Monday, March 25, 2019

Networking Inside Loyola

Networking is essential when you are an attorney. It is how you get new clients, how you get a reputation (hopefully a good one), how you get referrals from your peers. It is arguably even more essential before you even become an attorney. As a law student, networking is how you get a job. You meet someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who is looking to hire. But networking doesn’t start the first time you meet a practicing attorney, it starts the first day you step on campus. Networking with your peers, who are all going to be practicing attorneys one day, and your professors, who have all already had successful careers, is vital.

I’ve been lucky enough to not only build relationships with other students on campus, but also faculty members. The most rewarding connection that I have been able to make is with Susan Poehls, the Director of Trial Advocacy here at Loyola. She is one of my Byrne Trial Team coaches, and also my professor in the Hobbs practicum. I am comfortable in a courtroom because of her, I know how to think of arguments on my feet because of her, I know how to actually use the Rules of Evidence in real-life, rather than just hypothetically, because of her. Her reputation for producing some of the best trial attorneys proceeds her, not just in Los Angeles, but all over California. When I interviewed for a job in Sacramento, and the hiring board discovered my connection to Professor Poehls, they were ecstatic. And they hired me.

Making connections with your professors is easy: they have office hours, they are always available on email, many of them even give you their cell phone numbers. But the easiest way to build a relationship with a professor is to work with them. If you become someone’s research assistant, work in their clinic, join their team, you will start to know them on a personal and professional level. And those relationships will not only help you in law school, they will help shape your future.

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