With the holiday season in full swing, ‘tis the season for parties. In today’s Career Center post, the recruiters at Lateral Link provide you with tips on how to work a room and expand your network while mingling with co-workers, family, and friends.
1. First, research the guest list. Come up with a list of people attending the party you want to meet and talking points for each of them.
2. Develop and memorize a short personal introduction (your elevator pitch) containing information on who you are, what you do, and why you are here.
Keep reading for more valuable tips to use this holiday season….
Being a small firm lawyer usually means that you’re not a cog in the wheel of some multi-national corporation while enjoying their stream of business sent to your firm because of someone on another floor. Small firm lawyers either have to blow their brains out on ads featuring their angry mugs (arms crossed in aggressive, “fight-for-you” anger), direct mail, or the art and science of talking to people and developing relationships, otherwise known as networking.
In this arena, there are two types of lawyers: Those that “don’t do networking,” and those that do it because it is required to establish a word of mouth practice. I know you think there’s a third — those that love networking, but those lawyers are to be avoided at all costs. Lawyers that love going out after work and eating bar food, drinking low-level vodka, and asking “so, where’s your office,” are rejects. Ignore them. They just want to give you their business card the minute they lay eyes on you and tell you to “call (me) whenever you have a (usually PI or real estate) matter.”
For those that want the word of mouth practice, and the reputation in the community as a go-to person (assuming you are a competent lawyer, and these days, that’s a big assumption), here are some things to consider….
My firm, like so many, has decided not to purchase and send holiday cards for our clients, instead relying on those stupid ecards. Ostensibly this is part of our “Going Green” initiative. More likely it puts more green in the partners’ pockets. Whatever.
I’d like to send actual paper cards to some of my clients and contacts. These are people who are not social friends, but with whom I have a business relationship, or would like to maintain professional contact. My questions:
1. Should I send them my regular family holiday card (photo of me with the wife & kids and a holiday greeting)? Most of the people to whom I would send this have never met my wife or kids, and in many cases probably don’t know they even exist.
2. If not, should I get a generic card or a customized card with my name on the card? what about other info (firm name, phone, email, etc.)?
3. Should I include a business card with my holiday card?
4. Should I forget the whole thing and just send ecards? or nothing at all?
Dear Bah Humbug,
These detailed questions require a very organized response. Let’s break down each option you’ve laid out…
We’ve written before about clever and mortifying business cards for lawyers. But everyone would agree that business cards are essential for practicing attorneys.
What about for attorneys-to-be, i.e., law students? A reader asks:
Emails have been gone around NYU and Columbia law schools recently about business cards. More specifically, about me needing to buy school business cards. Is this normal? Do 1Ls and 2Ls actually need business cards that read “Columbia Law J.D. Candidate 2012?”
Consensus seems to be that they’re incredibly douchey and pretentious, but is it actually helpful for networking events and EIP/OCI? I know a few students have them…. but is this something to which I should give serious consideration? Is this the norm among law schools and I’m just ignorant? Or is this just some more junk advice from career services?
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This year, the Trust Women conference will take place 18-19 November in London. From women’s economic empowerment to slavery in the supply chain and child labour, this year’s agenda is strong and powerful. Speakers include Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking and many other influential leaders. Find out more about Trust Women here.