We have all been given ample advice on how to network, but many of us are still unsure about how to nurture a robust professional network. These following tips aren’t going to answer all of your questions, but they will help you move in the right direction. All of these things helped me along the way in law school and in other professional settings.
1. Business Cards
Create a business card for yourself and make sure to always have them handy. Not only should you give out your business card, but make sure to get them from the people you meet. You never know when you will need it. You can get free business cards here.
2. Follow Up
Make sure to send a quick note to the people that you meet and connected with. Email communication is fine for more casual encounters, but handwritten notes are more appropriate on more formal occasions. When you follow up, make sure to include something from your conversation to ensure that the person remembers you. Following up will ensure that your new contacts keep you in mind and can easily contact you if further networking or even potential job opportunities arise.
3. Be a Joiner
Join different groups so you can meet different types of people from different professional backgrounds. Take advantage of their mixers, happy hours and other social events. This is the best way to meet others that have a common interest. Aspiring attorneys should become active in local bar associations, the ABA, or the Inns of Court, for starters.
Don’t forget that law school is about creating a network of future peers, so get involved on campus with one of these student organizations: NBLSA, NAPALSA, NLLSA, Phi Alpha Delta, National Lawyers Guild, Lavender Law, American Constitution Society, or the Federalist Society.
It really is all about who you know, so the more people you know, the better!