Can I run a legal question by you about my [family/school/business/church/girlfriend/roommate/landlord]?

No.

 

Could you help me with a “quick question” I have about my [article/book/paper/sermon/class]?

Probably not, unfortunately.

 

Will you write a post or book review for our [blog/website/magazine]?

Occasionally, and it never hurts to ask, but usually no.

 

Will you review an academic [book/proposal/article] for our [press/law review/magazine]?

Sometimes, if the topic relates to my core expertise.

 

Would you be willing to blurb/endorse/publicize my book?

If your book relates to my core expertise, I would love to consider the possibility.  If this is your first book (and it falls within my core expertise), please highlight that fact in your request.  If your book is not within my expertise, I will likely need to decline this request.

 

Can we talk with you about the [student/colleague/friend] you recommended to us?

Absolutely!

 

I am a member of, or the attorney representing, a [cult/church/nonprofit/protest movement] and was hoping to pick your brain about our rights to [assemble/protest/speak/march/associate].  Can we talk?

Probably not.  But seriously, read my stuff.  It can give you legal arguments that you might find helpful.

 

I am the assistant to a really important person who would like to talk with you.  Can you look through your calendar and send me all your available times in the next three months?

Thanks for writing, but no.

 

I have an opportunity for you to inherit $3,000,000 USD from a distant relative of yours who urgently needs to hear from you.  All we need is your social security and bank account numbers.

"You know what Toby, when the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help! His father ran the freaking country! Ok?"