Anonymous User wrote:
I'm a 2L who is most likely not getting big law (or market-paying midlaw) barring some serious, ridiculous hustle. Law school background is all over the map: Firm experience 1L, experience with white collar regs this semester and prosecution crime this summer. I had a media background before coming to law school. I know a few friends who are involved in various levels of the game industry, like business development at a start-up, production, etc. What would be the best way, if any, to leverage what contacts I do have now or in the future?
And, in the (very) off chance I am able to jump into a "decent" firm (think NLJ250ish, not V100/AmLaw100), what would a good "5 year plan" if I want to eventually make the jump like you did?
If your goal is to create opportunities for yourself, you should try to develop your network in a specific direction. Having 3 connections in 20 industries is a lot less valuable than 60 connections in one. Social proof is very valuable for opening doors, and you can only really achieve that by accumulating a lot of people in a single space.
It's tough when you're starting from scratch because you don't offer immediate value. With a law degree, you should be able to help people analyze some of their contracts and find the gaps. It's tough without at least some training, but it's probably better than nothing. Being helpful without asking for anything in return is a solid way to build good will. My general approach is never to ask for anything in the first few meetings with someone, just focus on learning more about them and what they care about. It helps if you're actually genuinely interested in what they do.
Inside a law firm, I think you need to determine what your goal is. I'd network very differently depending on whether I wanted to be a partner, lateral out to a law job or move into a non-legal position. The relevant contacts can often change (though their is a fair amount of overlap). If you want to go into business development, I'd focus on having a broad cross section of contacts. The goal is to have a decent contact at almost every major company in a space. Business developers get hired for their network, not their education.