How to Mass Mail to Get a Law Firm Job

By Jane E. Edited by Lemon Law School

Mass mailing is the process sending out hundreds of applications to different law firms in hopes of receiving interview invitations from some of them. This occurs outside the pipeline recruiting process. It can be thought of as a form of direct networking, which is along the same vein as cold-emailing attorneys. 

Why Mass Email?

There are several reasons someone may want to mass email firms. Some are 1Ls who are pursuing rare, highly sought-after 1L summer associate jobs with a Big Law firm. Some may have struck out at law school job fairs such as on-campus interviews (OCI). Others may be students who just want to maximize their chances of getting a BigLaw job or who want to pursue a legal market not represented at OCI. 

However, mass emailing is going to take some extra work on top of your regular law school workload since getting results is a numbers game. The work was two-fold: finding the recruiters’ contact information and creating a massive excel sheet to streamline the process. 

Within a week of mass emailing, I sent out over two hundred emails to law firms recruiting directors/coordinators across the country. I received at least 6-7 interview invites from this effort, including 2 from V100 firms’ New York offices. 

For those who struck out during OCI or are facing a possible strike-out, your goal is to reach as many law firms/offices as possible within a short amount of time. Many firms continue to review resumes and conduct interviews on a rolling basis after OCIs before fulfilling all their SA positions. The earlier your resume gets into the inbox of the recruiters, the better chance you may have of receiving interview invites. 

Outside the OCI context, some may hope to use direct networking methods for job hunting. In such cases, mass emailing is a good option to effectively reach a large number of employers without spending tens of hours on tailoring emails manually to address each firm recruiter. However, mass emailing is a poor option for those who need to greatly customize each email for each firm. 

Let’s take a look at how you can mass email firms step-by-step.

How to Mass Mail Firms

Step 1. Know your geographic priorities. 

Being flexible with your desired legal market opens more opportunities. However, it doesn’t make much sense to invest your energy and time to research law firms in South Dakota if you have zero connection with the state. I prioritized the cities where I had the strongest connections. Here is a list of locations you should consider as your top priorities: 

  • Home City/State
  • City/State where you attended college/graduate school/law school
  • City/State where the community for your practice area is particularly strong
  • City/State where your family members currently live or will move to 
  • City/State where your significant other currently lives or will move to
  • City/State where you wish to settle down
  • Any other locations you genuinely wish to work and live in

Step 2. Identify a desirable mass mail program and learn how it works. 

Try testing the mass mail program with a few test emails to make sure it works. There are many handy mass mailing programs out there. I used Gmail and found YAMM (Yet Another Mail Merge) to be an effective tool for this purpose. I highly recommend it to other Gmail users. The rest of this step-by-step guide will be based on my experience with YAMM, but I’m confident that it applies to other programs of similar functions.

Step 3. Draft the email body for your mass mail. 

This email should be direct, concise, and generic in nature. Be clear with your goal upfront. You are seeking the recruiter’s attention to spend a few seconds on your attached resume. Make it easy for the recruiters to understand why you are a good candidate for the firm. 

I did this by listing out my most relevant skills in the email body, so that the recruiters could quickly see why my background was suited for their job openings. 

Here is an email example: 

Dear {{Name}},

I hope this email finds you well.

My name is [X]. I’m writing to apply for a 202X summer associate position at {{Firm}} {{Location}} office. I’m particularly interested in joining the firm’s [X] practices. I believe the following aspects of my background will enable me to contribute as a summer associate at your firm:

• Strong legal research and writing skills, honed as a summer intern at the Big Corporation’s legal department.  
• Acute attention to details, dedicated work ethic, and capability to work in a high pressure environment, developed through intensive academic training at the [X] University and many research positions that I hold. 
• Native fluency in Spanish.  
• Qualified for Patent Bar.  
My resume and 1L transcript are attached. A cover letter is readily available upon request. 
Looking forward to hearing back from you soon. 

Regards, 
Signature

Keep your email simple. You don’t want to have to customize every email for each firm because that would defeat the purpose of mass mailing. 

Also, don’t forget to put some thought into the subject line. The mass emailing program YAMM allows you to customize the subject line as well.

Step 4. Collect recruiters’ contact information.

Create a blank Excel sheet while thinking through what firm-specific information you’ll need to include in your email. For the email example in Step 3, we’ll need at least four distinct pieces of information for each email:

  • The recruiter’s email address 
  • The recruiter’s name 
  • The firm’s full name
  • The office location

To find this information, you can look through the firms’ websites. However, there are a few issues with this approach. First, many firms do not list their recruiter’s contact information online. Second, each law firm’s website has a different interface, some of which will certainly take you more time to navigate than others. 

Thus, the most efficient way is to use the NALP directory. Here are some screenshots of the site for you to see where I found the exact information I needed. 

Let’s look at Orrick as an example. First thing you do, search for Orrick in the search bar.

Your search results will include a list of Orrick offices at different locations. Click on your target location(s). 

Next, we want to find the recruiter’s name and contact information. Click on “Basic Information” on the top bar and look at the right side of the page. You’ll find everything you need on the gray right-hand box.

Sometimes firms are reluctant to list their recruiter’s email on NALP because they prefer that students use their application portals on their websites to streamline the process. However, doing that for each firm would take too much time. 

In such situations, you can still try to find the email address of the recruiter. This can be done by 1) finding the person on LinkedIn or 2) finding out about the firm’s work email formula and plugging in the recruiter’s name.

Step 5. Compile your results into an excel sheet.

Compile all of your research results into an excel sheet. This sheet will be used by YAMM to pull information from. Your excel sheet should look like something like this:

Step 6. Proofread your email. 

Make sure everything is perfect. Attach only your resume, transcript, and maybe a writing sample if you are pursuing a litigation practice. 

Again, the point of mass mailing is to get your resume in front of recruiters as quickly as possible. For me, customizing each cover letter was not the most effective use of my time. However, I recognize that there are also programs that can help you to customize your cover letter for each receiver if you choose to do so. I personally did not use any. 

For any problems you may have setting up your email, YAMM’s developers have uploaded some YouTube Tutorials. You can refer to those if you have any technical issues.

Step 7. Hone your interview skills. 

Since mass mailing is a numbers game, you won’t necessarily receive an interview request for many or even most of your emails. Thus, you need to perfect your interview skills so that you can make each interview request count. 

If you are mass mailing because you struck out at OCI, make sure you have worked hard to find out what might have gone wrong during OCI or other interviews outside it. If you haven’t figured this part out yet, I strongly suggest you take some time for some self-reflection. 

We wrote a few guides about the interview process below:

Otherwise, if you are mass mailing for other reasons such as wanting to secure some interview before OCI, you should already be practicing your interview skills in the form of mock interviews with your law school’s career services, your mentors, your friends, etc. 

Although mass mailing is a good way to reach firms outside your law school’s formal on-campus interview programs, keep in mind that there are also plenty of indirect networking opportunities available for law school students. For more advice, check our article on networking here

Final Thoughts

Before ending this article, I want to say that I empathize with those who have struck out from OCI. It’s unfortunate, and you may feel hopeless. But you most certainly still have a chance to get a job at a large firm. 

Mass Mailing isn’t the most fun, but sooner or later, your hard work will eventually pay off with a rewarding legal career. Good luck out there!