Tuesday, May 17, 2011
It is surprising how little law students understand about networking. They know they should, but don’t know how and particularly don’t understand that they have to be proactive. As marketing expert Kimberly Allen Rice points out, one important way to network is to keep in touch with your law school and its graduates. Here’s how:
• Get plugged into law school alumni association news and activities. Sign up online for alumni e-newsletters and be proactive in attending events and reaching out to former classmates.
• Leverage the web. Join and be active on your alumni listserv, Facebook and LinkedIn. Search out new connections and find reasons to stay in touch. If you travel for firm business, be proactive in tracking your travels on LinkedIn's TripIt to schedule visits with out-of-town classmates.
• Learn effective networking skills to develop a comfort level for cultivating business relationships in social settings. This is a "must have" skill that is more involved than passing out business cards.
• Set up a Google Analytics account to stay current on select issues and law school classmates. This will provide reason for you to connect with your growing network and to offer help.
• Create a list of former classmates, categorize them by occupation -- (non-competing) law firms, solo practice (who may need some help on a case), or firms larger than yours (which may have conflicts) -- and systematically set up face-to-face time to learn their "pain points" and how you may help them.