Networking – a word you hear often in the law world, usually being in relation to ‘It isn’t what you know but who you know’. This does indeed carry some truth to it, as this post will try to outline. Networking done right can result in making yourself be known within the ruthless legal market we operate in. This post will help the budding lawyer, whether you are an aspiring solicitor or barrister.
Take on board the following tips to help you find your feet:
What is LinkedIn? The best way I can describe it is Facebook for professionals. This means connecting with other like-minded individuals and creating professional relations.
Why is this vital, you may ask?
(1) It highlights to a potential employer that you are aware of having a professional online presence. This means that you are serious about the career you are wanting to pursue and are thinking long term.
(2) Connecting with people in your industry is extremely helpful, and I cannot exaggerate this enough. The law market is ruthless, but the people in it are very accommodating, mostly. Others will be more than willing to extend a hand of help to you if you have a question, e.g. in relation to the application stage of obtaining a training contract.
(3) If there is a particular firm you are interested in, you can follow the people from that company who can give you some insight into their experience at the firm and maybe some invaluable information for your application.
2. Attending open days
What are open days? These are 1-2 day events held by law firms and Inns to provide you with an insight of the firm or chambers.
|Solicitor route: Firm open days||As rightly put by allaboutlaw, ‘typically the day will involve an itinerary full of talks from firm partners, senior associates and the recruitment team, a guided tour around the offices, shadowing opportunities and a group exercise or two.’ Here you can ask your relevant questions and make yourself known to the firm.
|Barrister route: Inns open days||For example, Middle Temple held an open day on 17th of March 2018 which hosted an array of judges, barristers, pupil barristers and BPTC students. These open days are not only informative but you can network with all those highlighted above!|
3. Attending events
There are an array of events on that law students can attend, which are provided for either of those wanting to pursue a solicitor or barrister route. Despite the event, the general aim is to make yourself familiar to the recruiter, who is likely to be present and ask relevant questions.
Examples of events that are held:
(1) Solicitor route
|LawCareers.net Conference||This is a one-day conference hosted by lawcareers.net whereby you, in their words, ‘spend an intensive day of study and networking with well-known and highly regarded law firms, talking about what they do and why they do it and, of course, how to join them at the legal top table’.
|Firm presentations||Law firms hold presentations to try and make the potential trainee aware of what the firm is all about. These can be informative and vital if you are wanting to apply there.
|University law events||For example, Lancaster University’s law fair will be held on the 21st of November 2018. Such law fairs will be held at your university so be sure to note them in your diary.|
(2) Barrister route
|Pupillage fairs||For example, The National Pupillage Fair is being held at Gray’s Inn on 1 December 2018, at 10;30am – 3:00pm. You can register your interest by searching national pupillage fair by TargetJobs to register your interest. Generally, pupillage fairs allow you to meet and speak to a variety of chambers and have your questions answered. It can be a networking opportunity as you make new contacts. Be sure to find one and register to attend.
|Inns events||There are many helpful events held by one of the four Inns throughout the year. Consult their website to find out more and attend relevant ones as they can be rather informative.|