Networking For Dummies Question

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273071
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Networking For Dummies Question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:11 am

I'm a 2L, around median thus far at a T6. I have an SA position in NY but I may want to end up in another market - call it Metropolis. During OCI, I interviewed with NY and Metropolis (in fact, every single relevant firm in Metropolis), but only got offers in NY.

I have a friend who is well connected in the Metropolis market. He knows partners at all the big firms and financial institutions, and frequently offers to set up meetings with them for me. I have been delaying because I just can't envision how this would work out.

Right now, he wants to set up a meeting over winter break with the GC for a investment group that does a lot of business with the big local firms. I want to make something out of it, but I just can't envision how this would go anywhere. What would I talk to him about? What would I hope to get out of the conversation? If he offers to introduce me to people at law firms, how should I approach that?

I guess in a nutshell, I know that if I want to get a job in Metropolis after graduation, I need to network now. But I don't see how this can be anything but ridiculously artificial. I don't know the GC, and I won't know him after a half hour coffee meeting; nor will he know me. Am I just trying to get him across the table from me so I can ask him favors? Why should I waste his time? How should the fact that I already struck out at every firm in Metropolis affect my goals?

Now that I've finished rambling, any advice would be helpful.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273071
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:04 pm

I take it from this that you've never done any sales or made a cold call. First impressions are made in the first few seconds of a conversation and are hard to change. This is presumably an older professional, make him want to be your mentor, people love to talk about their own accomplishments. You have at most 5 minutes to really make your case, why you love Metropolis, how you look up to what he did to get to where he is in his career, why you love the football team in metropolis, something.

Convince him that your the kind of budding young star he wants to help, and that you will be appreciative of the help and try to return the favor when your in a position to do so, that your not the kind of person to take advantage and forget about someone giving you a leg up.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby 20160810 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:05 pm

IMO networking for law students is basically a flame. Networking is beneficial for lawyers because they each have something to offer the other. You can refer clients to one another, etc. For law students, you're not "networking" with lawyers so much as soliciting them. Which is fine, by the way. Everyone needs to get a job somehow, and there's zero shame in meeting people, being nice to them, and seeing if it can turn into a job for you. But it's definitely solicitation, not networking.

So all you really have to do is show up, be nice, ask lots of questions, and kiss a little ass.

I do think that getting jobs in secondary markets from a top school is one of the cases where pseudo-networking is key though, so good luck. You need to make your goal reaching out, explaining who you are, and, assuming you didn't grow up in Metropolis, convincingly explaining why you want to work there.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22776
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:15 pm

SBL wrote:IMO networking for law students is basically a flame. Networking is beneficial for lawyers because they each have something to offer the other. You can refer clients to one another, etc. For law students, you're not "networking" with lawyers so much as soliciting them. Which is fine, by the way. Everyone needs to get a job somehow, and there's zero shame in meeting people, being nice to them, and seeing if it can turn into a job for you. But it's definitely solicitation, not networking.

So all you really have to do is show up, be nice, ask lots of questions, and kiss a little ass.

I do think that getting jobs in secondary markets from a top school is one of the cases where pseudo-networking is key though, so good luck. You need to make your goal reaching out, explaining who you are, and, assuming you didn't grow up in Metropolis, convincingly explaining why you want to work there.

I think it's not so much pseudo-networking as pre-networking, or long-term networking, or something. Assuming you get through law school, get a job, and stay in the profession, the contacts you make as a law student continue through your career. There's nothing wrong with working on those relationships now - lawyers understand that students are in a different position that they are. And some people really get a lot of satisfaction out of helping others out, and mentoring folks new to a profession, so students do have something to offer to those people. (I'll admit that doesn't describe everyone.)

But then, I'm also of the opinion that networking = getting to know people, so it's something you do whenever, wherever - it's not some strange category of behavior relegated only to job-searching.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby 20160810 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:26 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
SBL wrote:IMO networking for law students is basically a flame. Networking is beneficial for lawyers because they each have something to offer the other. You can refer clients to one another, etc. For law students, you're not "networking" with lawyers so much as soliciting them. Which is fine, by the way. Everyone needs to get a job somehow, and there's zero shame in meeting people, being nice to them, and seeing if it can turn into a job for you. But it's definitely solicitation, not networking.

So all you really have to do is show up, be nice, ask lots of questions, and kiss a little ass.

I do think that getting jobs in secondary markets from a top school is one of the cases where pseudo-networking is key though, so good luck. You need to make your goal reaching out, explaining who you are, and, assuming you didn't grow up in Metropolis, convincingly explaining why you want to work there.

I think it's not so much pseudo-networking as pre-networking, or long-term networking, or something. Assuming you get through law school, get a job, and stay in the profession, the contacts you make as a law student continue through your career. There's nothing wrong with working on those relationships now - lawyers understand that students are in a different position that they are. And some people really get a lot of satisfaction out of helping others out, and mentoring folks new to a profession, so students do have something to offer to those people. (I'll admit that doesn't describe everyone.)

But then, I'm also of the opinion that networking = getting to know people, so it's something you do whenever, wherever - it's not some strange category of behavior relegated only to job-searching.

IMO law students talking to other law students = networking, law students talking to law firm partners = solicitation. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not really networking unless it's mutual.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273071
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I take it from this that you've never done any sales or made a cold call. First impressions are made in the first few seconds of a conversation and are hard to change. This is presumably an older professional, make him want to be your mentor, people love to talk about their own accomplishments. You have at most 5 minutes to really make your case, why you love Metropolis, how you look up to what he did to get to where he is in his career, why you love the football team in metropolis, something.

Convince him that your the kind of budding young star he wants to help, and that you will be appreciative of the help and try to return the favor when your in a position to do so, that your not the kind of person to take advantage and forget about someone giving you a leg up.

OP here. LOL I have made cold/sales calls, but apparently not very well. Good points and ideas.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273071
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
SBL wrote:IMO networking for law students is basically a flame. Networking is beneficial for lawyers because they each have something to offer the other. You can refer clients to one another, etc. For law students, you're not "networking" with lawyers so much as soliciting them. Which is fine, by the way. Everyone needs to get a job somehow, and there's zero shame in meeting people, being nice to them, and seeing if it can turn into a job for you. But it's definitely solicitation, not networking.

So all you really have to do is show up, be nice, ask lots of questions, and kiss a little ass.

I do think that getting jobs in secondary markets from a top school is one of the cases where pseudo-networking is key though, so good luck. You need to make your goal reaching out, explaining who you are, and, assuming you didn't grow up in Metropolis, convincingly explaining why you want to work there.

I think it's not so much pseudo-networking as pre-networking, or long-term networking, or something. Assuming you get through law school, get a job, and stay in the profession, the contacts you make as a law student continue through your career. There's nothing wrong with working on those relationships now - lawyers understand that students are in a different position that they are. And some people really get a lot of satisfaction out of helping others out, and mentoring folks new to a profession, so students do have something to offer to those people. (I'll admit that doesn't describe everyone.)

But then, I'm also of the opinion that networking = getting to know people, so it's something you do whenever, wherever - it's not some strange category of behavior relegated only to job-searching.
OP again. I think that you're both on to something, since it undoubtedly does have the element of solicitation as opposed to mutual socialization, but if I look at it as Networking with a capital N it's not going to work. So, the shortcomings of the situation being what they are, what are some ways to maximize the opportunity?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273071
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Networking For Dummies Question

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I take it from this that you've never done any sales or made a cold call. First impressions are made in the first few seconds of a conversation and are hard to change. This is presumably an older professional, make him want to be your mentor, people love to talk about their own accomplishments. You have at most 5 minutes to really make your case, why you love Metropolis, how you look up to what he did to get to where he is in his career, why you love the football team in metropolis, something.

Convince him that your the kind of budding young star he wants to help, and that you will be appreciative of the help and try to return the favor when your in a position to do so, that your not the kind of person to take advantage and forget about someone giving you a leg up.


I disagree a little with this. Going with that sort of attitude, you might come off too intense.
Think about it the opposite way... you have a job in NYC, but you are merely interested in another market. Go there and be nice, and interesting. Make it known that you would rather be in Metropolis, than in NYC, but do not think of it as a reality show where you are giving a 5 minute speech to Donald Trump as to why he should hire you/network for you.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.