Will Kintish

How to survive: Networking events

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  • I think this is a fantastic and accurate article on the importance of networking. As an undergraduate Law student and President of the law society at London South Bank University I have often said to members and colleagues that networking is key. Networking is something that is briefly touched upon at university, as a 2nd year student we undertake a module called working in the law, sometime I think it should be re-branded and called will we be working in the law, mainly due to the uncertainty of the profession. In this module networking is mentioned but that's all it is, just mentioned. Having a background in the music business I know how important networking is in developing new working relationships and making good contacts, as the old saying goes sometimes it's not what you know but who you know and I think this is true of the legal profession as well. Of course academics is important, but so is the ability to communicate with people, at the end of the day you will be dealing with clients, you will be looking to get new business and this will test someones people skills to the max. I have often found that the best way to approach any networking event is to go in with a goal, ie I want to make 5 or 6 good contacts with graduate recruiters of various law firms, and one that I can build upon and develop into a good working relationship. It is true that in any networking event you will come across, those who are shy or not experienced, those who are somewhat comfortable in their group, and you will come across the professional networker who will get every business card in the room, and by the next day he or she will already have emailed them to say that it was nice to meet you and will then start to plan a meeting with them, this reinforces the message of were you met and is the first stepping stone to building a good working relationship. As President of the Law Society for London South Bank University my team and I have built up good working relationships with employers such as Allen and Overy, Clifford Chance and others, as well as BPP and the College of law who has sponsored our in house magazine called the devils advocate, which as of September will be distributed to over 6 universities in London, again this is due to building good working relationships with external agencies as a result of effective networking, therefore I believe networking is essential, specially in a competitive environment such as the legal profession, that's constantly changing.

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  • I have found that when I attend a networking event where I have no idea what I am there for.....in that it is outside my current network, new area of expertise, I am clueless as to how to move forward into a new area .....Any hints?

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