Networking

In prior installments of our Above the Law webcast offering career advice for this summer, graciously sponsored by our friends at the Practical Law Company, we’ve focused on what law students should do in order to make the most of their summers. We’ve discussed such subjects as how to find summer jobs, how to network, and how to balance work and social activities.

Now let’s turn our attention to the flip side of the coin: what not to do over the summer….

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What NOT to do: potential pitfalls for summer associates.

Law school deans — as well as other administrators, and law students — obsess over law school rankings. It’s understandable why deans fixate on rankings; for better or worse, it’s their job.

But what about law students? Should they put so much stock in rankings? Do people, specifically employers, pay too much attention to where an applicant went to law school?

May is graduation month. Once you’re out in the real world of legal employment, do folks actually care where you went to school? That’s the topic for the latest installment in the ATL career advice webcast, sponsored by the Practical Law Company: Does your law school matter?

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Does where you went to law school matter?

In cooperation with our friends at the Practical Law Company, we produced a webcast, We Know What You Should Do This Summer. Career experts, including law firm partners, discussed subjects of interest to law students who want to excel as summer associates.

The recession might be officially over, but we’re not back to the glory days of 2006 and 2007. If you’ll be a summer associate this year — congratulations, by the way — you don’t want to run the risk of being no-offered.

Let’s take a look at the latest video segment, which looks at how economic times have affected what’s expected of summer associates, and offers practical advice on how to succeed as a summer….

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The post-recession summer associate experience.

Here at Above the Law, we try to offer practical tips for how to succeed in the legal profession. See, e.g., our recent posts about how to take vacation in Biglaw, or the best time for starting your own law firm.

Together with another company that provides useful advice and insight to lawyers, the Practical Law Company, we produced a webcast, We Know What You Should Do This Summer. A panel of career experts tackled topics of interest to law students who want to succeed over the summer — and beyond.

Prior installments of the webcast appeared here and here. Now let’s look at the latest segment….

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Government jobs; balancing work and play in Biglaw.

Above the Law recently produced a webcast, We Know What You Should Do This Summer, in which a panel of career experts discussed how law students can make the most of their summers. The panel was sponsored by our friends at the Practical Law Company, which provides law students with free access to its excellent resources so they can succeed over the summer. Check out PLC’s law student home page to learn more.

We divided the webcast into different segments on discrete topics, for posting on Above the Law. We posted the first clip over here. Now, on to the second segment….

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Beyond Biglaw; advice for 1Ls; networking.

Earlier this month, Above the Law recorded a webcast, We Know What You Should Do This Summer. We convened a panel of career experts to discuss how law students can make the most of their summers. The panel was sponsored by our friends at the Practical Law Company. (We previously explained PLC and its mission over here.)

We started off with information and tips for our less fortunate readers — namely, law students (and lawyers) who have not yet found positions for the summer.

Check out the first installments, after the jump.

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Introductions, and how to find a summer job.

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

Funny story: One day during my third year of law school, I overslept and missed an important session of my Sales class. The problem is, when I tried to get the notes for the class, the only one who had … pardon me? Yes, Sales. No, not UCC Sales. “Sales.” As in “How to Market and Sell Your Legal Services.” … So, anyway, the only one who had the notes … what’s that? You didn’t? Seriously? So how were you supposed to learn how to sell your services as a lawyer?

Turns out my story, which was going to be hysterical, was also completely fabricated. Like you, I didn’t learn a damned thing about sales in law school. But at the time (the early nineties), that seemed OK. It’s a profession, you see. Sales is for commerce. Lawyers aren’t in commerce; we’re in a vocation.

Yeah, right.

As the practice of law careens away from its eighteenth-century traditions, where clients just find you, lawyers today (and especially small-firm lawyers) need to rely on sales skills to bring in business. Since we didn’t learn these in law school, we have to rely on our natural sales ability. Unfortunately, lawyers tend not to have any.

In fact, as a group, we suck at sales. But the reason we suck will probably surprise you.…

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Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

When 1,500 lawyers gathered at this week’s ABA TechShow in Chicago, an interesting thing happened:

The business card died.

When these lawyers weren’t listening to the dozens of cutting-edge seminars or browsing the exhibitors’ booths, they were making new friends and new professional connections. But instead of exchanging business cards, many of the attendees were trading Twitter handles — their online identities that begin with the @ symbol. (I’m @jayshep.) Massachusetts lawyer Gabriel Cheong (@gabrielcheong) told me that by the end of the conference, he had collected exactly zero business cards. (I immediately gave him one of mine. #irony) Instead of accumulating two-by-three-and-a-half-inch scraps of cardstock, he typed their Twitter names directly into his iPhone. (And I doubt anyone actually said, “Uh, I’m not on the Twitter.”) Molly McDonough (@Molly_McDonough), online editor at the ABA Journal, tweeted at the end of the conference: “For first time, I didn’t collect any biz cards at #abatechshow. Just made note of names and followed on Twitter.” Others retweeted (quoted) her tweet with approval.

So does this mean it’s time for small-firm lawyers to learn how to tweet?

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Here at Above the Law, we’re still enjoying the awesomeness of 1Ls and 2Ls going to war over the appropriate use of a listserv.

Today we’ve got an email more mundane in subject matter, but no less objectionable. It’s from a 1L (of course), who is trying to “network” with fellow 1Ls.

And it’s written by a 1L at Thomas Jefferson Law School, which had a starring role in the recent, widely read New York Times article on the dangers of going to law school. So our more elitist readers are about to have a field day…

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Although I have a blog and accounts with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Plaxo, I am not a big “rah rah” social media cheerleader for the sake of being one. There is much about social media that is overhyped, which is probably why I liked G.M. Filisko’s article in the January edition of the ABA Journal, “Social Media or Snake Oil: Does Social Media Measure Up to the Hype?” I saw many parallels in it in terms of how I have used social media and thought it offered some honest advice.

After the jump, I will point out a few things that have helped me along the way with social media — and reveal its biggest “not-so-secret” secret….

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