Cocktails, Dinners and Callbacks

Cocktail parties, dinners and callbacks are all ways to continue assessing fit and maintain connection. Each is an evaluative process.

Basic Etiquette Tips

  • sign in and make sure people can easily see and read your name tag
  • avoid controversial topics such as politics and religion
  • watch your intake of alcohol – you will be tired, hungry and dehydrated and it won’t take much
  • remain engaged and keep eye contact – don’t look for your next conversation

Cocktail Parties

  • go in with a strategy/game plan and execute it. How many people do you want to meet? Who do you want to meet? How long do you plan on staying?
  • walk in confidently and scan the room for someone you know or another student and ask them for introductions
  • make a strong introduction and be prepared to lead a conversation and ask questions (don’t assume lawyers are better or more comfortable handling cocktail parties than you are)
  • keep your interactions relatively brief
  • plan your exit strategy; “Excuse me, I am just going to top off my drink/go to the restroom..”
  • if you find yourself in the middle of the room with nowhere to go – head for the food or bar to meet people
  • don’t overstay
  • avoid handing out with your peers – get out of your comfort zone
  • don’t ignore people you perceive as unimportant to the process – treat everyone the same
  • make sure you show up or the firm will assume you are not interested


  • follow basic etiquette and strategy for cocktail parties
  • don’t read too much into it – just because you have been invited to dinner does not mean you will get an offer
  • check your email and voicemail discretely
  • don’t look at your watch
  • remain engaged – if you zone out it may be hard to get back in the conversation

Second Interviews

  • be prepared for any format – pure assessment (looks like a first interview), selling you on the firm (focus is on opportunities available to you at the firm) or informational (opportunity for you to ask questions)
  • be prepared to tell your story again and don’t worry that some of your answers are the same



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