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networking

Legal Job Search Strategies: Networking

An important part of searching for a legal job is networking. Besides your credentials, who you know might be the key to finding the right job.

Legal Job Search Strategies: Networking

Here are a few simple tips to help you network like a pro.

1. Always be ready to network.

You never know when you might run into someone who can help further your career. You can easily prepare to network by keeping a stack of business cards with you.

Your network also includes the people you already know, such as relatives, professors, colleagues, and acquaintances. So, be ready to ask these people about who and what they know that could help you land a legal job.

If you are trying to network, the best way is to put yourself in places and situations where there are going to be other legal professionals, such as conferences and workshops. Sign up for a subscription to all local law associations to stay up-to-date on events in your area.

2. Keep a list of all the people you meet.

It may be hard to remember the contact information and back story of every person you meet in a networking situation. Therefore, when you connect with someone who you plan to add to your network, make sure to get their name and contact information, usually found on a business card.

Then, add that person to a networking spreadsheet, which might include the following categories: name, job title/firm, phone number, email, mailing address, where you met, and any additional notes on that person (e.g., kids, pets, hobbies, etc.). This information will be useful when you want to follow-up later.

3. Follow-up.

Within about forty-eight hours after meeting someone who you plan to add to your network list, send a follow-up email or letter reminding them of your meeting. This will make you stand out to your contact and also show them that you valued your encounter.

If it is appropriate, ask the contact to keep you in mind if they come across any information on what you discussed, or any job opportunities. Also, make sure there are no typographical errors in the email or letter.

Sending additional emails or letters depends on the relationship and reason for contacting that person. However, keeping in touch with your networking contacts could be valuable to you in your job search.

Watch out for more tips and strategies from JD Advising on legal writing, research, and editing; resume and interviewing tips; working for a firm; and, starting a law firm.