Networking for Law Students: Some Opening Moves

April 8, 2013

law school graduatesThree questions to ask everyone you meet.

The business world thrives on new connections, because new connections lead to new business. Networking is the main way people make those connections. Do it well, and you can meet new people, learn from their experiences, and go to some really stunning receptions.

Westlaw’s resources can help you find people to network with. How do you make the most of that time? What questions can you ask to get to know others, reveal common ground you have with them, and remember their name next time? These basic questions should be a part of every conversation.

“What do you like about what you do?”

Semantically, this question is better than “do you like your work?” Even when things aren’t perfect, most people find can find a silver lining to talk about. How does the job allow the development of new skills or experiences?

“Did you always want to do what you’re doing now?” 

Choosing a career can take a roundabout route. Many people have interesting stories of something that helped them along their way. Find out if you have a school, a mentor, or an extracurricular activity in common. How does that help in their work?

“May I have your business card?” This is an absolutely necessary part of networking. Follow-up with a quick email, note something you enjoyed about the conversation, and you’ll have something to talk about the next time.

Asking these three simple questions will make your networking more effective.