Alison and I were chatting the other day about mistakes we think law students make when networking. And one thing we have both seen over and over again is that students forget to ask for help.
Take this example. A student meets me at a function and tells me he/she wants to work in criminal law. “That’s great,” I say. Then the student tells me that he/she is struggling to find an internship in criminal law. I mention that I know a few attorneys that practice criminal law. The student then says nothing. What should the student have done?
Asked me for help!
The student needed to say, “Do you know any criminal law attorneys I could set up informational interviews with?” Or the student should have said, “Do you have any ideas of whom I could contact?” If a student asks for help, it is likely that whomever they are talking to will step up to help.
However, if the student says nothing and does not ask for help, an opportunity for quality connections may be missed.
Why is this so important? Because many lawyers (contrary to some popular belief) like to help people. And so if you ask, the lawyer you are talking to may help you make a connection. Why not, right? Listen up! We have been able to help law students get jobs because they have asked for help. Through personal relationships is how some folks are finding work in this new economy. And those personal relationships can start at a networking event or even on social media.
Many students don’t ask for help because they don’t want to be told no. But the benefits of asking are just too great not to do it! If someone tells you no, that’s fine. You will move on. But not asking only guarantees that you won’t get help. You will never know if you don’t try.
So, next time you meet someone at an event, ask for help. Describe the type of job or advice you are looking for. You may be surprised at how helpful lawyers can be.
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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