Law School Networking During COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic altered the methods many employers use to conduct business, and how these employers approach networking has also had to change. For students who entered law school during the pandemic and for those students already enrolled, networking can be a challenge. With students still attending classes from the comfort of home, it’s understandable. However, not all hope is lost! We here at JD Advising have also had to make some changes given ongoing coronavirus concerns – and how we approach networking is also included on the list. Let’s take a look at law school networking during COVID-19.
Law School Networking During COVID-19
Clean Up Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking platform in the world and hosts seemingly endless users. From your high school math teacher to the CEO of a major Fortune 500 company – chances are they’re on LinkedIn. Having a LinkedIn profile is a great way to connect with classmates, law school alumni, professors, and potential employers. It’s a central location where professionals can view your educational credentials, work history, and whether you’re open to new opportunities. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn, now is a great time to sign up for a profile.
If you already have a LinkedIn profile, you’re ahead of the game. However, we see many LinkedIn profiles that could use some TLC. To make sure your LinkedIn profile gives off the right impression, make sure you have an awesome (and professional) headshot. Also, be sure to keep your educational and work history up to date on an ongoing basis. Lastly, don’t hesitate to sign up for a LinkedIn profile session if offered by your law school. Many law schools offer these sessions to students as a way to help you stay updated on the best ways to use LinkedIn.
Tailor Your Message
The days where you could simply walk up to someone and introduce yourself are on pause (for the most part for now). That means the way you interact with other professionals needs to be clear, concise, and confident, including interactions you might have on LinkedIn and other social networking platforms. In order to achieve these three C’s, make sure that you tailor your virtual message accordingly. While online messengers, e-mail, and other tech-focused ways of delivering a message may appear casual – don’t forget your audience! These are professionals for which you need to make a good first impression! So, cut out the use of abbreviations and make sure that spelling and grammar are acceptable. Remember, while an in-person conversation with someone might fade from memory, once you send something electronically, it’s basically permanent. The last thing you want is for an email you casually sent to be the running joke of the office.
Don’t Shy Away From Virtual Events
While you’ve probably had some poor experiences attending law school online, don’t let that deter you from virtual events completely. Many companies, law firms, and local bar associations realize the need for networking in a virtual environment. As a result, virtual webinars and other events have started to pop up and have gained popularity during the pandemic. These are great opportunities to virtually meet with classmates, colleagues, and other professionals from the comfort of your home. While seeing everyone’s face floating on-screen isn’t ideal, you’d be surprised at how quickly it begins to feel comfortable in that environment.
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