How to Build a Network During Law School

Build a Network During Law School

Ah, networking. An age-old topic. You’ve probably come across plenty of guides to networking in the business world. But what about in law school? Students are often advised to go to law school wherever they’re interested in practicing law. Why? Because it gives future lawyers the chance to gain connections that might result in a lucrative job. But, this isn’t a passive process. To find success, you’ll have to actively make an effort to meet the right people. So if you’re interested in how to build a network during law school, read on!

Networking as a Law Student

Law career experts say that networking is key when pursuing summer internships – which often lead to full-time job offers – or long-term employment.

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When you think of “networking,” just think of simply talking to people. That’s the heart of what you’re doing. Talking to others, learning about them, and helping them learn about you and your career goals. You never know what opportunities new people have to offer. And you just might be the best fit for their needs.

Law School Events to Meet Others

Your law school will likely provide ample chances to meet interesting people. You might attend:

  • Dinners, lunches, picnics, ice cream socials, and other food-centered events
  • Academic panels and speakers
  • Parties
  • Local bar association events
  • Alumni reunions

Keep These Tips in Mind

  • Know Your Targets
  • As you attend these events, you’ll want to have a goal of the kinds of people you’d like to meet. Though you want to keep an open mind and appreciate everyone’s value, it helps to have some focus. For example, if you know which firms recruit at your law school and you’re heading to an event you know they’ll be, try to do some research. Then, when you meet a representative from that firm, you’ll have conversation topics ready.

  • Find Mentors
  • If you regularly remind yourself that you’re a student looking to learn from all perspectives, you’ll be open to learn more from unexpected sources. Try to stay humble and find mentors in as many fields as possible. Everyone knows at least one thing that you don’t. Most importantly, everyone might know someone that you don’t. For these reasons, finding mentors is one of the best ways to build a network during law school and prepare yourself for a great career.

  • Connect with Alumni
  • Alumni are an amazing resource. They can be your friends and honest guides to the world beyond law school. Recent alums might be even more enthusiastic than others because they were recently in your position and may want to share what they’ve just learned. Don’t be afraid to share contact information, then promptly set-up a one-on-one coffee or lunch. Learn about what they’re doing and what path you can take that’s similar. Hopefully, they’ll be sitting on the perfect job for you!

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    Stay in Contact to Build Your Network

    In the end, meeting wonderful people won’t help if you don’t follow up and maintain relationships. If you make an effort to work from superficial meetings to meaningful connections, you’ll increase your chances of career success. Hopefully these tips help you build a network during law school and find a great job!

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