Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

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Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:47 pm

Current 2L with a NYC v50 SA lined up. There is one partner at the firm who handles all of the work for a very niche area of law that I am interested in. Would it be inappropriate/a breach of etiquette to reach out to him for an informational interview about his practice before my SA starts?

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UVA2B

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:49 pm

Why would that be a breach of etiquette if the partner is at the firm you're going to next summer? He might not want to give you the time, especially nearing the holidays, but it's not some breach of etiquette to ask attorneys more about their practice, especially if you're hoping to get staffed on their work.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby ookoshi » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:30 pm

At my firm associates are encouraged to take the incoming summer class out to lunch if they're local or if they let us know they're in town. If you have questions about that practice area, an associate from that practice group is more likely to make the time to answer them. You can just let the partner know you're looking forward to the summer and that you're interested in getting work from that practice area by e-mail, with an offer to meet for coffee if he has the time.

Reaching out is fine, but "informational interview" sounds like you're treating this as some sort of formal meeting. Keep it casual, and err on the side of taking up less time. It will show that you respect how valuable their time is.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current 2L with a NYC v50 SA lined up. There is one partner at the firm who handles all of the work for a very niche area of law that I am interested in. Would it be inappropriate/a breach of etiquette to reach out to him for an informational interview about his practice before my SA starts?

I don't think it would be a breach of etiquette, but the request might seem odd and/or annoying. Partners are busy. Many would think something like: "We set aside lots of our time during the summer for this sort of thing. Why does this student need to take up my time to talk about this now?"

If you decide to reach out, follow ookoshi's advice.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby cron1834 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:06 pm

This is literally what the summer program is for. Is there some reason why you need to do this beforehand? I wouldn’t call it inappropriate, but at a minimum it’s a little odd. In my summer class, I heard of two people doing this. One was a definite oddball, and the other vaguely knew a partner through family friends or something. Maybe a bunch of other people did it and kept it to themselves, but I kinda doubt it.

Edit - basically what rpupkin said. I would probably wait.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:21 pm

OP here: thanks for the input.

Unfortunately there aren't any associates listed under this practice area on the website, otherwise I would definitely start with them. Unclear if that means this is a one-person shop, or if the associates just decided not to add it to their bios.

The reason I'm considering reaching out now, as opposed to waiting until summer, is that the firm has limited rotation program for summers, and there's no guarantee I'd have any exposure to this guy or the practice unless I proactively request to rotate through the general group.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby runinthefront » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: thanks for the input.

Unfortunately there aren't any associates listed under this practice area on the website, otherwise I would definitely start with them. Unclear if that means this is a one-person shop, or if the associates just decided not to add it to their bios.

The reason I'm considering reaching out now, as opposed to waiting until summer, is that the firm has limited rotation program for summers, and there's no guarantee I'd have any exposure to this guy or the practice unless I proactively request to rotate through the general group.

I would not reach out now for the reasons already stated in the thread. Partners are busy, and that's what the summer is for.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ookoshi

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby ookoshi » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:47 am

As an alternative, you can e-mail the recruiting contact to say you're interesting in rotating through that group. Some firms do set up a rotation schedule prior to the start of the summer, so reaching out to the recruiter should be fine.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:37 am

Idk if it’s different since I’m not a law student yet, but I work at K&E as a junior paralegal right now and I’ve had multiple partners sit down with me for lunch or coffee to talk about law school, where they went, their experiences, etc. It’s been great and they’ve been super nice and enthusiastic!

Idk, I feel like it’s worth a shot but I would keep it informal, like just say you’re interested in their practice area and would love to chat some time about it over lunch or coffee. But everyone feel free to tell me if I’m completely wrong here.

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Re: Reaching out to a partner before 2L SA?

Postby cron1834 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:Idk if it’s different since I’m not a law student yet, but I work at K&E as a junior paralegal right now and I’ve had multiple partners sit down with me for lunch or coffee to talk about law school, where they went, their experiences, etc. It’s been great and they’ve been super nice and enthusiastic!

Idk, I feel like it’s worth a shot but I would keep it informal, like just say you’re interested in their practice area and would love to chat some time about it over lunch or coffee. But everyone feel free to tell me if I’m completely wrong here.

Surely you can tell that there are two big differences between your situation and OP’s... you already work there, and you’re not scheduled to join the summer associate program in a few months.

Again, I don’t think you’re COMPLETELY wrong or that OP would be considered INAPPROPRIATE for asking. But it just seems totally needless. OP will have every opportunity to do this for ten weeks, when people will actually welcome it.



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