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From Paralegal to Associate:  How to Survive your First Year on the Job – Part II

Welcome back! As we discussed in Part I the importance of the first impression, the need to be proactive, to keep learning, and ask for advice.   This month, I will discuss the importance of networking. 

Indeed, it is primordial, to start making important contacts within and outside of the company / law firm where you work. Networking will not only enable you to find new jobs in the future but also to bring you potential clients.   Lastly, the more you participate in networking events, the more you will be known by the attorneys in your city, which will bring referrals. 

This is especially important as you begin your legal career.  Often, as a new associate you will be inclined to burry yourself into work, but you need to find the time to network as well and start building those relationships early on. 

Here are few tips to start building a great network:

  • Join as many association as possible.  Often, the law firm / company you work for will pay for the membership. 
  • Join a trade organization and get to know the people within it; attend marketing events.
  • Attend the events and workshops organized by those associations.  Not only will you start making contacts, but through the workshops you will be able to keep learning!
  • After getting those precious business cards, send a follow up email, and invite the new contact for coffee or lunch. 
  • Seek out a mentor.  Often, law school have programs in place to pair students with mentors, so it is a good idea to find one while in law school.  But if you have not had a chance to do so, do not despair!  Look for a more experienced attorney that will be able to provide solid advice.  This could be someone within your law firm / company, or someone you would have met at one of the Bar Association’s events.
  • Last but not least, it is also a good idea to join community outreach events or to volunteer from time to time.  As an attorney, we tend to live in a “legal” bubble but we have so much knowledge that can be shared.   

Now, go out and mingle!

 

 

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