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7 Proven Ways To Network Your Law Firm Like A Pro
Learn how to network your law firm like a pro. Here are seven proven ways you can build lasting connections with key business professionals and influencers in your industry.Share the article
Use These Networking Tips To Attract Potential Clients And Find New Business Opportunities
Whether you are fresh out of law school or seeking to transition to a new law firm or advance within your own, building relationships is a critical component of any career path.
You need to expand your personal network and build your professional brand in order to attract new clients and build valuable relationships that can lead to new opportunities, referral sources, or even mutually beneficial favors.
The success of your law firm relies on the amount of business you attract. The best way to do this is to build relationships with fellow lawyers and potential clients.
But working the room at an in-person attorney networking event can be stressful, especially for young lawyers and law students looking to get their foot in the door of the industry.
Even if the networking event is for your law firm, it’s difficult to know how to initiate conversation and understand which relationships are worth cultivating, especially if you are an introvert who would rather sip your beverage in the corner!
Take a look at seven ways legal professionals can network their law firm and see results quickly.
Seven Tips For Lawyers That Will Help Make The Most Of Networking Opportunities
In order to achieve long-term success, you need to network. The relationships you gain along the way produce business opportunities and even friendships. Here are some ways to make your networking effective.
- Focus On The Relationship Before The Professional Benefits.
- Be A Giver And Look For Ways To Help.
- Be Strategic With Your Valuable Time.
- Know Which Relationships Are Worth Cultivating.
- Take Notes After Each Interaction To Remember Key Details About The New Contact.
Here are seven tips you can use right now to make the most of your legal networking meetup.
1. Do Your Research And Ask For Advice
Most events for the legal industry have online registration pages that allow you to see who is attending, as well as a schedule of any sessions or designated networking channels.
Take a look at where the networking event is set and see what is around there. Perhaps you are familiar with local restaurants or attractions that you can use in your icebreaker.
If you are currently working in a law firm, ask for advice from other lawyers. More experienced legal professionals can share what works and what doesn’t when it comes to networking. Your firm may even have a committee that aims to guide their attorneys in the importance of networking, so don’t be afraid to ask around.
Law students or graduates should reach out to their high school, college, or university’s alumni association for contacts who have broken into the legal field. They often maintain alumni lists and will match you up with graduates who can not only dole out advice but may become a key contact.
2. Set Goals For Each Networking Opportunity
The act of networking is overwhelming for many legal professionals. To make the process less stressful, identify the outcomes you wish to achieve from the networking event. Your goals should be achievable and realistic. Here are some steps to formulating networking objectives.
- Identify The Person Or People You Would Like To Connect With.
- Determine If You Are Looking For A Personal Or Professional Connection.
- Figure Out What You Have To Offer Them And What They Bring To The Table For Your Needs.
- Brainstorm Questions And Strategies That Will Help You Attain Your Goal.
Goal setting is especially effective for introverts or people who experience social anxiety. By focusing on the goal rather than the meetup as a whole, you narrow your focus and banish negativity that could cause you to freeze up.
3. Supercharge Your Networking Efforts With Social Media
Don’t overlook social media when it comes to building business relationships. Online social networking has come a long way in helping lawyers connect with others in the legal field.
Use LinkedIn to find law professionals in your area. Build up your LinkedIn profile to accurately demonstrate your experience and interests. Add helpful resources, like articles or a new lawyer’s guide to organizing, promote networking meetups you plan on attending, and reach out to make meaningful connections.
This will help if you are in the middle of a job search but also allows any networker to add another layer to their networking strategy. You can easily add people from other industries, like importing, real estate, or another field that often calls upon trusted lawyers for guidance.
4. Take Advantage Of Bar Association Opportunities
Participating in American Bar Association vents will offer many crucial networking opportunities.
You may find new job opportunities by attending these events, market your law firm, and build relationships that can offer critical referrals for you and potential clients.
You will also establish yourself as an essential bar member and build a positive, trustworthy reputation for you and your law firm.
5. Look For Networking Opportunities In Unexpected Places
The great thing about networking is it can happen anywhere at any time. Here are some places you may find yourself networking when you least expect it.
- School Reunions Or School Committees
- Educational Seminars
- Community Events
- Religious Organizations
- Cocktail Parties, Concerts, And Sporting Events
- Restaurant Openings
- Charity And Nonprofit Benefits
No matter where you are if you are interacting with people, you are networking.
So always look for ways to expand your network. You never know when a personal relationship can generate leads and referral sources for your law firm.
6. Be Prepared
As you focus on building your law practice, you should always be prepared to share your contact information when meeting people.
Business cards are the traditional standard. While they may fit into your pocket, you run the risk of forgetting them in your car or your home. And more often than not, they end up tossed in a trash can or going through the wash cycle as they are forgotten in a pocket.
Let’s not even talk about how expensive it is to update them when your need to update your email address or phone number.
Virtual business cards are the perfect way for networkers always to be prepared to share their contact information when meeting people. These sharable files are easy to make, update, and customize to your brand.
The beauty of a digital business card is that you can add more than just contact information. Because there is no size limit, you can add links to your website, LinkedIn page, and helpful resources.
This not only ensures your new contact has your information at their fingertips but builds your credibility as a legal professional.
7. Focus On Relationship Networking When You Follow Up
Relationships are the foundation of networking. If the other person thinks you are only speaking to them for professional gain, they will become uninterested in you.
Always follow up after making initial contact. Make helping others the focus of your networking and legal marketing strategy. It not only leads to intangible benefits and intrinsic satisfaction, but you will build lasting and rewarding friendships.
Plus, if you notice the other person not reciprocating your efforts, determining the worth of that component of your network will be much easier.
So remember to get to know the personal side before the professional side. Ask about their interests, their families, and their hobbies. Remember key details and refer to them in your follow-up. This consideration will speak volumes.
Help Your Law Firm Grow Through Professional Networking
The professional industry is more relationship-focused than job-focused. Without personal connections, you run the risk of missing out on current opportunities and job prospects.
Networking naturally leads to professional development. Join networking groups, attend events, and set attainable goals for meeting new people.
As you transverse the world of networking, you will see your law firm grow and establish itself as a leader in the legal industry.
How do I transition from virtual networking to in-person networking events?
Get your swagger back for in-person networking events by developing a good introduction, memorizing some solid conversation starters, and remembering to follow up constantly.
How do I know what to bring to a networking event?
Use the Ultimate Checklist to prepare for your next networking event. Always carry digital business cards, breath mints, and a way to take notes.
Do lawyers have to network?
Yes. Networking is the best way to gain information and valuable contacts as you develop your career in the law industry. In many cases, lawyers are required to network for their firm’s legal marketing strategy.