Speaking of depressing things, interviews are frequently followed by rejection. Trust me, I know; I’ve received many rejections over the years. I recently contributed one of my “favorite” rejection letters to an online compilation (see page 27 of the pamphlet, or page 15 of the PDF, reprinted with the permission of Justice Scalia).
That was a kind and gracious rejection letter, which is what you’d expect from a genteel institution like the U.S. Supreme Court. When Biglaw firms turn your dreams to shame, they aren’t quite as nice….
Our first rejection letter comes from my former firm. The tipster, a student at a T14 law school, explains:
I recently participated in the Lavender Law Conference. I talked to several firms that participated in the career fair, and I passed by one (Wachtell Lipton) whose table never had any students there to talk to the associates representing the firm. I sat down and struck up a conversation with the two associates. As I was leaving a few minutes later, they asked for my résumé and transcript.
The firm then sent me this slapdash “ding” email.
Wachtell Lipton has a reputation for perfection, so maybe it’s comforting to see them screw up every now and then:
Thank you for submitting you resume to our representatives at the Lavender Law Career Fair. After careful consideration, I regret that we are unable to invite you for interviews at our office.
Thank you for your interest in the Firm and I wish you the very best of luck in your future endeavors.
[Signed By Full Name]
Sorry, [Salutation], but you can’t join our cult. Very Truly Yours, [Signed By Full Name].
In Wachtell’s defense, the firm’s expertise lies in mergers, not mail merge. And this is, in the grand scheme of things, a tiny blooper; we’ve seen so much worse from major law firms.
At least Wachtell sent an email. Here’s some background on our second rejection letter of the day:
Attached is a redacted copy of a rejection letter I received from King & Spalding sent BY CERTIFIED MAIL. What’s wrong with a simple email? Or even regular mail?
First, I had to schlep all the way to the post office. I had no idea why anyone was sending me certified mail. After waiting in line for about 30 minutes, the clerk provided me with the necessary documents to sign and then retrieved the letter.
I saw the clerk approach me with a certified letter from King & Spalding! My heart started beating – my God, I thought, what have I done to merit a certified letter from this law firm? Am I being sued? What did I do?
It was an agonizing 30 or so seconds before the clerk finally allowed me to open the letter…. and then it was a standard rejection letter.
So, I guess K&S REALLY wanted to know that I got their rejection letter. Thanks, K&S, for forcing me to schlep to the post office, wait on line, and giving me heart palpitations… but next time I think a simple email would be fine.
For your viewing pleasure, here’s the K&S rejection letter, in all its certified glory (click to enlarge):
Have a rejection letter you’d like to share with us? Send it our way via email (subject line: “Rejection Letter”). Feel free to redact your identifying information or mention in your transmittal message that you’d like us to redact.
We may receive more submissions than we’ll have the ability to use. But don’t worry; if we don’t print yours, we promise not to send you a rejection letter.
Reflections on Rejections [Harvard University]
Earlier: Some Thoughts About On-Campus Interviewing
The Chart That Should Make Everybody Doing On-Campus Interviewing Absolutely Freaking Terrified
Either Wachtell Is A Cult Or This Firm Profile Is Missing Something
Rejection Letter of the Day: Srry, But Yuo Can’t Spel Gud