Welcome back everyone! I wrote a post back in November talking about the importance of taking advantage of breaks in the calendar to network. Then last week we asked you to share your stories with us. Here are a few that you sent in, but we'd like to share more so if you have a good networking story please send it in!
At the end of December I went to the (firm) Christmas party in Austin, TX (that is the firm I worked at prior to coming to law school). I had a chance to meet all the new staff and attorneys they brought on board since I left. It was exciting because I had a chance to talk to a Baylor lawyer who handles all the litigation for the firm. He provided me with insight on commercial litigation and made me consider if this is the field I really want to go into--it is! He was also happy to know that Baylor now had the Professional Development Program. He thinks it will be a major benefit to Baylor lawyers and further set us apart from graduates of other law schools.
Fantastic! It's critical to maintain relationships you've already begun, if for no other reason than it's easier than creating new ones (though you must work at that too!).
I met with a partner from a firm in Austin. We grabbed coffee and he assured me an interview date with the firm for a 1L summer associate position. I was connected with the attorney through a professor.
I had a nice phone chat with an attorney at a litigation boutique in Houston, whom the same professor connected me with. The attorney is working hard to get me an interview with the firm. In addition, he gave me the contact info of other attorneys at different boutiques in Houston. I'm contacting them tomorrow in hopes of chatting with them.
I dropped off my application to the federal magistrate in Waco personally. During my visit, I was able to chat with the clerk for nearly an hour. The clerk then assured me that she would make sure that the Judge took a long look at my resume.
I had a couple friends' families call some of their attorney friends over the break. One of them is checking to see if his firm can bring me on for next summer.
Wow you really took advantage of your break! Several points stick out to me that I'd like to emphasize: 1) Your utilization of professors, which is often undervalued, 2) Getting the names of other attorneys/firms during conversations. This is often a missed opportunity if the focus is only on working for the person you're communicating with, 3) Taking time to get to know clerks, paralegals, secretaries, etc. They are the gatekeepers!, and 4) going through your personal network for lawyer connections. Great work and I'm sure you will see fruit from your efforts!
Nothing has come of it yet but my dad's sister (my aunt) lives in London. My dad was chatting with his sister and it came up that I was looking for a job. She mentioned that she has a friend who works with Vinson & Elkins, a huge firm that has locations all over the globe, with one of the larger centers in Houston. So I sent my aunt a resume and cover letter and she passed it on to her friend during her Christmas visits. Even if nothing comes of it, it was nice of my aunt to help and fun to have my family involved.
This is so important because so many students think they don't have any connections to lawyers because they don't know one personally. However by taking the time to talk with your family about the job search and asking who might know someone in the legal field, there are often connections you would have never thought existed. Great job!
Hopefully these examples have inspired you to take advantage of your next break to build your network, and along with it, improve your job search opportunities! Do you have networking stories from the break you'd like to share with us? Let me know: Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu or @BaylorLawDaniel on Twitter.