When I was in law school, I was incredibly busy. I often took an overload of classes (why, you might be wondering—but that is another post entirely). I spent a lot of my time writing and tutoring and working on law review. It was great, but I didn’t spend a lot of time becoming part of my legal community outside of law school.
At the time, I didn’t think this was a huge deal. I was immersed in the law school experience. I had a job at a law firm lined up so I knew I had a place to go after graduation. Why did I need to go out there and network all the time?
Well, it still would have been a good idea (besides, I didn’t stay at the law firm my entire career). Also, I would argue that today it is even more important for students to get out and meet people in the legal community. Not only will they be your colleagues in the coming years but meeting practicing lawyers and other law students can be a valuable learning experience for you. For example:
(1) You may learn about an area of law that is of interest to you.
(2) You may learn about what an attorney actually does during the day in a job that interests you (trust me, most law students don’t know what lawyers do day-to-day).
(3) You may make a connection that you can call on in the future when it is time to job hunt.
These are just a few of the reasons you should get out there and network. I wish I had done more of it in law school, as I network all the time now (send me an e-mail and you are almost guaranteed a coffee date if you want one). Networking is part of being a smart businessperson and, guess what, even if you are on track to be an attorney, you still need to be a smart businessperson.
So go out there and check out what is going on in your community. Or travel somewhere else to meet folks in a new community. Building your network will definitely be a good thing for your career.
Here’s all of Job Hunting 101:
- Job Hunting 101: It’s Not All About You
- Job Hunting 101: Project a Consistent Image
- Job Hunting 101: Don’t Neglect Your Headshot
- Job Hunting 101: What Makes You Unique?
- Job Hunting 101: Google Yourself
- Job Hunting 101: Did You Know Your Law School May Pay for Conferences?
- Job Hunting 101: Get Out and Meet People
- Job Hunting 101: Be Careful Who Your Facebook Friends Are
- Job Hunting 101: Follow Up
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