Ever wondered about sending thank you emails after legal interviews? To whom should you address the note? Should you send a letter or an email? Keep reading for the answers to everything you need to know about post-interview thank you emails.
The Skinny on Sending Thank You Emails After Legal Interviews:
- Send them, but minimize the time you spend drafting them.
- As a general rule, if you interview with more than two attorneys, send one email and ask that attorney to extend your appreciation to her team.
- If you don’t know the interviewer’s email address, there are many ways to find it.
Read on to learn more…
Do Thank You Emails After Law Firm Interviews Help You Get the Job?
Truthfully, it depends.
In most cases, the employer has already made up her mind before you send the thank you email.
When I handled associate and law clerk hiring at a law firm, thank you emails never made a difference either way. That said, some employers are sticklers about thank you emails.
So my advice is to send them, but minimize the time you spend drafting them.
Should I Send Thank You Emails After Legal Interviews or a Hand-Written Note?
Please do not waste time and effort on hand-written notes.
Stick with emails, especially in the work-from-home era. One reason to favor emails over hand-written notes is that the employer will receive the email more quickly. This is especially important if the employer does value thank you emails.
Regarding timing, aim to send your thank you email within 24 to 48 hours of your interview.
What is the Appropriate Length for Thank You Emails After Law Firm Interviews?
Keep them short. There are at least two reasons for this.
- The longer the email, the more opportunities to make a typographical or grammatical error; and
- Since your law firm thank you email might not make a difference, you shouldn’t waste too much time writing a lengthy email.
That said, you should take it seriously when writing these emails and be sincere.
I recommend two brief paragraphs at most. The contents of the email should consist of:
- A sentence expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to interview;
- A sentence that communicates your interest in the employer; and
- A sentence stating that you are happy to provide additional information if need be.
And that’s it. Keep it sincere, short, and simple.
Related: Curious about whether it’s okay to drink during a callback interview? Find out here.
What if I Interviewed with Five Attorneys? How many Thank You Emails Should I Send?
Send one. As a general rule, if you interview with more than two lawyers, you do not need to send a separate email to each interviewer.
Instead, send an email to the attorney who coordinated the interview or the hiring partner. In that email, ask her to extend your appreciation to her colleagues.
She will likely forward the email along to them, or–if you interviewed with numerous attorneys–she will let them know during the hiring committee meeting or otherwise.
I’ve heard law students suggest sending the email to one attorney and copying every other interviewer. Please do not do this. Attorneys receive a ton of emails.
It is better to send it to one attorney and let her decide how to distribute it.
How Should I Address Thank You Emails After Legal Interviews?
That depends on a number of factors and your personal judgment. If the environment was laid back and you were encouraged to use first names during the interview process, you can go ahead and use the interviewer’s first name in the thank you email.
However, when in doubt, you can rarely go wrong with formality.
One word of caution: I see students using the title “Mrs.” in thank you emails and cover letters. “Mrs.” is almost never appropriate in interview correspondence. Instead–even if you know the interviewer is married–use “Ms.”
If you’d like to avoid gender assumptions, you can use first names or “Mx.”
Another word of caution: In most circumstances, you should address everyone the same. For example, it is rarely appropriate to use a first name with some attorneys and a more formal title with others.
This, again, boils down to judgment though. If there is a very large age gap, it may be appropriate.
In most cases, when you interview with multiple attorneys, you will only send one thank you email, so hopefully, this gives all the guidance you need. But if you have a question, please ask it below in the comment section.
Related: Getting ready for OCI? Here are some tips to help you prepare.
What Should I Write for the Subject Line in My Thank You Emails After Law Firm Interviews?
Your subject line can be as simple as “Thank you for the Interview.”
Don’t spend too much time wracking your brain to come up with unique subject lines. While it isn’t okay to send identical emails to multiple attorneys at the same firm, you don’t need to vary your subject line.
How Can I Avoid Grammatical and Typographical Errors in my Law Firm Thank You Emails?
Keep them short and walk away–for a little while–before sending.
Again, the shorter the email the fewer opportunities you have to make a mistake.
Shortly after the interview–ideally when you get home–sit down and draft your thank you emails.
Then save them as a draft and return to them at least an hour later to proofread them before sending.
Even better, if you have the capacity, print them. You will notice errors more easily on printed paper. Or ask a friend to review them for typographical and grammatical errors.
What if I Don’t Know the Interviewer’s Email Address?
This happens a lot. The first place to start is the employer’s webpage. Many employers list attorney email addresses on each attorney’s page.
If there is a link to send an email, you can generally right-click the link to copy the email address.
If neither of these is an option, next visit your state bar’s webpage. Most state bars have an attorney directory that lists the email addresses and other contact information for attorneys licensed in the state.
The next step is to ask your career advisor. Most career advisors have relationships with legal employers, and they may have the attorney’s email address on file.
If, and only if, all of the above steps fail, you can call the firm and speak to a receptionist to inquire about the attorney’s email address. Don’t ask to speak to the attorney; instead, ask the receptionist for the email address.
Note that it is never appropriate to contact an employer via the webpage contact form. This is for clients.
Related: Wondering whether that rumor you heard is true? Click here for some common law school myths.
Conclusion on Sending Thank You Emails After Law Firm Interviews
I hope that I answered all your questions about sending thank you emails after legal interviews. But if not, please pop them in the comments below. I’ll answer your question and/or update the article!
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