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Door-knocking involves visiting offices unannounced, depositing your resume and, rarely, speaking to a lawyer about employment. Door-knocking is useful when you have few positive responses to letters, and when an interviewing day offers a few spare hours. In the former situation, attack downtown buildings whose lobby directories reveal an overload of law organizations. In the latter circumstance, canvass the buildings in which you have interviews. Door-knocking is cost-efficient, because in two hours between forty and sixty offices can be solicited.
Door-knocking requires patience, stamina, and brashness. Develop a technique that involves the following steps: plunging through the entrance, striding to the receptionist, politely commanding her attention, and offering your resume as you spit out a few practiced, terse lines. The minimal objective of door-knocking is the mass, cheap distribution of resumes. The greater objective is the contact of a lawyer in the office who can meaningfully discuss hiring prospects there.
The difficulty is convincing the receptionist that a lawyer should receive an unannounced and unexpected law student. Some receptionists are hardened to this approach and will peremptorily dismiss your request to see a lawyer, accepting your resume while shooing you out the door. Other receptionists, however, will out of habit punch a button and attempt to reach an appropriate lawyer.
Make a strong, brief pitch to a lawyer if one appears. Because you may have to speak on the stump, in the lobby with coat over arm, concentrate solely on the lawyer standing in front of you, and not on other visitors surrounding you. State your intentions flatly: you are in the building on other business and want to establish contact here in the event that "here" is interviewing and hiring at the moment. Often the lawyer will politely decline the entreaties and accept the resume, promising a letter soon. Sometimes the lawyer will be sufficiently impressed, curious, or gracious enough to invite you to an office and perhaps even to conduct an impromptu interview. This ultimate success in door-knocking is the optimal result; it will rarely happen, but the few occurrences make door-knocking viable.
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