Browsing Category 'networking skills for lawyers’ RSS

Starting the Conversation at Networking Events

Date April 30, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Starting the Conversation at Networking Events

Starting the Conversation at Networking Events

pmcLast Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending a great panel discussion on diversity and inclusion (sponsored by the Association of Employment Professionals.)    The program included ample time to network so I made sure to get there extra early.  Shortly after my arrival, I ran into Neal Fay, a recruiter I see at a lot of recruiting functions.

Neal is the consummate networker.  He is personable, shows genuine interest in talking to you and always has something he is ready to discuss.  He clearly buys into the networking rule that I have written about: Be Interested; Be Interesting. Read more…

New York, New York

Date April 16, 2018 Comment Comments Off on New York, New York

New York, New York

new-yorkNetworking is a great tool for business development.  If you are a lawyer in private practice, building solid referral relationships is the best way to grow your business and networking is a great tool to accomplish this.

One way to increase your networking effectiveness is to find common ground with the other professionals you meet. Read more…

Be Interested; Be Interesting

Date March 19, 2018 Comment Comments Off on Be Interested; Be Interesting

Be Interested; Be Interesting

Tell Me More

In the classic self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie told his readers that they should become genuinely interested in other people.  Nearly 100 years after the publication of that book, the rules of relationship building have not changed and this still holds true.  If you want to make a lasting impression on someone, show that you are interested in them.  Read more…

Connecting With Your Tribe

Date November 30, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Connecting With Your Tribe

Connecting With  Your Tribe

thetribeLaw is a profession that attracts individuals who enjoy solitude (according to the ABA, as many as 60% of attorneys are introverts.) If you ask most lawyers how they feel about networking, you are likely to get a  lukewarm response.  Getting out and making small talk is simply not a high priority activity for a lot of attorneys.  But as I’ve written on many occasions, leaving your office and meeting other professionals is the best way to advance your career, position yourself for future job opportunities and build your law practice. Read more…

Overcoming Fear of Networking

Date October 24, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Overcoming Fear of Networking

Not Feeling Well

For most lawyers, networking is right up there with getting root canal or spending time in a Porta Potty.  It’s a necessary and useful activity.  But it is not fun.

Attending networking functions can feel uncomfortable to many professionals.  What if you don’t know anyone?  What should you talk about? How do you find business leads or job opportunities in a large crowd?  But networking can help you increase your circle of business relationships.  It should be part of your overall marketing and career strategy.  Read more…

Documenting Your Networking

Date October 11, 2017 Comment Comments Off on Documenting Your Networking

Documenting Your Networking

business-cardWhile social media has become an important tool in building business and personal relationships, nothing can substitute for the bonds that are created through in person interactions.  Going to networking functions is still important whether you are looking for a new job or trying to build your law practice.  But how do you make the most of your interactions at a networking meeting?  What should you do with the business card that someone hands you?

Read more…

Helping “Professionals” in Need During the Holiday Season

Date November 30, 2016 Comment Comments Off on Helping “Professionals” in Need During the Holiday Season

Helping “Professionals” in Need During the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to remember the needy–those who are struggling to pay for basic necessities. We are all compelled to do what we can to help those less fortunate than us and the holiday season is a good reminder to act. Whether that means volunteering in a homeless shelter or simply writing a check to our favorite causes, there is a lot we can do to help others.

But what about the professionals in our lives who have a different kind of need. What about the many individuals who won’t go hungry or homeless because they have family resources to fall back on. Instead, these are the people who are unemployed, underemployed or simply unhappy professionally.  Are you doing everything we can to help those individuals?

It is easy to ignore networking requests from people who we don’t think we can help.  If we are busy in our own lives and jobs, then those obligations need to take priority.  On the other hand, people who are out of work are feeling particularly vulnerable this time of year.  And with minimal effort, we can all do our share to help elevate the spirits of these individuals.  Maybe we can actually offer valuable feedback or other contacts who might be able to help that individual.

I have to remind myself to do this because it is the right thing to do. But the truth is that at different times, we all need help. As Mark Knopfler of the 80’s and 90’s band Dire Straits once sang “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes  you’re the bug”.

So in the holiday season, make time to help those in professional need.  Your willingness to give your time will be greatly appreciated and some day, you may be on the other side of the desk.

Documenting Your Networking Meetings

Date May 10, 2013 Comment Comments Off on Documenting Your Networking Meetings

Documenting Your Networking Meetings

I was speaking to one of my clients the other day and he described for me what he does any time he makes a court appearance.  At the end of the day, he goes back to his office and takes a few minutes to document what happened.  He has a longstanding practice of doing this and he always tries to do it the same days so that his memory is fresh. In effect, he has created a habit which ensures that he does not have to rely on his memory to keep track of his cases.

Many lawyers do this as a matter of course.  In fact  it is good practice whether you are a litigator or a transactional lawyer to generate file memos that are written after you have met with a client or interviewed someone on behalf of a client.  As lawyers, we are very good at documenting in our case work.

But when it comes to networking meetings, we forget to use the skills we use all the time in practicing law.  We do not prepare in the same way.  I wrote about this after the blizzard in February.  And we do not take the time to document our activities (and calendar next steps).

This litigation client of mine has begun incorporating his regular business practices into his marketing activities.  After each networking meeting, he makes sure to write down notes about the conversation (including both personal and professional things he learned from the individual).   I am also encouraging him to “docket” a next step with that individual (if he deems the individual to be a potential referral source or client).

No one likes to take time to do this.  Tracking time, documenting what you have done and making a point of deciding on next steps before the day ends is all cumbersome.  But when it comes to relationship building, documenting is an invaluable activity that can help you greatly as you cultivate relationships over time.

Posted by Stephen Seckler

If you are trying to do more networking these days, you are in good company. The ranks of unemployed lawyers keep growing and networking is a good way to uncover jobs and project work that may go unadvertised. But what happens when you are diligently making your networking phone calls and you keep getting voice mail. Should you leave a message? Here are some suggestions from a consultant who advises professionals service providers on selling.

Mastering the Art of Small Talk

Date October 18, 2008 Comment Comments Off on Mastering the Art of Small Talk

A down economy is a good time to build your network and reconnect with old colleagues, classmates etc. If you avoid this kind of activity because small talk does not come easily to you, here are some good tips for keeping the conversation going over lunch or coffee.