The Importance of Networking

handshake isolated on business background

Networking. (Photo credit: SalFalko) CC License

Networking can be scary and uncomfortable. It can lead to dead-ends and awkward small talk. But we do it anyway, because we understand the importance of meeting people who can help us define our paths.

My goal while spending my 3rd co-op in Washington, DC was to network, network, and then network more. Thanks to CCOPA and to some very supportive NUSL professors, I have had the chance to meet alumni, attend educational events, and go to career fairs

Summer in DC is a truly unique time to be a law student. As a summer law clerk at the Department of Justice, I have had the opportunity to attend a Q&A with Attorney General Eric Holder, tour the DOJ law library, lunch with Division heads, and share elevators with the unit’s lead attorneys. I’ve also been able to attend the ASIL (American Society for International Law) Summer Associate Series where leaders in international law host intimate gatherings.

At each event I attend, I try to make a connection and learn more about practicing law; and it surprises me every time how helpful these complete strangers can be. I hope that this summer leads to future opportunities, several new LinkedIn friends, and clarity about my career trajectory.

Valuable take aways:

  • You won’t get the meeting unless you ask.
  • Most people will respond to genuine interest and curiosity.
  • The worst that can happen is you appear awkward, you walk away, and you never see them again.

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