What do you do if someone hasn’t emailed you back?

You spent several minutes crafting the perfect email to your mentor, a Notre Dame alumnus, your professor, a lawyer you want to meet, you name it, it has been a week, and they haven’t gotten back to you.

What do you do?

Email them again.

I get this question a lot. Lawyers get busy and inboxes get full really fast. If I fail to respond to an email, it is always because I read it on my phone, commit to responding when I am back on a computer, and then forget because the email is no longer marked as unread. It happens.

The solution really is just as easy as emailing that person again. You can even just copy and paste the initial email you sent them and send it to them again.

Recently, I was sending out hundreds of emails to our alumni mentors asking if they would participate in the alumni  mentorship program again this year. Some did not get the chance to respond so I literally just copied and pasted the email I had sent them two weeks before and sent it to them again. 100% of the responses I got back contained no reference to the fact that I emailed them twice and just said they would love to participate in the program again.

A lot of people stress out about email, especially when it comes to networking and asking a stranger to meet them for coffee. But the truth is that as long as your tone is polite and professional, you really don’t have anything to worry about.

A friend once introduced me over email to someone he knew who had become an Assistant United States Attorney after five years in BigLaw with no federal clerkship. I thought her story was interesting and I really wanted to meet her. I emailed her and two weeks later, she had not gotten back to me.

I copied and pasted that same email to her five times before she got back to me and when she did, we scheduled a coffee and ended up having a great meeting.

So if you emailed a Notre Dame alumna for networking or your mentor or a professor a week ago and they haven’t gotten back to you, relax. Email them again and you will probably hear back the second time. This is true when you have emailed just about anyone and they haven’t gotten back to you yet. (The one exception is in dating when if someone does not respond to your texts, they’re not interested in you. Sorry.)

Take comfort in the fact that I am blogging about this. It means that this happens to a lot of people. In a world where email is the primary form of communication, an email is going to slip through the cracks now and then. It happens.

So it has been a week and someone has not emailed you back?

Email them again?

If they still don’t get back to you….

Give up? No. Email them again.




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