This month marks one year at my firm. Not only have I learned a lot about the substantive law in the areas I practice but I’ve also learned plenty about the non-legal work that goes into being an attorney.
One such aspect of practicing law, and probably one of the more important aspects of being an attorney, is networking and marketing. As young attorneys, many of us are not immediately tasked with developing business or bringing in clients. But it’s advantageous to start networking, marketing and developing relationships at an early stage in your legal career.
We all know that law school offers dozens of classes in order to teach students about the various substantive areas of the law. Extracurricular law school activities such as moot court, clinic, mock trial and law review, to name a few, provide an opportunity for students to sharpen their litigation and writing skills. However, as far as I know, not many law schools offer classes or provide an extracurricular activity to teach students how to effectively network, market or develop business.
So where do you start? One way that I immediately got involved was joining the local bar associations in various jurisdictions across Maryland. I did not always know someone when I started attending meetings, but I found that by simply going up to people and striking up a conversation is an effective way of getting yourself out there and making acquaintances. This year, I would like to get more involved with the various bar associations by becoming a member of a board or volunteering.
I also have also become more involved with local civic associations. These groups want young, enthusiastic volunteers to help out with their group and further their cause. I’ve offered to volunteer in anyway that I can and I have begun to develop relationships and contacts. Just make sure you join a group that deals with issues that interest you; if you do, your participation will be more rewarding.
What do some of the other young attorneys out there think? What are some good ways for young attorneys to begin networking and marketing?