The Lawyer Global Litigation Top 50 report is the only ranking of international law firms by litigation and arbitration revenue and is essential reading for anyone seeking to benchmark their litigation and dispute resolution practices...
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
I attended a family gathering recently and got chatting to one of my many nieces about her future career plans. She told me that she was rejected from a teaching course because of a lack of work experience.
At first I felt a little bit sorry for her because I know how keen she is to train as a teacher. But my sympathy was short-lived because I quickly realised that had my niece shown a bit more initiative she could’ve approached at least three family members, who are all linked to teaching (including my husband), for some help with her career planning. Indeed, my husband said that all she had to do was ask and he would’ve invited her into his school to do some work shadowing.
Using family connections to help secure work experience is a thorny issue especially for students from less well-off backgrounds as they are also often the first person in their family to go to university. So as you would expect I have endless debates with aspiring lawyers who argue that such behaviour should be stamped out to help level the playing field. But I think most of these individuals know that this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
I wonder therefore whether their energy would be better utilised trying to develop their own network of contacts? That is exactly what I had to do because unlike my niece I was the first person in my family to go to university and certainly didn’t have any uncles or aunts who could help me line up a week’s work experience with a law firm.
So how do you go about building a professional network? The obvious one is to turn to technology and join social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. You could also start blogging or set up your own website like Rhys Jones (read more).
But I also think the more traditional methods are equally important. So try to accept every invitation to any law-related events such as seminars and conferences because you never know who you might meet. For instance, I attended a conference on legal education at the Inner Temple earlier this year and got chatting to a couple of would-be barristers and got them signed up to do some writing for Lawyer 2B. Campus events such as law firm presentations and careers fairs are also equally important. If someone gives you their business card then follow-up with an email to say how nice it was to meet them. But tread carefully as you don’t want to turn into a pest.
So go forth and network and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of people in you contacts book who have links to the legal profession.