Networking In Law School
When you start law school, the idea of networking takes a backseat as you focus on your 1L classes, and, more importantly, preparation for these classes. While many new law students may have some special interest in a certain area of law, they might lack the confidence to talk to strangers, let alone ask for help from them, They may even have reservations about competing with other law students for attention.
What may make it difficult, especially for law students who are introverts, is the prevailing buzz about networking that takes center stage early in their academic careers. From even before the time that ILs take their first class, they are inundated with the concept of networking and the pressure to make connections to enhance their professional careers.
A good way to meet people without stress is to attend events that are not oriented towards traditional networking and lack a meet-and-greet atmosphere. An important theme to keep in mind is that wherever you go, you will meet new people. If you remove the stress of having to sell yourself, it becomes easier to network.
Many nonprofit organizations feature panel discussions on many legal topics and are great places to learn and network. You can find these events on the internet. When you find an organization or just cause that interests you, subscribe if they offer a newsletter on their website. Learn any important keywords related to the topic.
This will allow you to slowly ease yourself into a flow where you can meet people without the direct pressure of networking. Create an event calendar and track all events that interest you, regardless of whether you firmly commit to attending. The most significant deterrent to going out to events is thinking that “maybe” you will attend.
Your main goal when attending these events should be to learn more about what you might like to practice as a lawyer. This approach is much more advantageous than an approach where you are simply trying to meet new people and collect business cards. Meeting and getting acquainted with people because you are interested in learning more about what they do, tends to make them more open and genuine than when you approach people simply because of the opportunities that you perceive they may provide. After all, it is crucial to be sincere and show a genuine interest in others to succeed as an attorney.
Preparing for these events by researching the topic will help you generate good questions to stimulate and maintain the conversation. Understand that it is perfectly acceptable to admit that you do not know something. This will help you provide the speaker with something specific and detailed to explain, either because of the speaker’s knowledge of the topic or because the question requires the speaker’s direct experience to answer and explain.
If you make a connection with someone, do not hesitate to ask for their business card. Most event speakers and participants are usually ready to distribute their business cards to anyone who asks for it. Remember, once you receive a business card from someone with whom you have networked, it is up to you to follow up.
Like traditional law schools, California Desert Trial Academy’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.