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How To Work The Room At An In-Person Attorney Networking Event

June 14, 2021

Networking with others who offer legal services can help you make meaningful connections that will advance your career. Unsure of how to work the room at an in-person attorney networking event? Use these tips before, during, and after your future networking event to become an expert networker. 

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Use These Tips To Become A Pro At Lawyer Networking 

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just breaking into the career field, meeting people in the legal sector is challenging. But if you want to build your personal network, you’ll need to step out of our comfort zone. 

You can network in places you already need to go. Client parties, bar association events, and law firm functions all offer networking opportunities.

Attending a virtual event is another option to use the practice area to prepare and gather some behind-the-screen bravery when networking. 

But live networking events are essential and offer connections that are not available during virtual events.  

Attending an in-person networking event is probably not on the top of your to-do list, especially if you don’t know anyone who’s going. 

But much like the real estate industry, networking with others who offer legal services can help you make meaningful connections that will advance your career. 

Even if networking events aren’t your thing, you can use this guide to learn how to work any lawyer networking event and make it productive and enjoyable. 

How To Stand Out In An In-Person Law Networking Group 

Once you RSVP to a law networking event, you will have ample opportunities to benefit your career and law practice. 

Networking is an excellent business development method because you never know which new contact could lead to a new job or new clients. 

Unsure of how to work the room at an in-person attorney networking event? Use these tips before, during, and after your future networking event to become an expert networker. 

Before The Networking Event 

Legal professionals know that the key to a solid case is extensive preparation. Not only do you have to prepare for what you will say, but you also have to anticipate what the other side will bring to the table. 

Preparation is also vital when it comes to networking. The more prep work you do, the easier and more beneficial the event will be. 

Here are some things you can do to get ready before the networking event.

Preview The Attendee List 

Typically, networking event hosts will publish a list of confirmed attendees. Conduct some research by plugin their names into LinkedIn to see if meeting them can offer mutually beneficial perks. 

This will give you a chance to think about some good conversation starters and help you make a plan for the event, both of which will help overcome any social anxiety you may feel. 

Set Goals For The Event

Setting objectives will give you purpose during the meetup. Think about what you want to accomplish while you are networking.

You may want to meet three new professional contacts, connect with new clients, or even just introduce yourself to someone new. 

Get Digital Business Cards 

Exchanging business cards is the norm during lawyer networking events. However, you may leave them at home, or the recipient could put them through the laundry, rendering it useless. 

Prevent this problem by creating digital business cards. These sharable files include basic contact information but are customizable so that you can add links to your social media accounts, your business page, or even helpful resources. 

Having a virtual business card ready is a great way to show that you care about your professional reputation and are on the cutting edge of industry trends. 

Prepare To Make A Good First Impression

Since you will be in a room full of lawyers, you’ll want to dress the part to convey a professional tone. Here are some things you can do to make an excellent first impression. 

  • Choose Your Best Attire 
  • Polish Your Shoes 
  • Update Your Business Cards 
  • Choose A Vessel Or File To Store Business Cards You Receive

First impressions last a long time, so make sure you take steps to make a good impression right off the bat. 

During The Networking Event 

Once you arrive at the in-person event, you’ll want to survey the room. 

Here are some networking tips you can use to meet new people and build stronger professional relationships. 

Stay The Entire Time

If you commit to attending a networking event, you need to do it right. Don’t arrive fashionably late or leave early to beat traffic if you're looking for a successful networking experience. . 

Take advantage of the event. Arrive early and select a spot where you can see what’s going on. Stay until it finishes so you don’t miss out on any opportunities to make connections.  

Talk To A Variety Of People

It may be tempting to find someone you are comfortable with and monopolize their time. Remember, the purpose of any networking event is to meet new people and find new professional contacts. 

Always be sure to introduce yourself to the event hosts, organizers, and sponsors. If you are unsure of who to begin talking to, look for someone sitting alone and looking as nervous as you feel. 

Be sure to connect with various people/ From law students to pro bono lawyers; you never know when a connection may come in handy. If you find yourself enjoying the conversation, propose a follow-up session over coffee or lunch. 

Ask A lot Of Questions. 

A significant source of stress for lawyers at networking events is often finding something to talk about. Remember that you should be listening more than you are talking. 

Use conversations as an opportunity to get to know others. Ask about their interests and issues in the law field that interests them. This is also a great way to evaluate the quality of contact. 

If the person reciprocates and asks about you, they probably are a high-quality contact. If they talk endlessly about themselves, they probably aren’t looking for relationship networking opportunities. 

Get The Details Right

Sometimes it’s the little things that set us apart. Here are some small things you can do that will help you work the room. 

Small Things To Set You Apart...So That You Can:

  • Hold Your Beverage In Your Left Hand... You Can Easily Shake Hands 
  • Read A Business Card Before Putting It away... Show You Value The Professional Contact 
  • Wear Your Name Tag On The Right... Display It Well When Shaking Hands 

When you pay attention to details, you communicate confidence and demonstrate you are interested in building your professional network. These small actions may even result in a referral or new potential clients. 

After The Networking Event 

Once the event is over, the actual networking efforts begin. Here are some networking tips you can use to ensure the professional contacts you made during the meetup turn into high-quality relationships. 

Organize New Contact Information

Take some time to go through the new business cards you received. Add the information to your professional network management tool and store paper business cards in a safe place.

As you review them, jot down notes to remember key details about the person. This will help you to place your initial conversation and use those details to start a new discussion. 

Follow-Up On Promising Interactions

Send a personal message or email letting the person know you enjoyed the conversation. Be sure to mention the detail of the interaction to jog their memory. 

You can also follow up with a LinkedIn invite, a link to a website, or even a helpful resource. If you feel the relationship could be mutually beneficial, schedule an outreach on your calendar after an appropriate amount of time has passed. 

You should follow up with viable contacts once every quarter to maintain the relationship.

Use Your Networking Skills To Advance Your Legal Career 

When you are busy working at a law practice, finding the time to the network can be challenging. However, with lots of practice, you will be an expert networker in no time. 

Step out of your comfort zone, make good first impressions, and use a professional network management tool to keep yourself and your new contacts organized. 

FAQs

Should I have a digital business card? 

Yes, a digital business card is easy to update and share and demonstrates that you care about your professional network. 

What are some common mistakes when building a personal brand? 

Some common mistakes when building a personal brand include 

Is professional networking important for law professions? 

Networking helps you make connections and build relationships that could result in a position at a law firm or new clients. 

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