Bad Ideas, Email Scandals, Law Schools, Social Networking Websites

Networking 101: Don’t Send Networking Emails Like This One

Here at Above the Law, we’re still enjoying the awesomeness of 1Ls and 2Ls going to war over the appropriate use of a listserv.

Today we’ve got an email more mundane in subject matter, but no less objectionable. It’s from a 1L (of course), who is trying to “network” with fellow 1Ls.

And it’s written by a 1L at Thomas Jefferson Law School, which had a starring role in the recent, widely read New York Times article on the dangers of going to law school. So our more elitist readers are about to have a field day…

Networking is, of course, an important part of getting a job in this economy. But this 1L at TJSL made a crucial error. Instead of trying to make connections with employers or other people in a position to actually help him get a job, he’s trying to network with other 1Ls at Thomas Jefferson. (Maybe he should look into this internship while he’s at it.)

Sorry, the 1L made two crucial errors: he also comes across about as natural as Tom Cruise in a strip club. Here’s the email he sent to the entire first-year class:

I am an entering 1L student. Like all of you, I am proud to be associated with such a great institution and look forward to meeting as many of you as I can while attending law school.

One of the things I am very passionate about is networking. As you may see from my LinkedIn Profile, I am fairly well connected internationally in many business sectors, more specifically in the wireless, telecom, consumer electronics and internet sectors. I have few connections (or acquaintances) in the Legal sector and would be honored to connect with fellow students here at TJSL as I build that network. If this is something you are okay with, please use either of the links below to go straight to my profile page where you can “add me as a connection”. If you are not already a member of LinkedIn, it gives you an opportunity to sign up, should you want.

P.S. yes, I do also have a Facebook page if you’d rather connect with me there… just let me know.

Thank you for connecting with me.

You know, I feel kind of bad for this kid. He probably heard a career counselor say that “there’s no harm in sending an email,” or something like that. But when you send a message like the one he sent, there is a harm. As another TJSL 1L succinctly put it, “Read this…what a tool!”

Seriously, the danger of networking is that if you do it poorly, everybody thinks you’re a tool, and that’s what they remember. And you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

My only advice to this kid is that you “network” upward and “make friends” with your peers. And I know Nigerian princes who do a better job of sending out friendly emails.

Earlier: Law Students Tangle Over Prestige, Machine Guns, and Books; Hilarity Ensues

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