Networking event etiquette

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Anonymous User
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Networking event etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:27 pm

Clueless 1L here.

Going to my first networking event this upcoming Tuesday and I'm pretty nervous. It's a relatively small event, around 30 people.

Dress code: It does say it's "casual" - Would a dress shirt/tie and slacks be acceptable?

What would be some good questions to ask? Stuff like: What type of law do you practice, firm's culture, typical day, what you enjoy/don't enjoy about your job, what makes a good lawyer, etc.?

Would making/bringing business cards be a faux pas?

Any other advice would be appreciated.

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utahraptor
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby utahraptor » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:32 pm

Calm down. You pretty much never need a tie. Slacks are almost always OK unless it's Quinn, and even then are probably OK.

Ask questions that you want answers to that aren't rude to ask.

Don't be creepy.

Don't bring business cards.

El Principe
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby El Principe » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:06 pm

utahraptor wrote:Calm down.

Don't bring business cards.


Basically

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Pikappraider
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Pikappraider » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:46 pm

everything above is on point, just want to reiterate: don't bring business cards to anything, ever, until you actually are promoting a business/practice and are a professional. If you connect well with someone there get their business card and shoot them an email. There are few things that look dumber than a business card that says "J.D. Candidate at X Law School."

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kalvano
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby kalvano » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:16 am

Just talk to people. Maybe a few general questions about their practice, but get to know the person if at all possible. If their practice interests you, then see about setting up coffee or a lunch thing to actually discuss their practice in-depth. But otherwise just be a normal person at a get-together.

If you do ask someone what they do and they say something that you're unfamiliar with, ask them about it. Don't smile and pretend you know what it is - that creepy awkward. Ask them what they do in more detail.

Do not bring business cards. In fact, if you have business cards as a student, burn them right now. Wear slacks and a dress shirt and have a sport coat handy just in case everyone is dressier than casual.

Be normal and you'll be fine.

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PennBull
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby PennBull » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:28 pm

don't wear a tie with no jacket

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earthabides
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby earthabides » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:42 pm

On the topic of business cards... why no business cards?

I'm coming from a finance undergrad so I'm not sure if its a cultural thing (canada vs us) or a business vs law thing but it's really weird to me that everyone on TLS is vehemently anti business cards.

I've been to a lot of networking events in undergrad and all students have business cards at networking events. It would be weird if you didn't, because people frequently ask for them at these kind of events.

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seizmaar
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby seizmaar » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:44 pm

in former times, a business card might have been the only way to find someone after an event like that. now you can just lurk on the firm website/mutual friends on linkedin/facebook/lawyer listings/your school website/myspace/ladders/jdate/grindr and basically find anyone who wants to be found. i would wear a monocle to a networking event before i would present a card.

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earthabides
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby earthabides » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:59 pm

seizmaar wrote:in former times, a business card might have been the only way to find someone after an event like that. now you can just lurk on the firm website/mutual friends on linkedin/facebook/lawyer listings/your school website/myspace/ladders/jdate/grindr and basically find anyone who wants to be found. i would wear a monocle to a networking event before i would present a card.


To be clear, do you mean that students don't bring business cards or that neither the students nor the employers bring business cards? I would definitely not be able to commit 5-10 names to memory for the night.. while also having a few drinks. The protocol at networking events in my undergrad is to ask for a business card and then when you are presented with one, to provide yours.

I'm not saying you are wrong I'm just surprised by how differently it works in law

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seizmaar
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby seizmaar » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:33 pm

if you can't commit five discreet pieces of information to memory while getting soiled, you may want to rethink this profession.

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ymmv
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:39 pm

seizmaar wrote:if you can't commit five discreet pieces of information to memory while getting soiled, you may want to rethink this profession.


Fuck off.

earthabides wrote:To be clear, do you mean that students don't bring business cards or that neither the students nor the employers bring business cards? I would definitely not be able to commit 5-10 names to memory for the night.. while also having a few drinks. The protocol at networking events in my undergrad is to ask for a business card and then when you are presented with one, to provide yours.

I'm not saying you are wrong I'm just surprised by how differently it works in law


Most of the time the attorneys will offer you their card without prompting. If they don't, just ask politely as you're saying farewell. It's NBD, and no one expects you to have a business card of your own as a law student.

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Manteca
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Manteca » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:02 pm

OP here. Thanks all for the advice

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Young Marino
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Young Marino » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:46 pm

I'm also surprised at the "no business cards" mantra. I would think it's a more professional approach to networking events? Fr the practicing attorneys out there, what do you think/would do if a student handed you a business card?

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:09 pm

Young Marino wrote: Fr the practicing attorneys out there, what do you think/would do if a student handed you a business card?


No big pro or con to swap cardstock, but I'm unlikely to use it to make the initiative to reach out to a law student unless he/she really made an impression. Following up is the student's job.

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Young Marino
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Young Marino » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:20 pm

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:
Young Marino wrote: Fr the practicing attorneys out there, what do you think/would do if a student handed you a business card?


No big pro or con to swap cardstock, but I'm unlikely to use it to make the initiative to reach out to a law student unless he/she really made an impression. Following up is the student's job.

Right I understand that. I was just wondering why so many poasters seem to be so against it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:22 pm

Young Marino wrote:I'm also surprised at the "no business cards" mantra. I would think it's a more professional approach to networking events? Fr the practicing attorneys out there, what do you think/would do if a student handed you a business card?

The one time I dropped a card as a law student, the attorney I was talking with essentially laughed in my face. I threw my school under the bus, saying that they had given them out and told us to use them, and he told me in no uncertain terms how stupid he thought that was.

Anon because I am still embarrassed that I ever did this.

Winter is Coming
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Winter is Coming » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:23 pm

Having worked pre-law school and had legit business cards, it just makes me feel weird to be giving some ridiculous school made business card (that only has the school's address and my email on it anyway). If someone asked me for one, I'd probably say I didn't have it and ask if I could grab their email address and send my contact info along later to keep in touch.

My school kind of made us get them (for free) and I have only ever given them out at bars back at home to friends as a joke (friends laughing at me, not with me).

TA923
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby TA923 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:35 pm

Went to numerous casual networking events and gave out business cards. They were VERY well received (plus it made me stand out from the other schmucks writing their contact information on cocktail napkins). Don't buy into the TLS hivemind here.

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utahraptor
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby utahraptor » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:37 pm

lol @ writing things on napkins

you don't need to give the attorney anything

you're going to need to reach out to them anyway

don't be weird

don't bring business cards

TA923
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby TA923 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:42 pm

utahraptor wrote:lol @ writing things on napkins

you don't need to give the attorney anything

you're going to need to reach out to them anyway

don't be weird

don't bring business cards


There's nothing weird about it. If someone doesn't want your card, they'll just throw it away. No chance giving someone your card could possibly cause any adverse consequence.

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sundance95
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:46 pm

TA923 wrote:
There's nothing weird about it. If someone doesn't want your card, they'll just throw it away. No chance giving someone your card could possibly cause any adverse consequence.

That's right--no one could possibly feel differently than you!!!

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:16 pm

Sibling went to Harvard Business School and they gave students cards, which they were encouraged to use. I have my own business and do a lot of consulting (worked in industry for 6 years) so I'm used to carrying them. Any attorney who laughs at someone for having business cards is a total nerd and has probably never worked outside a law firm.

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ymmv
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby ymmv » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sibling went to Harvard Business School and they gave students cards, which they were encouraged to use. I have my own business and do a lot of consulting (worked in industry for 6 years) so I'm used to carrying them. Any attorney who laughs at someone for having business cards is a total nerd and has probably never worked outside a law firm.


Most attorneys at law firms have probably never worked outside a law firm :roll:
And LJL at the idea that business school has anything to do with law school.

Anonymous User
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:29 pm

ymmv wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sibling went to Harvard Business School and they gave students cards, which they were encouraged to use. I have my own business and do a lot of consulting (worked in industry for 6 years) so I'm used to carrying them. Any attorney who laughs at someone for having business cards is a total nerd and has probably never worked outside a law firm.


Most attorneys at law firms have probably never worked outside a law firm :roll:
And LJL at the idea that business school has anything to do with law school.


LJL? I don't know what that means, but as a JD/MBA my law and business school have a lot to do with each other. Besides, they are both professional schools preparing students for similarly demanding careers and the need to develop networking skills.

Winter is Coming
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Re: Networking event etiquette

Postby Winter is Coming » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:57 pm

I think the issue is that most people who work in school CSOs have never worked outside of a CSO. Its not a big deal either way, but law students handing out business cards just seems funny.

I don't get people anonymously posting in this thread (possible business card company shills?)




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