Why should you schedule an Informational Meeting?


 Informational meetings are exactly what they sound like–interviews with attorneys to get information, not jobs.  You contact an attorney and ask if he or she can talk to you about a particular practice area, locale to practice in, or merely how he or she got into that field.  You are looking for tips, not a job, so the pressure is off both of you. 

You first make contact by email or telephone, and ask if you could meet to talk about their practice, or refer to something they wrote or perhaps a case he or she tried.   At the end of the meeting, don’t forget to ask the attorney if he could suggest other people you should meet–that way when you call, you can say who referred you, which may lead to another informational meeting.  You can also ask the attorney whether it would be okay if you contacted them again down the road if you had more questions.

Be sure to show up on time (not early or late), and show up with good questions.  Prepare to be there about 20 minutes, unless your interviewer wants to continue your talk, and always always send a thank you note for their time. 

Although this is not a job interview, you are not asking for a job, they are not offering one, and absolutely no resumes are given, there have been many jobs secured down the road after a meeting of this kind.  In the future, that attorney may be looking for an associate, or hear of another opportunity he or she may relate to you. 

To read more of Jay Shepherd’s column, click here.