Advice

‘Can I send LinkedIn requests to lawyers I meet on my vac scheme?’

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I don’t want to come across cringe

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one soon-to-be vac schemer seeks guidance on LinkedIn etiquette.

“Hi Legal Cheek. I am due to start my first vacation scheme in a couple of weeks and I want to know what your readers’ thoughts are on sending LinkedIn requests to lawyers I meet during my time at the firm? I’ve read quite a few things online about LinkedIn etiquette (your recent conundrum on whether its OK to describe yourself as an ‘incoming vac schemer’, for example) and I am worried it might come across a bit cringe. Thank you.”

If you have a career conundrum, email us at team@legalcheek.com.

27 Comments

Associate

Yes tf is this question

MC MA

Absolutely, if there is reason to add them to your professional network – for example, I have had several vac schemers sit with me as their “principal” for all of part of the scheme (many, but not all, secured TCs), I think it’s entirely appropriate to link up with somebody in that scenario. Similarly trainee buddies etc you’re assigned on the scheme. I’ve even been added by people I’ve met at law fairs or on the milk round (again, fine by me!) but I wouldn’t go round adding every single person who gave a presentation you happened to sit in on, I like to keep it to people I’ve actually met / know one to one.

Graham

A conversation needs to be had about the online diarrhoea on LinkedIn that is law students

As if law students are not insufferable enough in person now they have to cringe everyone out online as well

A lawyer.

If you’ve had some sort of interaction with them, fine. But if you’ve clocked the senior partner across the cafeteria – probably not.

Anon

LinkedIn allows you to follow people instead of connecting with them. If you’re interested in what these people are up to and want to see their activity, then follow them. Save the connections for later.

Misc

This is the best answer. Adding people who you haven’t actually met in person as peers (i.e. once you are an associate), and/or worked with in some other role in the future, is simply annoying.

Harper

Don’t bother. It’s not gonna get you a TC

Previous Incoming, Current Future

Reaching out to people you’ve interacted with is absolutely fine, if they don’t want to accept then they can just ignore the request. Most people are happy to build their network with people in the same industry and jurisdiction, particularly if there’s a good chance they’ll be working in the same firm too.

I would suggest using LinkedIns “add a note” button when adding someone’s profile, and use that to politely say hello and mention where you interacted with the person, this makes it more likely they’ll accept the request and also could provide a starting point for you to ask questions about the firm and how you should act if they respond.

Graham

Yep adding a note makes it a lot more personal. I will always read a note on LinkedIn even if it’s a recruiter, as it shows they aren’t just spamming you with ‘Hello [Candidate]’.

If you’ve sat with them, had a good chat at an event or even if they gave a good presentation and you want to know more about the practice area, I think that’s fine – lawyers are often flattered anyone is interested in their job.

In the City

All of the above is true. It’s still not going to help them get a TC.

Anon

Might help them if they’ve got a point of contact and they want to lateral in in four years’ time though (which has happened to me). It’s amazing how long people remember a friendly face for.

Goose

No clue why you’ve been downvoted.

The interviewer does not care that you have people from the firm on LinkedIn

Anon

If it’s someone you’ve spent a lot of time with on your vac scheme and you got on well (and they’re likely to remember who you are!) then go ahead and connect. LinkedIn is for professional networking – regardless of whether you end up at that firm, it’s always useful to have contacts and connections elsewhere in the industry.

If you’ve never spoken to them or only had a handful of interactions, then stick to a follow. And bear in mind that doing so will make absolutely ZERO impact on whether the firm offers you a TC.

Kirkland NQ

If you’re looking for a TC at the ‘land, forget LinkedIn and get yourself to the nearest Lambo owner’s club. Far better networking and you may learn a thing or two for spending your fat NQ wedge.

Anna

Except, while extremely well paid, Kirkland NQ’s are in no position to buy a Lambo.

Kirkland NQ

My Chelsea Townhouse garage contains a scissor doored Italian beauty that would disagree with that.

HM?

You must have missed the sign which reads, “Do not feed the troll”.

Linklaters 2nd Year trainee

please tell me you truly joking Kirkland NQ.. Lol really.

Greg

Can always send a short email to the people you enjoyed working with saying nice to meet you I enjoyed my time. They’ll probably appreciate the kind words.

Anon

The men probably would treat it as flirting so be careful

Name

Yes, of course you can. That’s what Linkedin is for.

nick

LinkedIn is a marketing tool. If you produce content, having more followers and connections will increase your reach and (if you produce quality content) your reputation. I accept pretty much all requests to connect that are not spammy. A bright partner that understands the power of Linkedin at a law firm will do the same (not because he wants you following him) but when you like / engage with his posts, it will increase his hit rate.

Biglaw Bad Boy (was Bombay)

You’re behind the curve. Your competitors will have connected with everybody from reprographics to restructuring prior to the interview stage.

Big Coin Kirkie

I’ve heard partners LOVE this type of thing

AA

Zero upside and potential downside.

Roland

Find them on Instagram. Like their first photo. Shows you care.

Anon

Yes, it’s LinkedIn. This is precisely what LinkedIn is for.

Twitter or Facebook on the other hand, no. Twitter follows are fine I guess, just don’t expect a follow back.

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