ProTip: Thank-you notes
My mother always made us write thank-you notes for gifts before we played with or used them. She was a stickler, too — not only did the note have to say thank you, but it also had to include something about why we liked the gift or how we intended to use it. The practice gradually faded during my busy high-school years but resurfaced at my last job and again in law school.
Mom’s policy of promptly sending thank-you notes has served me well for a couple of reasons. First, expressing gratitude is the polite thing to do, and probably makes the giver’s day a little brighter. Second, in a professional context, a thank-you note sent shortly after a job interview or a lunch meeting is a great opportunity to follow up and reinforce the connection. My general rule is to keep it short, genuine, and unique to the recipient. For professional connections, I generally use e-mail. For friends and family, a hand-written note is a nice touch.
To prospective law students who have stumbled across this blog: if thank you notes aren’t in your repertoire, it’s time to add them starting right now! And: thanks for reading.