What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

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michaelscotch99

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What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby michaelscotch99 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:26 pm

I've been sending cold emails to alumni and they've been somewhat receptive but almost always, this happens:

Cold email for coffee/chat -> receptive response ("Sure, let's set something up, heres my schedule") -> I propose a couple times that work within their schedule -> NO RESPONSE -> one more follow-up email -> NO RESPONSE

This happens way too often.

Is it okay to follow up a couple weeks/months later or is it a lost cause?

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:28 pm

Definitely ok to wait a few weeks and follow up again. People are busy and forget, as long as you aren't spamming them weekly, then its totally fine.

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mjb447

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:37 pm

Followup after some time has passed is fine, but people flaking is also just a normal part of cold email networking (particularly for busy people who don't owe you anything). I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.

run26.2

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby run26.2 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:39 pm

I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.

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Clemenceau

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:45 pm

mjb447 wrote:I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.


Yeah I'd say this is pretty much par for the course.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby michaelscotch99 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:37 pm

mjb447 wrote:Followup after some time has passed is fine, but people flaking is also just a normal part of cold email networking (particularly for busy people who don't owe you anything). I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.



I guess when I say "way too often", I mean for every 5 who respond, 3 to 4 flake or stop responding.
Yeah I know they owe me nothing. Just wondering if this is the norm or if I'm just unlucky or have poor email etiquette/bedside manners.

Anyway thanks yall

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:48 pm

I think it's just a reflection of the fact that people don't want to be outright rude and say no to a request to meet, but at the end of the day they usually don't want to actually take the time to do it.

I doubt it's anything you're doing personally.

But if you're not already doing this, I'd suggest that you try to have a phone conversation before coffee. It's a much reduced time and effort commitment for alumni and much easier for them to extricate themselves gracefully, and therefore something more people will be willing to do. It also has the benefit of demonstrating you recognize the value of their time.

Just one data point, but I'd be much more likely to have a phone call with someone in your shoes than a coffee meeting. If we talk on the phone, and we hit it off, and I feel like your interests are such that I could be of some particular use, then maybe I'd be willing to meet for coffee. But probably not before.

Maybe this is what you mean by "coffee/chat," but just in case you are only proposing in person meetings, this is something to consider.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby ClubberLang » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:58 pm

run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.


This is a bit overbearing and I wouldn't do it. It turns the coffee/chat into an obligation that can easily be dealt with by ignoring you.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:43 pm

mjb447 wrote:Followup after some time has passed is fine, but people flaking is also just a normal part of cold email networking (particularly for busy people who don't owe you anything). I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.

The bolded always gets me. Not saying that alums should be jumping through hoops to help their alma mater, but by helping alums get jobs actually helps boost their reputation if the school's reputation increases by having more employed graduates post-law school. I find it far too common for attorneys to take the position "Well, I had it tough, so you'll just have to suffer and make your own path/luck like I did."

But to OP: Yeah, cold-e-mailing sucks but it's necessary if you want to broaden your network. Just be happy you don't have to beat the pavement.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby smallfirmassociate » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:51 pm

run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.


As a guy who gets emails like this, please don't do this. I comes across as pushy, not accommodating.

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AVBucks4239

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:11 pm

run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.

Don't do this.

I personally think your best bet is to pick up and call. Sending emails requires constant back and forth to schedule. I'm at a small firm in a small town and I get 25 emails a day. Partners probably get double or triple that.

Calling gets things scheduled in two minutes. Just go for it.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby Nebby » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:58 pm

I'm always so happy when I get an email because there's like no alumni where I work :(

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zot1

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:19 pm

Nebby wrote:I'm always so happy when I get an email because there's like no alumni where I work :(


I like emails because I get lonely.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:08 pm

smallfirmassociate wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.


As a guy who gets emails like this, please don't do this. I comes across as pushy, not accommodating.

Yeah I think this would be the end of our conversation if you did this.

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zot1

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:12 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
smallfirmassociate wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.


As a guy who gets emails like this, please don't do this. I comes across as pushy, not accommodating.

Yeah I think this would be the end of our conversation if you did this.


Seriously. This is insane.

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zot1

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby zot1 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:14 pm

1styearlateral wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Followup after some time has passed is fine, but people flaking is also just a normal part of cold email networking (particularly for busy people who don't owe you anything). I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.

The bolded always gets me. Not saying that alums should be jumping through hoops to help their alma mater, but by helping alums get jobs actually helps boost their reputation if the school's reputation increases by having more employed graduates post-law school. I find it far too common for attorneys to take the position "Well, I had it tough, so you'll just have to suffer and make your own path/luck like I did."

But to OP: Yeah, cold-e-mailing sucks but it's necessary if you want to broaden your network. Just be happy you don't have to beat the pavement.


Yeah but when you have an attorney who's struggling to even make time to see family, it makes it kind of hard to just drop everything for a law student. I think that's where the "owing" part comes from. (And this is coming for someone who enjoys helping law student).

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mjb447

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:17 pm

zot1 wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Followup after some time has passed is fine, but people flaking is also just a normal part of cold email networking (particularly for busy people who don't owe you anything). I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.

The bolded always gets me. Not saying that alums should be jumping through hoops to help their alma mater, but by helping alums get jobs actually helps boost their reputation if the school's reputation increases by having more employed graduates post-law school. I find it far too common for attorneys to take the position "Well, I had it tough, so you'll just have to suffer and make your own path/luck like I did."

But to OP: Yeah, cold-e-mailing sucks but it's necessary if you want to broaden your network. Just be happy you don't have to beat the pavement.


Yeah but when you have an attorney who's struggling to even make time to see family, it makes it kind of hard to just drop everything for a law student. I think that's where the "owing" part comes from. (And this is coming for someone who enjoys helping law student).

Yeah, that's basically what I meant. There are lots of demands on an attorney's time, and an unemployed alum looking for a favor is probably pretty far down the priority list. Not saying attorneys should flake, but I understand why they do. (I also don't know that I buy the 'it redounds to your benefit' argument, at least enough to make a difference at the margins.)

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:54 pm

zot1 wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:
mjb447 wrote:Followup after some time has passed is fine, but people flaking is also just a normal part of cold email networking (particularly for busy people who don't owe you anything). I'm not sure there's really a "way too often" for this.

The bolded always gets me. Not saying that alums should be jumping through hoops to help their alma mater, but by helping alums get jobs actually helps boost their reputation if the school's reputation increases by having more employed graduates post-law school. I find it far too common for attorneys to take the position "Well, I had it tough, so you'll just have to suffer and make your own path/luck like I did."

But to OP: Yeah, cold-e-mailing sucks but it's necessary if you want to broaden your network. Just be happy you don't have to beat the pavement.


Yeah but when you have an attorney who's struggling to even make time to see family, it makes it kind of hard to just drop everything for a law student. I think that's where the "owing" part comes from. (And this is coming for someone who enjoys helping law student).

Agreed with all this and it's something law students should consider and understand before contacting alumni. This isn't a 9-5 job. Every half hour someone spends talking with you is likely another half hour they'll be in the office that night. Be appreciative and respectful of people's time, come prepared with specifics that you want to discuss, and don't act entitled to their help or their time.

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mornincounselor

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby mornincounselor » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:15 pm

Add value as opposed to taking it.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby run26.2 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:28 pm

zot1 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
smallfirmassociate wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.


As a guy who gets emails like this, please don't do this. I comes across as pushy, not accommodating.

Yeah I think this would be the end of our conversation if you did this.


Seriously. This is insane.

Right. Because, you know, when a busy attorney says "Here's my schedule, let's set something up," it's being pushy to propose a time that's within the available times. Having set up multiple meetings with busy people in this manner, I don't think the attorney would end the conversation there.

Busy people want things to be easy. If they don't want to do it, they can decline. I think one reason the OP is probably not getting responses is because the exchange requires the attorney to stop and pick again. I'll grant maybe one more email that says "How about Monday, April 3 at 3:00 PM? If that works, I'll send an invite." But putting in a bunch of options that requires someone to go back through and pick is going to be met with a slower response or no response.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:55 pm

run26.2 wrote:
zot1 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
smallfirmassociate wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I'd send a calendar invite that is at a reasonable time that fits within their schedule with a note saying if that time doesn't work to propose another time that does. You can request a response, so you know if they've accepted. I'd also follow up 1-2 days before reminding them of the meeting.


As a guy who gets emails like this, please don't do this. I comes across as pushy, not accommodating.

Yeah I think this would be the end of our conversation if you did this.


Seriously. This is insane.

Right. Because, you know, when a busy attorney says "Here's my schedule, let's set something up," it's being pushy to propose a time that's within the available times. Having set up multiple meetings with busy people in this manner, I don't think the attorney would end the conversation there.

Busy people want things to be easy. If they don't want to do it, they can decline. I think one reason the OP is probably not getting responses is because the exchange requires the attorney to stop and pick again. I'll grant maybe one more email that says "How about Monday, April 3 at 3:00 PM? If that works, I'll send an invite." But putting in a bunch of options that requires someone to go back through and pick is going to be met with a slower response or no response.

Is this trolling or no?

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby Nebby » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:15 am

I can see sending a calender invite only after the attorney alum agreed to a time, but before you get a firm time it's just weirdly aggressive.

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:35 am

Nebby wrote:I can see sending a calender invite only after the attorney alum agreed to a time, but before you get a firm time it's just weirdly aggressive.

Agreed. I think it's on the line even after you agree to a time. But before that point, it's not even a close call: don't do it.

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Pokemon

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:31 am

Yeah, you definitely do not want to seem too aggressive because the automatic response from most people would be too ignore you.

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lymenheimer

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Re: What to do if Alumni flakes/stops responding?

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:53 am

Everytime I read this title I wonder what "alumni flakes" are.



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