all have been very nice. Very nervous, but nice. Super awkward people who are tripping over words asking me about what I do everyday make me uncomfortable. I feel like I am very approachable and easy going. If you can't talk to ME, I'm not sure how you're gonna survive to begin with. But then the 45 minute lunch that I planned with this LS student becomes an awkward combination of hyperventilated questions about nothing and awkward pauses. SO I agree with whoever above said: Get your stuff together before you meet me. Have your questions, ask them like a normal person, and understand that I'm a human being that is also capable of discussing random topics outside of what I do. This isn't you selling yourself to me or sucking up, this is two people having a regular conversation.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Toni V » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:13 am

Given that I have only been contacted by students from my alma mater, I have gladly responded (usually takes under 10 minutes). Most of their questions are about my practice area. When they ask about negotiating I kindly reply that there is no negotiating, the firm offers a package and that’s that… things like 401k, parking discount, etc., are certainly optional. Given that I have only been contacted a few times, it’s not a nuisance.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby AZ123 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:00 am

For the associates/partners: What are some examples of questions that impress you or that you like to answer? What kinds of questions make you roll your eyes?

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:31 pm

AZ123 wrote:For the associates/partners: What are some examples of questions that impress you or that you like to answer? What kinds of questions make you roll your eyes?


Anything that remotely sounds like A) Blatant sucking up or B) I'm really trying to get a job but trying to pretend like I'm not are the things that make my eyes roll.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby lavarman84 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You do not seem to understand what I meant. You state only your assertions such as "you can still get informational interviews by just tossing out a bunch of generic emails at random" among others, so I don't see the point of arguing about this with you any more. You just again judge by saying that it is just putting in the work and not a skill. Well, I will then say it is a specialized skill. Then did I win the argument? Your response has no ground, no logic, no evidence but only your judgment and your own assertion based on your personal thing. Sorry for being blunt, but this is the impression that I got from your posts. Again, I won't respond to this any more, since I'd like TLSers to read more helpful posts.
Yes, people are nice but my point is that how you approach can make a difference.


I totally agree with that point. What I disagreed with was you jerking yourself off in your post about how amazingly awesome you are for getting informational interviews.

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby star fox » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you annoyed by a cold request from a law student you've never met, especially from a non-alumni?
Is a 20-minute call too long?
If the conversation went well, can I ask you to forward my resume to the recruiting?
Thanks for any input!


There is literally a thread right below this one by you asking the same question. You won't get any faster response this way.

Who cares. It's a law school board. Some questions are going to be repeated time and time again as new people cycle through. A fresh perspective on certain topics isn't going to hurt anyone. Like, why are you so concerned with forum space?

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:04 pm

OP here. Thanks for all the responses.

I sent out a number of emails in the middle of the week and got responses very quickly. Now I've finished a few phone calls and am wondering if I could politely ask the people I've talked with to forward my resume to the recruiting. I believe that's much more effective than massmailing, but don't want to make the attorneys feel that I'm "using" them. Thoughts?

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Re: Partners/Associates: how do you feel about all these informational interview requests?

Postby Magnacromion » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:21 am

OP, thanks for the thread. I think this was a burning question in a lot of our minds.

Most of the discussion here has centered around 1Ls reaching out ahead of OCI. What if you're not actively looking for a job at the moment but you're about to start a term-limited clerkship or fellowship? So there's some info I want now (i.e. how the post-clerkship/fellowship hiring market works and which places are likely to consider me) and I'd also like to "plant the seed" for further down the road. CSO suggests that I begin networking now; do you think it wise? I can see the argument for it—I legitimately don't want anything out of the exchange other than some info and a contact for later—but I could also see the argument that it's premature because I won't be in a position to accept any actual interviews for quite some time. On the other hand, I'm in a niche practice area (substantiated by coursework, secondary journal, note, SA, and my current position) and since it's small and rather insular, I feel like I probably need to make some friends in the field.

Also: I was of a mind to contact mostly junior associates, since I'm more looking for practical job-seeking advice and don't need someone with real "pull". Is this a waste of my time (or theirs)?



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