How/When to transition into in person meeting

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candidlatke

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How/When to transition into in person meeting

Postby candidlatke » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:15 pm

When it comes to networking with people that you haven't met (e.g. alum at a firm in a different market), what's the right way to go about suggesting an in-person meeting for coffee?

For ex. if email chain has currently gone like:

"Hi, I'm a student at your alma mater. Can I ask you for an informative interview over the phone?"
- "Sure, call me at this number at this time."
"Thanks for the information and talking to me."
- "No problem, good luck with finals/job stuff"

At this point, do I just go for it and ask "Hi, I will be in the area from this date to this date. Would you be free to talk over coffee?"


I can't find anything wrong with this objectively but for some reason, this still seems so forced to me. I was wondering if you guys have a better way of broaching this topic.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: How/When to transition into in person meeting

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:35 pm

What would the purpose of the in-person meeting be? Would it be some kind of organic thing where you hit it off with this person and want to chat more, or do you just think that you're supposed to move to an in-person meeting next? If you had a phone conversation with them and they answered questions you had, I would say that at this point you simply maintain the connection by staying in contact (checking in, letting them know how you're doing - esp if you can do something like say, "Hey, you had suggested X, and I tried it, and had this great outcome Y" - sending them a pertinent article, whatever). Setting up an in-person meeting isn't going to magically make them want to help you/pass along your resume more.

If there is something organic about it - like you really want to talk to them further about x or y or whatever - then just say that. Like, "your advice on how to structure a resume for field x was really helpful and I wondered if you'd be up for sitting down over coffee and giving me some honest feedback on mine?" But it sounds kind of like you've asked for a favor, and now you want to ask for another favor, and you haven't really done anything yet to return the first favor - I feel like you want to develop the relationship a bit further. Maybe it depends a little on the person and whether they seem like someone who wants to continue to mentor you. If they do, I still think a specific purpose for the in-person meeting would help.

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mjb447

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Re: How/When to transition into in person meeting

Postby mjb447 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:20 am

Yeah, it sounds forced because it's not clear what the reason for an in-person meeting is. If you're doing it for a particular reason, just ask to meet in person for that reason. If you're not doing it for a particular reason, don't do it - you could squander some of the good will/rapport you built up.

candidlatke

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Re: How/When to transition into in person meeting

Postby candidlatke » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:02 pm

Fair enough, that makes sense

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zot1

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Re: How/When to transition into in person meeting

Postby zot1 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:07 pm

FWIW I wouldn't have started with offering a phone call. I always invited people to coffee. Those who were too busy offered phone interviews instead.



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