‘A good example of what not to do when you’re trying to network within your profession’
A TikToking lawyer has gone viral with her response to a law student who flipped when she declined to give him free one-to-one careers advice.
New York lawyer Cecillia X. Xie, who advises on privacy and data protection at Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) LLP and also runs a popular TikTok channel, has racked up over 250,000 likes in response to the bizarre exchange.
As she says, the “unhinged” email is “a good example of what not to do when you’re trying to network within your profession or find a mentor”.
As befits a privacy lawyer, Xie didn’t reveal the student’s full name, calling him simply “Benjamin”.
Benjamin wanted advice on getting into prestigious Duke Law School and emailed the attorney slash content creator asking whether she would “deign to share 10 minutes with me telephonically”. Xie replied to say that she doesn’t really do one-on-ones, given the size of her social media following, but to let her know any specific questions to potentially include in future videos.
She wasn’t prepared for the response. Benjamin wrote back: “I have an extremely hard time believing your ‘following’ is that abundant. You have plenty of time for a 10-minute call. It costs you nothing, makes you nothing”.
He went on to say that Xie’s stance was probably because she was “still young” and “you will become more altruistic as you age and gain material success”.
Benjamin added: “Go tell Jeff Bezos (or your senior partner for that matter) that you don’t have any time”. He signed off, “thanks for your microaggressive civility”.
thank god for anger management skills
Xie said she was tempted to report Benjamin’s rant to his uni and employer, but reminded herself that “professionalism dictates that you should never send emails or other communications in the heat of the moment — like Benjamin did”. Wise words.
Xie has over 380,000 followers on Tiktok, where she delivers careers advice, vlogs her life as a New York City attorney and opens up about her struggles with anxiety.