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Foreverwaiting123

Cold emailing firms for articling - how to ask people for referrals

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I am a 3L student and have started cold emailing firms for articling. Even though I've tried customizing my emails to those firms, I haven't had much luck. One of the firms I plan to cold email has done previous pro bono work with a professor I am writing a directed research paper with. I know that having a connection or referral to a firm will grab that firm's attention, however, how does one go about getting that referral? Do I straight-out ask the professor that I'm interested in a firm she has worked with, and if I can name drop her? Or will I need the professor to literally refer me to that firm? (as in they need to decide whether they recommend me).

Also any advice with cold emailing would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks! 

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9 hours ago, Lawyertobe123 said:

I would just ask your professor if you can use her as a reference 

This would allow me to put her name in the subject title of the email? Ie "Articling Inquiry - Referred by Professor __." ? 

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20 minutes ago, Foreverwaiting123 said:

This would allow me to put her name in the subject title of the email? Ie "Articling Inquiry - Referred by Professor __." ? 

I think he meant as a reference letter.

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There's no one right way to do this, and the options available to you might depend on your relationship with the professor. If you have a good relationship with her, why not just talk to her about it? You can ask outright for an introduction, or leave it open for her to offer. I'd say something like this:

"I've been looking for an articling position. I'm interested in [area of law] and am drawn to [firm]. I know that you've worked with that firm previously on pro bono work. Would you be able to make an introduction to one of your contacts at the firm for me? / Do you have any advice for me for approaching the firm about a possible articling position [if you want to leave the door open for her to offer]?"

I don't know what the culture is like among professors, but in practice, if a student has an informational meeting with me as part of their articling/associate search and I like them, I'm immediately running through people I might know at relevant firms that I can introduce them to. If someone asked me for advice about reaching out to X firm, my first thought would be who I know that might be a good contact point. It's quite common, and you might have similar results if you have a good relationship with your professor.

Sure, you could just ask if you could use her name when reaching out, but I'd think the firm is much more likely to respond if they see a familiar name as the sender/caller. You might also get some vouching from it if she likes your work.

Edited by barelylegal

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