Ideas For Staying In Touch With Summer Supervisors and Mentors

Ideas For Staying In Touch With Summer Supervisors And MentorsThis week we welcome back guest writer Tiffany Lo to talk about how to stay on top of your connections from your summer jobs.

You had a fantastic summer working at your judicial externship, law firm, nonprofit organization, or government office. You shadowed attorneys, observed meetings, wrote memoranda, pleadings, contracts, merger documents, whitepapers, maybe even argued in court or presented at a client conference, and much more. You made connections with attorneys at different stages of their careers and heard many war stories from practicing lawyers every day. You learned a lot from your supervising attorneys and summer mentors. You made an excellent impression. At the end of the summer, you wrote a note or email thanking everyone you met for a wonderful experience, and then returned to your busy life as a law student, as attorneys do to their normal, law-student-less schedule.

In the back of your head, you think, will they remember me one year later if I return full-time? How can I keep these relationships strong? What do I need to do and how much do I need to do it? I certainly asked myself these questions during and at the end of my summer jobs.

Whether you end up returning to that workplace or not, knowing your fellow attorneys in the profession will be helpful in many ways. So, here are some ideas for staying in touch with the attorneys from your summer.

1. Sending Notes During Holidays

A holiday greeting is always nice to receive. It is easy to send a quick email with holiday wishes, especially if you are already in the habit of doing that for family and friends.

2. Using Alerts To Keep Track Of Their Work

This may sound creepy at first, but you may not be surprised to learn that attorneys subscribe to specific newsletters and set alerts on their own firms, their clients, companies, and each other. They do this to quickly get the latest news on topics, individuals, and entities that they are interested in.

Busy law students can benefit from alerts in many ways as well – keeping track of new relevant developments or cases for the assignment or student note they are writing, learning about a new area of law, or staying alert about firm management and decisions. Using the alert function on legal databases, you can set alerts for individual attorneys whom you worked with, so that any news mentioning them will go straight to your email inbox. If you see the attorney commenting on an interesting subject, send an email referencing the piece and engage in further dialogue. If the attorney just completed a successful litigation or merger agreement, it will be nice to drop a note of congratulations. The news will merely serve as a conversation starter, a segue way into chatting about any recent work or your law school life.

3. Reach Out For A Catch-Up

There does not need to be a particular reason to check in with your summer mentor or supervisor. It is okay just to see if they are doing well and to talk about anything and everything. If you live near the attorney, it may be nice to offer to grab a bite or coffee in-person.

4. Find Group Opportunities With Your Summer Class

Chances are that you were working with or alongside other law students during the summer. If you are nervous about reaching out and chatting on an individual basis, an option is to see if a group of students is interested in catching up with attorneys from the summer. This is also a wonderful way to meet even more attorneys and learn about their fields of expertise.

5. Go To Any Events You Are Invited To

Some firms or organizations host panels, conferences, or social events throughout the year. And sometimes they invite their former summer associates or internships to join. If you get these invitations and are available, make time and go! These are wonderful opportunities to reconnect with familiar faces and meet new ones, without having to take the initiative to reach out and find mutually convenient times. With virtual opportunities and events on the rise, you can and should take advantage of technological advances to broaden your network.

In all, there are many ways to stay connected with the people you worked with over the summer. It is also totally understandable to not want to exert a lot of effort or brainpower on this – 2Ls and 3Ls have a lot of commitments to juggle, from classes to student organizations to MPRE and bar exam preparation. Still, it may be fun to reconnect with your summer mentors and supervisors once in a while, whether by email, at lunch, or a structured event. I hope that my suggestions will prove useful if you choose to do so.


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About Tiffany Gee Ching Lo

Tiffany Gee Ching Lo is a student at Stanford Law School. She spent her 1L year at the New York University School of Law, where she was involved with Alternative Breaks, Women of Color Collective, and Law Revue, and worked as research assistant. Tiffany received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, graduating magna cum laude with double majors in Political Science and Rhetoric. Tiffany developed an interest in the law from a young age, and have worked in law firms and courthouses in Hong Kong–where she grew up, around the San Francisco Bay Area, and in New York. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys painting, playing the piano and cello, trying out new recipes, and watching late night talk shows.

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