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Ask the Experts

Q: One of my former law school friends referred me to her current law firm. I have been invited back twice and the interviews seem to be going well and I would really like to work there. It has, however, been a week since I have had heard back from them. Is it all right for me to call the partner that I interviewed with to see where I stand?

A: The answer to this question is really dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case and is ultimately a judgment call. Nevertheless, here are some factors to consider. If this is a typical large New York law firm, it is unlikely that you will have made a sufficient connection with the partner to call him or her directly. In addition, large law firms have formal recruiting processes and it would be more appropriate to contact the recruiting office or to ask your friend to do so on your behalf. One week is not a very long time in the life of a busy law firm. It can often take at least a week for a large firm to collect comments from the lawyers with whom you interviewed.

If, on the other hand, we are talking about a small firm without a formal recruiting process, you may have no choice but to contact the partner. An alternative, however, may be to contact your friend. You also may consider waiting another week, assuming you have the time to do so.

Ultimately, if you do choose to contact the partner, you may consider sending an email because an email is easier for a partner to respond to than a call.