The Do’s and Don’ts of Networking-Marketing Yourself for Prospective Employment and Connections
Recently, the First Generation Law Students Organization at Capital Law hosted our first event, the Do’s and Don’ts of Networking. Among our presenters were Hannah Botkin-Doty (L’13) and Jill McQuain, Executive Director of the Columbus Bar Association (CBA). Jill and Hannah have used networking to their advantage to build unique connections, grow their network, and ultimately enhance their professional lives by doing so. During this event, the duo highlighted many do’s and don’ts that have helped each of them in their growth.
· Network, Network, Network, and do it NOW
As Jill McQuain said, 75% of a lawyer’s success has nothing to do with classroom skills; it has to do with professionalism, holding yourself accountable, and talking to people. In a recent study conducted by a group of Law Schools, 80% of Lawyers hired were hired based on recommendations. While the practice of law is a very social industry, heavily dependent on people skills, an astonishing 70% of Lawyers are introverts. It takes a lot of work to get your name out there, so it’s important to pace yourself and look for quality connections over quantity. With first meetings, and even interviews, it may help to do some background research, Hannah Botkin-Doty says, it helps build a connection with the individual you’re meeting, and shows you have genuine interest in the individual, and are not just looking for a job or clients.
· When people ask what you do, tell them who you are and what lights you up
When Hannah Botkin-Doty started her own firm with fellow classmate, Abbie Obenour, they began at ground zero. They had an office space, and knew they needed to get clients to get their business going. While Abbie worked on the internal aspects of the firm, Hannah was tasked with going out there to get the firms name out there, and hopefully gain some clients. Networking events can be terrifying, especially if you’re an introvert like Hannah, but she found that people are friendly if you make an effort. She also says that you need to know your limits when networking. When talking to people, tell them who you are and what motivates you, finishing your story with how you connect to them, whether it’s legal or even personal. Finally, follow up with dates to keep connecting, maybe over lunch, show the initiative. One of the most important things is to build trust and like with someone, no one wants to do business with someone they do not like.
· Drink too much-it’s easy to get nervous at networking events, but do not get drunk, people will remember it
· Be Rude
· Just hand out business cards-make people want to get your contact information
· Blow off events or fail to attend-if you cannot make it, tell someone, if you can make it, go!
Resources for easing into networking:
Columbus Bar Association
The local bar association for the Greater Columbus Area. The CBA hosts a variety of committee meetings, including a Young Lawyers Committee. Best of all, the membership is FREE for Law Students!
Columbus Young Professionals Club
This is a non-legal resource for those interested in networking with the Greater Columbus Area! The CYP hosts’ events from speed networking, to euchre nights, to wine and beer tastings, where you can meet other young professionals in the area. Membership costs are low, with a $50/year fee for premium members!
Remember, these resources are available, but it’s up to YOU to go after them!
“Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”
-William Eardley IV
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