Networking and Your Job Search
Are you an attorney or law student who has just started your job search or is interested in transitioning to a new job? If you are, then don’t forget to include networking as part of your job search.
Some attorneys and law students feel that networking is not beneficial to their job search and career. However, networking is actually one of the most important and effective ways to land a job. It is also a skill that will help you long after you’ve obtained your new job (i.e., it will help you acquire and maintain relationships with clients). Other attorneys and law students feel that they just don’t have time to network. However, you should make time to network. After all, it is a great way to make connections that could possibly open up new opportunities and allow you to learn more about your areas of interest.
Preparing for Networking
Before you begin networking, you should think about what type of people you want to network with. Also, you should think about what type of job you’re interested in. Prepare answers to questions about your career and your interests. Also, make sure that you have business cards, resumes, cover letters, and references prepared. You want to be present yourself in a professional manner, and you want to be ready when the potential opportunity presents itself.
Ways to Network
1. One of the easiest ways to network is through local city, county, and state bar associations. If you are a law student, you can join the student membership section of the Bar association. Typically the different bar associations have meetings, seminars, and other gatherings where you can meet attorneys and other legal professionals in your areas of interest.
2. Another easy way to network is through your law school. Law schools have many social events and legal seminars that bring an array of legal professionals together. Additionally, ask your law school’s career counselor for a list of alumni who work in fields that interest you. While you’re at it check out the alumni from your undergraduate college too.
3. Also, don’t forget to network through those you interact with everyday, such as your friends, colleagues, and classmates. You’d be surprise of how resourceful your close associates can be.
4. Social networking sites are another great source for networking. It is the waive of the future. It allows you to display information about yourself and it allows you to learn about others. Some social sites many people are already members of are Myspace and Facebook. Myspace and Facebook are great for fun and social networking, but sites like Likedin and Lawlink.com are great for professional networking. Remember, when you become a member of these professional networking sites, to make sure all the information you display represents you in a professional manner. You don’t want to give the wrong impression.
Don’t Forget to Give Back
Once you’ve landed your job through networking, you should help others. Networking isn’t a one time event. It is a continual process. So, just like someone gave you a helping hand, you should give someone else a helping hand. Incidentally, by helping others, you will be building new relationships that could be beneficial to you in the future.
Remember, networking is a tool and skill that allows you to establish relationships where both you and your contacts benefit in some way. Just as the saying goes, “It’s not about what you know, but about who you know.” So, make sure you maximize your success by networking.