Five Unique Networking Strategies While Waiting for Bar Exam Results
If you are one of many anxiously awaiting bar exam results, rather than browsing the web for bar exam statistics and passage rates, why not make good use of your time? Whether you already have a job or are looking for one, utilizing these unique networking strategies will fill up your time and relieve some of the stress that comes with waiting for the release of bar exam results.
Five Unique Networking Strategies While Waiting for Bar Exam Results
1. Contact professors and classmates.
If you recently graduated from law school, this tip will be easier for you to accomplish. However, even if you have been out of law school for a year or more, it always is nice to catch up with professors and classmates.
Contacting professors and classmates can be informal (such as asking what they have been up to recently), or more formal (maybe asking if they know of any job openings or if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation). No matter how you spin the conversation, professors and classmates can be ideal for networking because you already have a close relationship with them, and should feel more comfortable asking for advice or help.
Simply checking in is a step in the right direction because if you keep in touch with these connections now, it will be easier to ask for something you need in the future. Many of our students have gotten jobs by connecting with classmates and professors.
2. Schedule informational interviews.
Setting up informational interviews can be a beneficial unique networking strategy. Informational interviews are not your normal interview, but rather they are planned networking opportunities giving you the chance to speak with someone who works in a business or field that interests you. During the informational interview, you ask the interviewee questions about what they do for your benefit, and they get to know you, which helps your chances of gaining a formal interview later! Hopefully participating in informational interviews will give you both a new networking connection and answers to any of your questions.
To set up an informational interview, first find someone working in the firm or industry that intrigues you. The person you target doesn’t necessarily have to be interviewing candidates. If you truly want to learn about the business and gain more connections, then acquiring a job out of the process will not be your goal. (But, if you happen to get a job out of it, that is a great bonus!).
After you have located the ideal person to talk to, reach out to set up a time to meet and talk about any questions you may have. If you do not get an answer right away, don’t let this discourage you. Lawyers are very busy. Yet, there are many lawyers out there that will be willing to help, so reach out to more than one!
Once you find someone ready and willing to do an informational interview, set up the time and place to meet. Try to pick a time and place that is most convenient for your interviewee, as they are doing you a favor by taking the time to meet. Before the informational interview, write up questions and do research on the place where this person works, and also on this person’s background. The more you know before, the more you will be able to ask important questions rather than any basic information.
Also, make sure to write a thank you card to the interviewer afterward.
Hopefully this unique networking strategy will give you some insight and help build your overall network!
3. Create a list of connections and contact them!
If you have not done so already, having a list of all your connections is a great way to keep in touch with your network.
Start off by creating a list of all the people you know, and add in more columns of information for each person, including: title, firm, phone, email, address, where you met, other notes, etc. When gaining a new connection, either in or out of the legal field, add that person to your list. Having this list will be helpful when you are looking for something later, such as a letter or recommendation or a job reference.
But, simply having this list will not build your network. We suggest that every so often, you go through the list and reach out to one or two people who you have not talked to in a while. This keeps your connection with that person fresh and helps so they don’t forget about you!
This networking strategy is easy because you can sit at your computer and grow your network. So, there is no excuse for you not to try this while waiting for bar exam results!
4. Join law-related group(s) and attend events.
There are many law-related associations that offer memberships and numerous networking opportunities. A simple online search should reveal the associations in your area. Some groups even offer free memberships up to a certain point. Even if you don’t want to become a member, oftentimes the events are open to anyone who pays the fee to attend!
Local group events are fun and a great way to meet attorneys in your area. This unique networking opportunity should keep your mind off of those bar exam results!
5. Networking isn’t always planned!
Networking can happen anywhere—a coffee shop, a bookstore, your gym, etc. So, rather than stay home, get out and meet people! Join a gym; sign up for a class or club related something you have been wanting to learn or do (but didn’t have time for while studying for the bar exam!); attend local, non-law related events (such as concerts or charity events); etc.
Step outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. Even if the connections you make are not attorneys, they might know a lawyer or be related to a lawyer. Make every connection count. You never know who will be the connection that lands you your next job.
While you are waiting for bar exam results, try to stay active and busy with these unique networking strategies rather than think about the bar exam!
Hopefully these unique networking strategies will help you get through the stress of waiting for the release of bar exam results.
If you are not interested in networking, here are seven other things you can do while you wait for bar exam results!
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