Networking is a highly effective way to secure employment, particularly at small and mid-sized firms, but you must start early.  You should start networking in your first year of law school and continue to do so throughout your legal career.  Through networking you can develop professional contacts who can help you evaluate your career options and who may be able to assist you in your job search.  Later on in your career, network to build and develop your practice.  Networking contacts can be friends and family members, but they are also likely to be professionals that you meet through the course of your legal education and career.   

Take advantage of networking opportunities in law school such as Career Planning panels, mock interviews and mentoring programs, Bar association memberships and events, Inns of Court and continuing legal education classes.   Be proactive and seek out employers who do what you want to do and ask for information and advice. 

Networking can also take place in much less formal settings such as in the classroom and in social settings, and whenever you come into contact with anyone even remotely connected to the law.  Your classmates, law students from other schools, professors, law school administrators and staff, secretaries, paralegals, and legal assistants can all be networking contacts.  Always act professionally and graciously and keep in mind that any of your classmates may be a future co-counsel, a judge or a law firm partner.   

Finally, remember that networking is a learned skill. Like any skill, the more practice you get, the more effective you will be.

"Job Seach Secrets Revealed!" - Career Planning networking workshop. View the webcasts at the Events & Webcasts section of the website. 

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