Monday, June 7, 2021

Networking and CDO Opportunities

Hello again, Jury of Peers! Today we’re talking networking and career development. Personally, one of my most dreaded subjects. Last year, I wrote this post about how hard it was as a shy person to network, which is still true for me, and Zoom hasn’t made it much easier…or so I thought.

I have attended way more lunch events this year than I have in the past and part of that is thanks to Zoom. And because of this year, I will continue to attend more lunch events in the future.

This year in particular I have gotten great networking opportunities by being on Student Government (DSBA) as a Speaker Chair. Because I am part of the group that plans the events, I was basically given the perfect excuse to network: an event. I know for some of you social butterflies out there you might think it’s silly that I need an “excuse” to reach out to attorneys I personally want to know, but introverts will completely understand this.

This year I’ve networked with lawyers in Big Law, political activists, and civil rights leaders through my position at DSBA. And my decision to apply for the DSBA position was actually because I took advantage of Loyola’s alumni mentorship program offered over the summer.

I signed up to have a phone call with an attorney who works in fields I’m interested and was matched with an in-house counsel attorney who was shy like me during his law school years. He told me he made a ton of connections by volunteering to find speakers for clubs he was in. So, through networking, I learned a strategy to network. And now I’m passing that nugget of wisdom on to you.

While networking is a big part of career development, it’s not the only part. Career development also happens by applying for jobs…I know, who would’ve thought? This year I tried my hand at OCI and am currently (as of writing this) applying for summer positions through the Law Firm Reception put on by the CDO. This is a super easy event for shy people like me because you just submit a resume to as many small and mid-size firms as you want.

To finish this post off, I want to talk about my favorite events I’ve been to. First, the women in big law event was amazing. Mostly it was inspiring to hear how the legal profession is getting better for women, even if it’s not as fast as we’d like it to be. And hearing women talk about balancing the pressures of family and career goals is always comforting.

My other favorite event is one that hasn’t even happened yet, as of writing this. DSBA is putting on an improv workshop to help build professional skills. Basically, it’s a big practice area where we are not only allowed to, but encouraged, to fail big. Fail big in an improv workshop, win big in a real-life situation. I’m a HUGE believer that improv can change your life for the better no matter what profession you end up in, so I’m super excited to have someone share this skill with my peers.

{this is me teaching an improv workshop at a comedy festival!} 

At the risk of going on forever, I’ll end this post here. Hopefully you found it helpful and know that if you end up at LLS, feel free to network with me anytime!

See you in the next one,