Monday, March 3, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

By Yungmoon, 2E

As a 2E student, it is important to maintain a balance between school and work.  However, even more important, is finding the time to network.  On-Campus Interviews ("OCI") occur in August following your 2E year, and having connections at participating firms ahead of the event is a huge advantage.  

There are many ways to network as a law student.  First, look to your friends and family who may be legal professionals, and ask their advice.  This can range from how they ended up in their positions, to what courses in law school they enjoyed.

Second, make use of resources available on-campus.  For example, Loyola's Office of Career Services ("OCS") hosts and publicizes many networking opportunities, such as panels and mixers hosted by local firms and bar associations.  I have attended events such as a panel at a downtown law firm about different career paths in law, brunch hosted by a local bar association, and I am signed up to participate in a mock interview with an attorney from another local bar association.  Students can also meet with their individual counselors at OCS to review resumes and cover letters, as well as gain tips on appropriate interview etiquette.  

Additionally, the Alumni Office has a database of alumni searchable by such factors as year of graduation, concentration, current firm, location, and past activities.  This is another great way to reach out to professionals who may be able to help you in the future.  With 16,000 alumni in 50 states, and over half the alumni practicing in Southern California, it is likely that you will be able to find an attorney who matches your interests.

Student groups on campus also organize on-campus speakers and mixers.  After these events, the participants often remain for a few extra minutes to meet students, answer questions, and perhaps even hand out business cards.

Successful networking is an art that must be perfected over time with practice.  As a first year at Loyola, you participate in Orientation Part II which gives you tips on how to make a good first impression, reach out to someone for the first time, and reach out to contacts when searching for employment without feeling like a door-to-door salesman.  While these are difficult tasks, I recommend participating in as many events as you can, because for networking, just like with any other skill, practice makes perfect

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