Thursday, May 9, 2019

Networking and Career Development Opportunities

Since the start of the year one of the biggest buzzwords has been “networking”. Everyone around is doing it, and everyone thinks we ought to do it. While the concept of networking seems daunting – perhaps because it has the word “working” in it- it is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, sometimes putting on a nice suit and nibbling on hors d'oeuvres can be a nice change of pace for a 1L like me. In general, the main requirement to network is the ability to carry on a conversation for a brief period of time. Probably the most difficult part for me is the small talk portion of it, but over time I’ve learned ways to strike up a conversation. Even for those people whose personality is not as outgoing, Loyola provides safe opportunities to learn how to do it. In any given week Loyola holds multiple networking opportunities such as panels with judges, networking dinners and brown bag lunches to help facilitate our immersion into the world of networking.

For instance, this semester the Mexican American Bar Association held a mixer on campus where students had the opportunity to mingle with judges and attorneys. Opportunities like this are really valuable because they provide a comfortable space to network and make great connections with people in the Los Angeles legal community. I appreciated being amongst my classmates while I developed my networking skills because being around familiar faces allowed me to relax and enjoy the experience. I also greatly appreciated the opportunity to network with people with a similar background to mine. Networking with Mexican American lawyers not only allowed me to learn more about the different areas in the law, but I was also motivated to see the support network who is invested in success of students like me.

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