3L Job App Sparks E-Mail War With 'Patronizing & Condescending' IT Ace

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A third-year law student clearly wasn’t at the top of his job-seeking game when he e-mailed an information technology consultant seeking legal work.

Apparently mistaking the Webster & Associates site for a similarly named law firm, the unidentified 3L sent an unsolicited job application. Then he responded with a threat of legal action to Bruce Webster’s reply suggesting that “you really do need to track down actual live people and speak with them” and wishing the 3L luck on his job search, according to the e-mail excerpts Webster posted on his blog .

Blasting Webster for his “patronizing and condescending tone,” the 3L lets it rip in a lengthy response that concludes with a threat of “criminal and civil penalties and damages” if Webster fails to destroy his inadvertent job application to the IT firm.

Apparently rising to the challenge of the 3L’s career-search cluelessness, Webster then responds to the response with a lengthy e-mail of his own offering job application letter-writing advice to the individual he refers to as Third-Year Student. (The initial “Esteemed Mr. Webster” salutation on the 3L’s first effort, he begins, “made me wonder right off the bat if this e-mail was spam from India or somewhere else overseas, and second if this was a mass mailing.”) Webster also suggests that the application letter include geographic and practice details targeting it to the specific recipient.

At the tail end of this missive, Webster notes that he has contact with several hundred lawyers. And a different kind of responding e-mail, he points out, even after the initial mistake in sending a legal job application to an IT firm, might have led him to try to direct Third-Year-Student to potential employers.

This e-mail saga has a relatively happy ending, however. The 3L apparently has maintained his anonymity even though his job-hunting meltdown is all over the Internet. And he got a grip and sent a final “lengthy and humble” e-mail to Webster apologizing for his earlier blast, the IT ace recounts in his post.

“I’ll also note that the Third-Year Student said in that e-mail that having this exchange up on this site ‘is a good idea…as a warning to others,’ ” Webster concludes. “Class act, that.”

Hat tip: Above the Law.

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