This can be quite a project but if you are willing to put in the time and effort (and work on your salesperson skills), you should eventually be able to connect. Here are some thoughts:
- If first time, it is probably best to start with a letter or an e-mail.
- If you have already met (in-person or over the phone), make sure you have something meaningful to say.
- Even if you have some great news to report (i.e., you earned straight As or won moot court), consider writing a letter.
- If using the phone, consider whether you really need to speak to the partner or whether you can accomplish your goal (future in-person meeting or phone date) by speaking with the assistant.
- Befriend the partner’s assistant — the most important person standing between you and the partner.
- Strike a balance between being pushy and annoying but yet firm and clear in your desire to speak/meet directly with the partner.
- Do not leave voicemails which depends on the other person taking action.
- Ask the assistant the best way/times to connect with the partner.
- Stress that you only need five or so minutes of time.
- Be very flexible — you can come in whenever convenient and are willing to wait.
- Watch tone, use words carefully, and get right to the point (the assistant’s time is limited too).
- Do not take anything personal. Perhaps the assistant is short with you or even rude because he or she does not like you or is having a bad day. Not your concern. Your goal is to get that person to like you and help you.
Good luck! Feel free to post your results or share your experiences.