Thank you notes

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AlwaysPlayTheFox

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Thank you notes

Postby AlwaysPlayTheFox » Wed May 10, 2017 4:01 pm

Should thank you notes be sent to chambers after an interview? Is there a consensus on this?

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 10, 2017 4:41 pm

I'm a current d.ct. clerk involved in interviewing candidates.

I don't care if you send me a thank you note after our interview, but my co-clerk does. Since you have no way of knowing which clerks will care, and because it involves so little effort on your part, you might as well send individual thank you notes to everyone (clerks and judge, hell, maybe even the JA if she was nice and chatted with you before your interview). The time and postage you save is not worth potentially pissing off somebody with a lot of power over your application (even if its rather unreasonable reason to be pissed off).

Fireworks2016

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby Fireworks2016 » Wed May 10, 2017 9:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current d.ct. clerk involved in interviewing candidates.

I don't care if you send me a thank you note after our interview, but my co-clerk does. Since you have no way of knowing which clerks will care, and because it involves so little effort on your part, you might as well send individual thank you notes to everyone (clerks and judge, hell, maybe even the JA if she was nice and chatted with you before your interview). The time and postage you save is not worth potentially pissing off somebody with a lot of power over your application (even if its rather unreasonable reason to be pissed off).


+1. My judge is a little bit old-school and he specifically mentioned my thank you note when chatting for a few minutes after he offered. Keep them short and genuine, but I think it could potentially make a difference (even if it's tiny).

cheaptilts

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby cheaptilts » Wed May 10, 2017 10:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a current d.ct. clerk involved in interviewing candidates.

I don't care if you send me a thank you note after our interview, but my co-clerk does. Since you have no way of knowing which clerks will care, and because it involves so little effort on your part, you might as well send individual thank you notes to everyone (clerks and judge, hell, maybe even the JA if she was nice and chatted with you before your interview). The time and postage you save is not worth potentially pissing off somebody with a lot of power over your application (even if its rather unreasonable reason to be pissed off).

Does your judge not de-brief with you and your co-clerks immediately after the candidate leaves chambers?

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rpupkin

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 11, 2017 1:00 am

Anonymous User wrote: The time and postage you save is not worth potentially pissing off somebody with a lot of power over your application (even if its rather unreasonable reason to be pissed off).

Sure, no one should care about the cost of time and postage. But that's not the only potential cost here. The downside of thank-you notes is that they hurt you if executed poorly. So, if you're going to send a thank-you note, make damn sure that every word is spelled correctly. And be careful with the "personalize every thank-you note" advice. Highly personalized thank-you notes can be pretty weird.

I get that a few folks value thank-you notes, so perhaps that's reason enough to send them. But I'll say this: I have never—either as a clerk or as an attorney—received a thank-you note that made me feel more positive about someone I interviewed. But I have received post-interview thank-you notes that made me question the person's social judgment. So proceed with caution.

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 1:02 am

cheaptilts wrote:Does your judge not de-brief with you and your co-clerks immediately after the candidate leaves chambers?

He does, but a decision isn't always made immediately during that debriefing. Often we wait until we interview several candidates and then compare them. I can see some clerks (not me) counting a lack of a thank-you note against you in a later hiring discussion with the judge.

Nosso

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby Nosso » Thu May 11, 2017 9:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:Does your judge not de-brief with you and your co-clerks immediately after the candidate leaves chambers?

He does, but a decision isn't always made immediately during that debriefing. Often we wait until we interview several candidates and then compare them. I can see some clerks (not me) counting a lack of a thank-you note against you in a later hiring discussion with the judge.


I know this isn't you, but what a batshit reason to reject someone.

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mjb447

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby mjb447 » Thu May 11, 2017 9:53 am

I generally don't send them - there's a sweet spot that I'm never quite able to achieve between totally generic and overly familiar, and I think sending one that's too far in either direction can be worse than not sending anything at all.

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 11:23 am

mjb447 wrote:I generally don't send them - there's a sweet spot that I'm never quite able to achieve between totally generic and overly familiar, and I think sending one that's too far in either direction can be worse than not sending anything at all.


Same anon as above. I totally get this concern, as I have received some borderline creepy thank-you notes. From talking with my co-clerk (and another current clerk I know in a different chambers who also cares about thank you notes), my sense is that these people view it in a binary fashion. In other words, they care that you took the time to send a note, not so much about its contents.

As such, my recommendation (concededly based on a sample size of 3 clerks' preferences) would be to send very short, bare bones notes, without much customization unless something clearly jumps out to you. Using this strategy you check the box in the mind of the people who view thank-you notes in a binary fashion, but limit your chance of messing up/sounding creepy by keeping it short and relatively generic. Of course, there are probably crazy people out there who care about content/customization, but as mjb said, its hard to strike the right balance, and you cant please everyone.

lolwat

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Re: Thank you notes

Postby lolwat » Thu May 11, 2017 12:24 pm

I do not think I sent thank you notes to either the judge who hired me or the firm that hired me. Might have sent a quick e-mail to the partners at the firm.

I've now been on the giving and receiving end of them and while I know some people still like them and may count it against you for not sending one, I would consider not sending any more thank you notes at all. Unless the interview/conversations ended so abruptly that you didn't have time to thank the people you met with before leaving. (But if you got ushered out that quickly, somehow I have doubts about your chances.)



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