Friday, April 8, 2016

Networking Opportunities

Loyola has a lot (and I mean a LOT) of networking events, expert panels, and talks of all sorts. Every day, you can expect to receive several invitations and reminders in your Loyola email about events coming up. How many, or how few to attend is certainly up to the individual. Not all of them are super relevant to everybody, given that a lot of groups are based on gender, ethnic, or other very tailored interests.

At the beginning of the year, I attended some informational sessions about various groups on campus, based on my initial thoughts about what I wanted to achieve at Loyola. Since then, my preferences have narrowed down a little bit, but there are still plenty of interesting options. I recently attended a panel about judicial externships at various courts, which lead to me applying for, and getting, a summer position as an extern for a federal judge. That panel cemented the fact that the externship was how I wanted to spend my summer, and made it clear which options I wanted to pursue.

I recently attended a lunchtime panel about a court that has been set up in Cambodia to prosecute crimes against humanity committed by Pol Pot’s fascist regime in the 70’s and 80’s. International law is not a particular interest of mine, I just thought it was a very interesting topic. I ended up learning a lot about the challenges of setting up these sorts of tribunals in countries with deep-seated corruption. Just yesterday, I went to a panel discussion about the realities of being a litigator in practice. That was definitely more geared toward my interest, and I came away with a lot of great information. Specifically, it was interesting to hear from litigators who work in huge firms and those who work in solo practice or with one other colleague.

Networking events are definitely something I’ve been wanting to do more of. These events have always been slightly uncomfortable for me, but I know that Loyola events will help me get better at the practice. Since my summer position is secured and our big 1L writing assignments are finished, I will be looking into attending more networking events before the semester is done.

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