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UnknownIdentity

What does "keep in touch" mean?

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It sounds simple, but when a lawyer mentions "keep in touch", how do you do that?

  • For example, how often do you reach out? And with what content?
  • Is it a "I have been doing XYZ over the past few months" (I guess it's slightly easier as a law student with new projects at school, internships, etc., but what about articling life or junior life?)
  • Is it only when you have a legitimate question or career issue? 
  • Is it just a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year?
  • Do you ask them questions about themselves in addition to updating what you have been doing? 

I'm really not sure what to include in these e-mails, and I don't want to be bothering these lawyers either. And for the more experienced lawyers on here, what do you expect or like to see when you tell someone to keep in touch? Help please!

Edited by UnknownIdentity
Experienced lawyers expectations.

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Approximate translation:  If we happen to pass each other on the street, make eye contact, and nod upwards signaling an invitation to exchange trivial pleasantries.

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10 minutes ago, utmguy said:

Approximate translation:  If we happen to pass each other on the street, make eye contact, and nod upwards signaling an invitation to exchange trivial pleasantries.

This.

I don't think I've ever followed up after a 'keep in touch' unless there was a direct reason. 

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4 hours ago, UnknownIdentity said:

It sounds simple, but when a lawyer mentions "keep in touch", how do you do that?

  • For example, how often do you reach out? And with what content?
  • Is it a "I have been doing XYZ over the past few months" (I guess it's slightly easier as a law student with new projects at school, internships, etc., but what about articling life or junior life?)
  • Is it only when you have a legitimate question or career issue? 
  • Is it just a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year?
  • Do you ask them questions about themselves in addition to updating what you have been doing? 

I'm really not sure what to include in these e-mails, and I don't want to be bothering these lawyers either. And for the more experienced lawyers on here, what do you expect or like to see when you tell someone to keep in touch? Help please!

Don't contact me UNLESS I contact you

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If there is a pre-existing and genuine connection, then "keep in touch" might actually mean keep in touch. If, for example, one of your parents hooked you up with an old friend to help give you advice about starting a career in law. At that point it would almost be appropriate to confirm - as in "would you actually mind if I pick your brain every now and again?" Otherwise, as a throwaway line, it's meaningless.

Read the relationship and not the three word phrase. No lawyer that you spoke with for half an hour over coffee wants or imagines that they'll turn into your long-term mentor. If they were looking for a mentee (and some people do enjoy the role, and take it on meaningfully) they'd make their goal explicit. Otherwise, just leave them alone.

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I probably wouldn’t actively follow up with this lawyer unless, as Diplock mentioned, there is a pre-existing/genuine connection. I would take this to mean if they want to keep in touch with you, they will. Or if you see them at a networking event or something then go and say hello.

Perhaps if you find yourself in a situation where you are mid-recruitment with this lawyer’s firm and have a genuine question for the lawyer about the firm, that would be an appropriate time to reach out as well.

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