When you’re looking to start mass mailing, you may have some trouble determining how many firms you should send your information to. The short answer to this question is that you should mail as many firms as humanly possible. You’re looking for a job here. You want to give it your all.
The logic behind this is simple: it’s better to have a job than to not have one. If you have a summer associate position your 2L summer, it will be much easier to change firms if you don’t like it. At your first strike at finding a firm, you should be mailing as many as possible, even if the firm doesn’t offer the essential factors you’re looking for. Listen, you’ll feel a lot better after that first job offer. You’ll be safe, you’ll have a huge chance of having a job after graduation, and the rest of the job search will be easier.
You should also mail as many firms as possible because that gives you the best chance of moving forward in the application process. Listen, the application process is strange. Firms do weird things. You never know what part of your resume is going to stand out to a recruiting manager or a hiring partner. Therefore, to maximize your odds of “matching” with someone, you should try and get your resume in front of as many people as possible. If you get your resume in front of ten recruiting managers, and you have “French Cooking” as an interest on your resume, the odds that one of those managers also enjoy French Cooking and therefore want to give you a second look is probably pretty low. However, those odds are necessarily higher if you send your resume to 500 law firms.
Will you get a pile of rejection letters? Yes. At one point during my job search, I had 57 stacked up high on my desk as motivation. However, the number of rejection letters you have doesn’t matter if and when you get the job.
So, if you’re wondering if you’ve mailed enough firms, or just getting started and want to know how many firms to mail, the correct answer is every single one you can find.