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How did you "prove" name dropping on cover letter?

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I have mix views on this, someone told me do not mention it while others have said mention it. When you have talked to someone - wether coffee, lunch, or at a career event- about the firm how do you prove to the firm you talked to them? My concern is what if people do not remember me at the career event etc? Does "name dropping" help to worth the risk that the people I talked to do not remember me?

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Posted (edited)

Did you say you are going to quit law school or U of T  in another post.

 

 

Edited by Luckycharm

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Best not to, unless you've worked with them extensively (e.g. supervisor in a clinic, mentor). 

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If your interaction was so brief, just say "after speaking to a [student/associate/partner] at..." and leave it at that. Putting a specific name in is never going to truly add anything.

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Posted (edited)

I name dropped one associate for a firm but that was only because we actually knew each other. I would never name drop an associate or student I spoke to at an open house even if we had a really good conversation. They see so many people every day that I wouldn't fault them for not remembering me. 

I don't even remember the names of 90% of the people I spoke to at firms and those conversations were more important to me than them.

Edited by harveyspecter993
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, harveyspecter993 said:

I name dropped one associate for a firm but that was only because we actually knew each other. I would never name drop an associate or student I spoke to at an open house even if we had a really good conversation. They see so many people every day that I wouldn't fault them for not remembering me. 

I don't even remember the names of 90% of the people I spoke to at firms and those conversations were more important to me than them.

My question was if they would "dock points" for name dropping a person that forgot about you because I did not have coffee chats with everyone afterwards. I submitted a few apps with name drops of people that do not remember me so I am a bit anxious if I should continue it . The UofT cover letter samples all seem to name drop; of course I am not sure the context for them if they knew those people well enough. The Fasken sample name drop too 

Edited by Newfoundland

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I name dropped in my cover letter.  I named one partner at the firm who had worked on a pretty high profile human rights case,  and noted the comments that partner made in media interviews subsequent to the case.   Another partner I named is actively involved in a cause that I also support when possible.  Neither of them knew me,  but both have since commented positively on my naming them in the cover letter (though moreso in the context that they were happy to hear their contributions have been noticed, than it being the reason for my hire).  I name dropped to both demonstrate that I had looked into the firm, and to emphasize how these specific things aligned well with who I am, and why that meant I might fit in well at the firm.   

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Iheartcats said:

I name dropped in my cover letter.  I named one partner at the firm who had worked on a pretty high profile human rights case,  and noted the comments that partner made in media interviews subsequent to the case.   Another partner I named is actively involved in a cause that I also support when possible.  Neither of them knew me,  but both have since commented positively on my naming them in the cover letter (though moreso in the context that they were happy to hear their contributions have been noticed, than it being the reason for my hire).  I name dropped to both demonstrate that I had looked into the firm, and to emphasize how these specific things aligned well with who I am, and why that meant I might fit in well at the firm.   

That's not name dropping. Name dropping is claiming to know someone or mentioning you know them. You were showing interest in the firm's work which is quite different.

 

To the OP - at my firm and other firms, if you name drop someone the recruiter will ask the lawyer or student what they thought of you. So it could be a risk if they don't like you.

I also think it would look a bit weird if they don't remember you but I don't think it would be the end of the world.

I personally would not name drop someone unless I knew them, they were my clinic supervisor, CBA mentor or someone you have more of a relationship with.

I guess you could probably name drop someone you had an informational interview with if you think you connected and it went really well. I am not sure how much big firms would value this but I think boutiques or smaller firms would appreciate the demonstrated interest in their work.

I agree with others saying  not to name drop someone you just met at a networking event.

Edited by Starling
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I name dropped on the cover letter for every single firm, and most people I only had a quick phone call with about the firm. I was never asked about this and don't think it reflected poorly on me to put that on there. Tbh I think its pretty odd not to name drop because now it is standard to signal to a firm that you have taken the time to connect with someone from the firm. Just my 2 cents.

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I was name dropped in an application at my firm. It was very weird because he had legit never reached out to me before - he clearly saw my name on the website and checked out my LinkedIn profile (way to forget about private mode). Don't be that guy. 

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3 hours ago, artsydork said:

I was name dropped in an application at my firm. It was very weird because he had legit never reached out to me before - he clearly saw my name on the website and checked out my LinkedIn profile (way to forget about private mode). Don't be that guy. 

Had a similar thing happen:

What can you tell me about person X?

Should I know person X?

They mentioned you in their interview...

I have no idea who this person is...

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I name-dropped someone who was very, very nice to me during a firm tour. Like above-and-beyond, going-out-of-his-way nice. Wouldn't name drop anyone who I only spoke to briefly because I would have no way of knowing if they liked or remembered me.

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You should ask before you name drop because the recruiter may reach out to that person. The recruiter at my firm called the partner I name dropped and asked about his impression of me. I’m sure practices vary by firm but you don’t want to drop someone’s name only to have the recruiter follow up and them not remember you

It can be as simple as “I really enjoyed learning about X LLP during our conversation. Would you mind if I mentioned that I spoke to you in my cover letter?”

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31 minutes ago, healthlaw said:

You should ask before you name drop because the recruiter may reach out to that person. The recruiter at my firm called the partner I name dropped and asked about his impression of me. I’m sure practices vary by firm but you don’t want to drop someone’s name only to have the recruiter follow up and them not remember you

It can be as simple as “I really enjoyed learning about X LLP during our conversation. Would you mind if I mentioned that I spoke to you in my cover letter?”

Yes, this is the better approach if you intend to name drop.

I've met students before at open houses and spent time discussing my practice area and the firm. The students might find me memorable if they spent a long time there chatting. I'm not going to remember them without them prompting me.

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Name-dropping lawyers you've met with for a coffee is fine and normal practice.

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I only did it once when I was doing OCIs and it was because the lawyer I met was amazingly generous with his time and gave me a lot of good advice. He didn't have a problem with being mentioned in my cover letter. Whether the firm reached out to him I have no idea, but if they had, he would (presumably) have nice things to say about me or at least could have confirmed that he knew who I was.

In all my other applications I never mentioned that I met anyone and I got several interviews. I am not entirely sure it matters that much that you name drop someone you met, but if you did and it was an actually meaningful connection, there's no harm in doing it.

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Posted (edited)

Name dropping is fine to me as long as there's something of substance attached to it and there's a point to bringing them up, rather than just for the sake of it. For example, if you've interacted with them such that they will at least remember who you are, or like the example above, where you cite their work but don't know them, to show you've done your research. But make sure they actually exist. At one company I worked at, we had a student who when networking with the lawyers in my department name drop a lawyer that supposedly worked in the department and went on and on about him, but that person didn't exist at our company. It was extremely bizarre and made the student look crazy.

Edited by tanx

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