Below is LegalJob’s response to another question about best practices for follow-up.


Q:  I had an informational type interview today with a partner at ______ [an AmLaw 100 firm].  I think it went as well as to be expected; he said they are not currently looking for an associate but that he was impressed with my credentials and plans to keep my resume on file.  I assumed that was a throw away line until he asked me to send him a reference list so he has it if and when something comes up.  Is there anything to do other than sending a short thank you e-mail with a list of a couple of my references?


Answer:  Yes, you have been thrown a softball.  Now it is time to hit it out of the park.  Consider doing the following three things:

  1. Take the extra time to type a sincere thank you letter addressing specifics about your conversation (and in particular items that he said and your thoughts about it) and send in tomorrow’s mail at latest.
  2. Send him the reference list but do not stop there.  Ask one of your references to provide you a recommendation letter that is tailored toward this job, addressed to the person who interviewed you, and explaining why you are a match for the firm.  You don’t want to push your contact but the letter should come within two weeks, if possible.  He gave you an opening.  Run with it.
  3. Think of another reason to keep in contact with this person for your round two follow-up so you can stay on his radar screen.  Some examples of excuses for additional contact:  a) You win moot court; b) you finish a writing sample; c) something significant (good) happens at your job; d) you get some more As to report; e) you find an article that is relevant to the interviewers practice; and f) something significant happens to a sports team he follows, etc.  Contact him again with the news in about three weeks or a month (sooner or later depending on whether you have something reasonable to say).