How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

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How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:27 pm

In Manhattan, so 1 or 2 of my classes are taught by practicing biglawyers. Their particular firms are probably out of reach for me as-is (unless I really knock the class out of the park at semester's end), but can I/how should I ask them to set me up with other employers in their field (eg boutiques, less grade-sensitive firms)?

& How should I time it, given:

1) if I do it before the final exam, they won't have my performance in that class to go on;
2) but if I do it after the final exam, they won't be free & on campus in the Spring. At least now, they devote the day on which they teach to "office hours."

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:24 pm

Meet with them as often as possible and ask them complex questions about the course. After you build rapport then you can ask them for a job.

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2014

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby 2014 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:00 pm

This is going to be really really difficult - you are ultimately asking them to call up a contact and say in essence "Hi [friend/counterparty/whatever], I'm teaching a class at [school] this semester and have been highly impressed with the capabilities of Anonymous User. I think Anonymous would be a great fit at your firm and would really suggest you sit down and meet with her/him."

While that's well and good if you can actually convince them to make that call/send that email, the last sentence contains an implicit "but WE don't want to hire them..." which (in my opinion at least) severely limits its effectiveness.

The best you can do (again in my opinion) is to do well in the class, participate intelligently and often, and initiate contact outside of class in office hours or over coffee or whatever where you extend the conversation to career paths and professional development and see where it organically goes. On timing you absolutely positively need to have a rapport built up before the final that you back up with your performance on the final. It looks super contrived if you've been coasting along below the radar all semester, crush the final, and then suddenly decide that your interest is higher because in hindsight you did well.

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby ND2018 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:28 pm

"Hi prof, I am really interested in XYZ work/practice area. I really enjoyed your style of teaching and given your big law experience would you happen to know anyone who I could talk to in order to learn more about those practice areas."

You're not asking for a job, you're asking to make a connection. Should be fairly straightforward. I don't think that you have to do well on the final nor do I think it will be difficult as others have said. Just be engaged in class and bring up your big law desires in a non-weird way in his/her office.

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby ND2018 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:31 pm

2014 wrote:This is going to be really really difficult - you are ultimately asking them to call up a contact and say in essence "Hi [friend/counterparty/whatever], I'm teaching a class at [school] this semester and have been highly impressed with the capabilities of Anonymous User. I think Anonymous would be a great fit at your firm and would really suggest you sit down and meet with her/him."

While that's well and good if you can actually convince them to make that call/send that email, the last sentence contains an implicit "but WE don't want to hire them..." which (in my opinion at least) severely limits its effectiveness.

The best you can do (again in my opinion) is to do well in the class, participate intelligently and often, and initiate contact outside of class in office hours or over coffee or whatever where you extend the conversation to career paths and professional development and see where it organically goes. On timing you absolutely positively need to have a rapport built up before the final that you back up with your performance on the final. It looks super contrived if you've been coasting along below the radar all semester, crush the final, and then suddenly decide that your interest is higher because in hindsight you did well.


This is not how networking is done. Listen if you want to get the prof to go out on a limb for you to get you a screener next fall, that's one thing. If you actually want to network, simply asking the professor to put you in contact with someone for a phone call/coffee/beer is simple and It is how tons of people score big law jobs year after year.

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby MKC » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:37 pm

ND2018 wrote:
2014 wrote:This is going to be really really difficult - you are ultimately asking them to call up a contact and say in essence "Hi [friend/counterparty/whatever], I'm teaching a class at [school] this semester and have been highly impressed with the capabilities of Anonymous User. I think Anonymous would be a great fit at your firm and would really suggest you sit down and meet with her/him."

While that's well and good if you can actually convince them to make that call/send that email, the last sentence contains an implicit "but WE don't want to hire them..." which (in my opinion at least) severely limits its effectiveness.

The best you can do (again in my opinion) is to do well in the class, participate intelligently and often, and initiate contact outside of class in office hours or over coffee or whatever where you extend the conversation to career paths and professional development and see where it organically goes. On timing you absolutely positively need to have a rapport built up before the final that you back up with your performance on the final. It looks super contrived if you've been coasting along below the radar all semester, crush the final, and then suddenly decide that your interest is higher because in hindsight you did well.


This is not how networking is done. Listen if you want to get the prof to go out on a limb for you to get you a screener next fall, that's one thing. If you actually want to network, simply asking the professor to put you in contact with someone for a phone call/coffee/beer is simple and It is how tons of people score big law jobs year after year.


When I was networking it was even more low-key than this. It was more along the lines of mentioning that I was really interested in the practice area and asking if the person had any advice or insight as to how to get started in it. The person would almost always give me few names of people he or she thought I should talk to and tell them to say he or she had told me to get in touch with them.

Every attorney you meet knows you're looking for a job. If they're inclined to help you, they'll offer. If they're not, you probably shouldn't be asking anyway.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 pm

ND2018 wrote:This is not how networking is done. Listen if you want to get the prof to go out on a limb for you to get you a screener next fall, that's one thing. If you actually want to network, simply asking the professor to put you in contact with someone for a phone call/coffee/beer is simple and It is how tons of people score big law jobs year after year.

OP here: Yes, I'm not looking for them to go out on a limb for me to get a screener at their particular firms. And obviously they don't have the authority to get me screeners at firms they don't even work for.

But if they refer me to others in their industry, with a good word that I [am doing/did] well in their class, that's all I could hope for.

But does everyone else agree w/ 2014's suggestion to do it now over the semester instead of flying under the radar throughout the fall only to pop up after I learn (after the fact) that I did well on the final?

Thanks

ND2018

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Re: How to network w/ practitioners to get biglaw jobs BUT NOT at their own firms?

Postby ND2018 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:23 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
ND2018 wrote:
2014 wrote:This is going to be really really difficult - you are ultimately asking them to call up a contact and say in essence "Hi [friend/counterparty/whatever], I'm teaching a class at [school] this semester and have been highly impressed with the capabilities of Anonymous User. I think Anonymous would be a great fit at your firm and would really suggest you sit down and meet with her/him."

While that's well and good if you can actually convince them to make that call/send that email, the last sentence contains an implicit "but WE don't want to hire them..." which (in my opinion at least) severely limits its effectiveness.

The best you can do (again in my opinion) is to do well in the class, participate intelligently and often, and initiate contact outside of class in office hours or over coffee or whatever where you extend the conversation to career paths and professional development and see where it organically goes. On timing you absolutely positively need to have a rapport built up before the final that you back up with your performance on the final. It looks super contrived if you've been coasting along below the radar all semester, crush the final, and then suddenly decide that your interest is higher because in hindsight you did well.


This is not how networking is done. Listen if you want to get the prof to go out on a limb for you to get you a screener next fall, that's one thing. If you actually want to network, simply asking the professor to put you in contact with someone for a phone call/coffee/beer is simple and It is how tons of people score big law jobs year after year.


When I was networking it was even more low-key than this. It was more along the lines of mentioning that I was really interested in the practice area and asking if the person had any advice or insight as to how to get started in it. The person would almost always give me few names of people he or she thought I should talk to and tell them to say he or she had told me to get in touch with them.

Every attorney you meet knows you're looking for a job. If they're inclined to help you, they'll offer. If they're not, you probably shouldn't be asking anyway.

TCR

OP Getting to know the professor now is a good idea. Unless you absolutely bomb the class, he will in all likelyhood have no idea what grade you got in his class. Just be normal and try to develop a relationship.



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