Networking events are a huge part of the legal sector, but how do we all really feel about them? Some people love them, others get a little nervous at the thought of meeting so many people all at once. Since we’ve all been locked in our houses for way too long, I think everyone is craving some social interaction. Now that face-to-face networking events, like our G2 Legal NQ Talks, are starting to pop up again, I thought I would share my tips on how to get the most out of them!
Research and plan
Preparation is your best friend. Research the organisers and the speakers. Having an idea of the work they are involved in will allow you to ask questions and show genuine interest in what they do. Don’t be afraid to have a game plan too. Really think about what your goal is – do you want to find out more about the culture at the firm you would love to work for? Are you trying to understand what corporate solicitors really do? Or maybe you’re looking for tips on interviewing? Plan your questions to get those answers you’re looking for!
Listen first, speak second
That is probably the biggest networking secret! Have you realised that the person who speaks first is only being half listened to? This is because the counterpart is often preoccupied with what they are going to say when it’s their turn to speak. Here’s your recipe – listen first, speak second. The person you are talking to will be more relaxed and you are guaranteed their more focused attention on what you are saying.
Apart from interacting with the speakers, you will also be meeting other attendees, a lot of them! Unless you are incredibly good at remembering new information, the chances are you might forget the name of that interesting employment solicitor you met or that trainee solicitor who asked you for advice. Make sure you take brief notes on the people you met and the things you talked about because I guarantee you, it will hunt you if you can’t remember that one name!
It’s late, you just got home and finally took off those not so comfortable smart shoes, but it’s not the end of your networking! Don’t just chuck your notes into the corner, use them. Follow up from any conversations you had, send those LinkedIn connection requests, materialise the relationships you’ve just initiated. Make sure you attach a personalised message to your connection requests - thank the person for taking their time to speak to you about a particular topic to refresh their memory of who you are, they’ve just met a lot of new faces too!
Networking might feel slightly overwhelming, especially now that the pandemic made our social skills a little rusty, but I hope you found these tips helpful! Networking increases your confidence, makes you a better communicator and keeps you in touch with what’s happening in the legal sector, so get out of your comfort zone!
If you are a trainee solicitor qualifying in 2022, why don’t you put those tips to the test at one of our NQ Career Talks in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen this March? Find out more about the events and get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/g2-legal-in-partnership-with-ag-amp-syla-32547793801 We look forward to seeing you there!