Networking is the process of developing and maintaining professional contacts. Networking is NOT "schmoozing" or asking directly for a job. Your goal is to build mutually beneficial relationships, as well as to discuss shared goals and professional interests, with members of the legal profession. For more information, see Networking Handout (PDF).
Places to Network:
Participating in Pro Bono activities is also a great way to network while enhancing your legal skills. You will develop meaningful relationships with practicing attorneys who will recognize your commitment to the community and to the legal profession. There is a multitude of opportunities to volunteer your time, please visit the ATJI Pro Bono Portal and the KCBA Neighborhood Legal Clinic webpage for some initial ideas.
Informational interviewing does two things: first, it allows you to gather information regarding potential areas of practice. Second, it helps you develop and maintain professional relationships you will use throughout your career.
To identify legal professionals who are working in the field in which you are interested, use:
Send a short email to your contact requesting a 15-30 minute meeting to discuss his or her area of practice and career path.
Follow up with a thank you email within 24 hours of the meeting. See Sample thank you emails (PDF).
Do not use an informational interview to ask directly for a job. Your purpose is to establish a professional relationship and to gather information about the individual's practice area, as well as to glean information as to how they obtained their position.