Friday, April 13, 2018

Law School: One Big Networking Opportunity

I feel like in every career, there is always an expectation that networking plays a role in landing a job. If I had a nickel for every time anyone in my life had told me, “It’s all about who you know”, I would not have any reason to be concerned about paying off my law school loans. I have heard that phrase over and over again for my entire life from people over a wide array of careers. What I have come to realize since beginning school at Loyola is that networking is VITAL to law school. It is not just something people say when they are complaining about not getting a specific job they want. (You know what I am talking about. You ask Johnny So-And-So if he got that job he interviewed for and he responds, “Nope. They only give out jobs to their friends and family. No one else has a chance.”)

Instead, it is a reality of getting a legal job. You HAVE to build your network. Honestly, I feel like many legal internships are pretty difficult to get, however, having a contact who either works for your dream company/firm or who knows someone there could be the difference between an email from a prospective employer beginning, “Congratulations” or one saying, “Unfortunately.” Trust me, I get it. Networking is scary. It feels uncomfortable, awkward, and unusual. I will be the first person to tell you how difficult it is to learn how to network. However, it is a skill that you are going to need to acquire. I have secured all of my jobs since beginning at Loyola through one avenue — networking. I cannot even begin to preach the importance it is to step outside your comfort zone, to talk to that professor, go to that networking event, reach out to your career development counselor, etc. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but as soon as you begin reaping the rewards of having mentors and contacts, you will be thankful that you did.

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