email is free, other than my time, it is a zero-cost endeavor. so i send out a lot of resumes. i usually get tame, scripted responses, like:
Thank you for your interest in Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe. Although your resume is impressive, we regret to inform you that we cannot offer you a position at this time. We wish you the best in your career.
i have no problem with these letters. i appreciate the heapings of luck, good wishes and gratuitous compliments they bring me. i do wonder why law firms spend so much time and expense on these letters. why do they write me back on a $9 piece of watermarked, cotton fiber paper when i emailed them my resume? you have my email address. you know you don’t want me. just tell me to go take a hike the cheap way.
the smaller firms and offices do send emails, and these are often more colorful. emailers write things that wouldn’t sneak past the letter writers’ editors. i received one especially surprising correspondence via email. i have decided to share it here (keeping the attorney and firm anonymous). i am putting it up next to two fake emails i wrote myself. see if you can pick out the real one.
is it  where a small hawaii firm protects its turf under the pretense of giving helpful career advice?  where the san diego office of a multi-city firm has no shame about its nepotism problem? or  where a los angeles attorney spouts off on kentucky stereotypes?
i’ll post the answer in a few days. feel free to guess in the comments and provide reasons why you think one, in particular, actually arrived in my inbox.
 I regret, Hawaii has too many attorneys as it is, and the work just is not there, this is across the board….I suggest Hawaii is the worst legal market possible for any lawyer.
 Thank you for your application to the summer program in our San Diego office. However, you pretty much have to know someone here, or we won’t hire you….We wish you the best in your future endeavors.
 Generally, I would recommend that you send resumes to firms closer to you (within Kentucky)….I doubt that many in Los Angeles will be willing to take a chance on someone from a state renowned for toothlessness and moonshine.
UPDATE get the answer here: 2L job search: rejection email revealed
UPDATE II here is someone else’s story.