Cold approaching a professor who worked where I want to work

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sayan
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Cold approaching a professor who worked where I want to work

Postby sayan » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:02 pm

This professor I discovered on my school's website worked at a top firm doing exactly the type of work I'd like to do. He was partner there before leaving for academia. I very much want to work at that firm, and I think my grades will be above what they want, but I know callback success requires more than just grades.

Would it be worthwhile to approach him and strike up a conversation? Would he be able to help me at OCI if I were to show a genuine interest in his research and maybe even do part-time research for him over the summer (while doing my full time internship)?

If so, how should I approach him? I mean, I can email him saying "Hi, I read your paper and it was interesting. Could we discuss it some time at your office hours?" But that sounds shoddy. If it's possible for him to help me down the road at OCI, how do I make sure I can develop a connection?

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kurla88
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Re: Cold approaching a professor who worked where I want to work

Postby kurla88 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:15 pm

sayan wrote:This professor I discovered on my school's website worked at a top firm doing exactly the type of work I'd like to do. He was partner there before leaving for academia. I very much want to work at that firm, and I think my grades will be above what they want, but I know callback success requires more than just grades.

Would it be worthwhile to approach him and strike up a conversation? Would he be able to help me at OCI if I were to show a genuine interest in his research and maybe even do part-time research for him over the summer (while doing my full time internship)?

If so, how should I approach him? I mean, I can email him saying "Hi, I read your paper and it was interesting. Could we discuss it some time at your office hours?" But that sounds shoddy. If it's possible for him to help me down the road at OCI, how do I make sure I can develop a connection?


Email him and ask to chat about the practice area you are interested in or some such. He'll say yes. Do some research on him before you go. Then see how it goes.

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PomasThynchon
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Re: Cold approaching a professor who worked where I want to work

Postby PomasThynchon » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:25 pm

sayan wrote:This professor I discovered on my school's website worked at a top firm doing exactly the type of work I'd like to do. He was partner there before leaving for academia. I very much want to work at that firm, and I think my grades will be above what they want, but I know callback success requires more than just grades.

Would it be worthwhile to approach him and strike up a conversation? Would he be able to help me at OCI if I were to show a genuine interest in his research and maybe even do part-time research for him over the summer (while doing my full time internship)?

If so, how should I approach him? I mean, I can email him saying "Hi, I read your paper and it was interesting. Could we discuss it some time at your office hours?" But that sounds shoddy. If it's possible for him to help me down the road at OCI, how do I make sure I can develop a connection?


You literally have nothing to lose from emailing him/going to his office. That doesn't sound shoddy at all. Congrats on doing your due diligence-read your professor's stuff and discuss it with him and segue into your career goals. I don't know how similar law school is to undergrad, but tell him about your grades/interests, and you'd love to work with him in some capacity doing research or whatnot. If you have the time, take a class with him. Just do stuff that shows initiative. Think of your most ambitious friend and what he/she would do. I'm just a 0L, but those are the things I did in undergrad.

Renzo
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Re: Cold approaching a professor who worked where I want to work

Postby Renzo » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:29 pm

Absolutely talk to him. I'd just email him and say, "I saw that you were a partner doing X at Y, and that's exactly what I want to do. Would you mind if I came by your office to talk to you about your experience?"

HOWEVER do not, do not, do not, ask/hint/imply/think that he's going to help you get a job directly. It will sour the conversation, and nip any relationship that might develop right in the bud. It will help you at OCI, but the way it will help you is when you are asked, "why us?" and you say, "well, I'm interested in X, and after speaking to Professor Z about X, I learned A,B, and C about Y, and it confirmed for me that I would really like to do X at Y!"

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sayan
Posts: 316
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Re: Cold approaching a professor who worked where I want to work

Postby sayan » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:19 pm

Renzo wrote:Absolutely talk to him. I'd just email him and say, "I saw that you were a partner doing X at Y, and that's exactly what I want to do. Would you mind if I came by your office to talk to you about your experience?"

HOWEVER do not, do not, do not, ask/hint/imply/think that he's going to help you get a job directly. It will sour the conversation, and nip any relationship that might develop right in the bud. It will help you at OCI, but the way it will help you is when you are asked, "why us?" and you say, "well, I'm interested in X, and after speaking to Professor Z about X, I learned A,B, and C about Y, and it confirmed for me that I would really like to do X at Y!"


Indeed, you're right. Guess I'll give it a whirl.




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