Law Life

Networking: Why successful lawyers do it and why you should do it, too.
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Whether you’re a fresh-faced associate or a seasoned partner, the message that you need to be “networking” is always there.

Yes, we know, let the eye rolls begin! 

 You hear about the importance of networking in law school, then from all corners of your firm. For newly minted associates, the networking message is to build a professional profile within your practice group. For more experienced lawyers, you are told to build a profile firmwide and externally in your area of specialty.

  
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Regardless of how repetitive and annoying this message can get, ultimately it’s true-networking is the key for a successful legal career.

Ask any successful attorney, and you’ll hear, “It’s all about relationships.” 

Lawyers often need to make a collective effort in the bid to achieve professional success, and the significance of the saying “no man is an island” has been proved to be true in many cases.

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You might dread networking events, no one will judge you-networking doesn’t come naturally to some lawyers, considering about 60% are introverts-but you also might dread flossing yet you know how important it is.

More Than 85% of Jobs Are Filled Through Networking

If you are looking for a job, it might be wiser to invest your time in developing your professional network rather than pouring through all those legal job sites.

Studies have shown that most people find out about their jobs through other people.

The benefits of networking have received a lot of research, recently. While the results of these estimates vary to some extent, all agree that it’s certainly a popular way to get a job. Some experts say that 85% of people ended up in their current position thanks to networking. And if you think about it, these statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

When you partake in networking events in more than a passing manner, you will soon be known by numerous lawyers and others throughout your city and outside your immediate circle. When these many people know you, they will also know about how things are going for you at work. Therefore, they might mention you to the myriad of people they know or mention your name to companies that need someone with your skills to do legal work.

When you meet people, you are getting noticed, and that opens the door for new opportunities. Opportunities like meeting people that are superior to your career path and could be a stepping stone for your legal career.

The Most Successful Attorneys Are Frequently the Most Networked

Business and career-minded attorneys who have networked over time have been able to grow professionally with minimal effort because of the avenue of opportunities opened to them through networking. 

‘When I recruit, I have often noticed that the best attorneys are the ones who are often the most open to speaking with me, says Harrison Barnes, a well known legal recruiter. Barnes explains that lawyers featured on Top lists such as The Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in California” or “America’s Top Trial Lawyers,” are particularly open and interested in ‘any information [he] can offer about the job market and what is going on with it.’

These attorneys will ask me to send them my card, take the time to speak with me, and almost always remember me if I see them at one event or another in the future. There are several reasons I believe this is true.’ Barnes says.

‘I believe that these attorneys who get on these various lists do so because they are good at networking in the first place. However they do it, they are able to get the attention of individuals in the media and other attorneys in their firm and at other firms, since members of the public nominate them for such lists.’

 Attorneys that have made networking their sole priority have been able to build careers relevant to their set down goals.

Develop Long-Lasting Relationships

 Networking is not only about meeting people and trading information, but also serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits. While networking might not be the fast approach to building a long-lasting relationship, it’s a two-way process of taking and giving that can open doors for a firmer relationship.  

Networking with high profile attorneys can serve as support whenever there is any eventuality at any time. These individuals may help you manage your challenges effectively by either giving you advice or linking you to the right financial support.

Networking is also a great avenue to exchange ideas. Success in a legal career can be largely attributed to the pool of information you have gathered over the past. Good networks foster a trade of ideas to sustain long-term relationships and mutual trust. 

Networking Opportunities Are Everywhere

Appart of network events, and social media networks, you can find opportunities to expand your network everywhere. The outside world is your field. Any breakfast, lunch, coffee, golf, baseball game or concert is an opportunity to network. 

‘I’m a member of a private golf and tennis club. People join such clubs not only to enjoy the tennis, golf, swimming, and dining but also to expand their community of social and business relationships.’ Richard Goldman, senior counsel at Sullivan & Worcester, writes for ABA Journal.

‘At the club, I became friendly with a father and son who practice law together in their own firm. We decided to explore finding legal matters on which we could work jointly and be helpful to each other. ‘Goldman writes.

If you’re interacting with people, you are networking and any interactions can lead to new business relationships.



 

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