Category Archives: Networking

Make the Most of Your Winter Break (part one)

Finals are almost over, and you are one semester closer to graduation! Definitely take some time to relax and enjoy yourself after all of the hard work that you put into this past semester. You deserve it!  But also make the most of your downtime by dedicating some time to career planning. The holidays are a great time for networking.  Use your time away from the classroom to get out and meet people in the legal community or in the industry where you plan to pursue an alternative career. Florida Coastal alumni association events are a great way to meet people with whom you already have something in common. The Florida Coastal alumni association chapters in Washington DC, Pensacola, South Carolina, and Atlanta are all hosting holiday events over the break. If you are interested in working in any of those markets, don’t miss out on the opportunity to establish connections with Coastal alumni who could be valuable resources for you throughout your career. Click here for a listing of alumni association chapters and links to their Facebook group pages.  If your city does not have an alumni association event over the break, look for events through the local bar association or other professional associations.  In addition to holiday networking events, you can use your time in your target market to reach out to professionals for informational meetings.  An informational meeting is an opportunity to get information and advice about a specific practice area or an alternative career.  It is also a way to build a relationship with someone who is working in an area that interests you, and you never know where it might lead.  Check out the Career Handbook for a step-by-step guide to informational meetings.  If you don’t have a copy, stop by the CSD and pick one up before you leave for the break.  Stay tuned for part two of making the most of your winter break, where I’ll discuss ways to incorporate social networking into your job search.

Tap Into the Power of Your Alumni Network

Florida Coastal has an extensive network of alumni working all across the country in traditional and alternative legal careers.  Our alumni are a valuable resource that students often overlook.  As the holiday break approaches, now is the perfect time to start reaching out to alumni and scheduling informational interviews in your hometown.  Informational interviews will provide you with unique insight into specific practice areas, alternative careers, and/or what it’s like to work in a particular city or region.  They also allow you to establish professional connections that just might lead to an employment opportunity. 

Throughout the semester, I have been interviewing Coastal alumni who are pursuing alternative careers, including risk management, contract management, procurement, and tax resolution.  These alumni have been in your shoes, and they can answer your questions about the advantages and challenges of pursuing an alternative legal career.  If you are interested in connecting with a Coastal alum who is working in an alternative career, send an email to afourman@fcsl.edu, and I will be happy to assist you with locating and contacting alumni and preparing for informational interviews. 

Also, if you are interested in learning more networking tips and tricks, plan to attend the next Networking Club meeting tomorrow, Thursday November 1st at 5:15pm in Room 555.  All students are welcome to attend!  The Networking Club will culminate with networking receptions in Atlanta, Orlando, and Washington D.C. at the end of the Spring semester.

Networking Opportunity

Privacy is an expanding field with opportunities for JDs who want to pursue alternative careers.  Privacy After Hours is a fun and easy way to get to know local privacy professionals in Jacksonville.   

Save the Date! Wednesday, September 19th 

There’s no agenda, just show up to the designated after hours location and enjoy yourself— you might even win a door prize! The event is being organized by a volunteer coordinator in your community, and it’s open to anyone who works in or is interested in privacy. Please note that individuals are responsible for their own expenses. 

Coordinator:  Jasen Hutchinson, JD, CIPP/G, CIPP/US, JEA

Date:  Wednesday, September 19th

Time:  5:30pm

Location:  River City Brewing Company, 835 Museum Circle, Jacksonville, FL 32207, 904.398.229, www.rivercitybrew.com/brewery.html

RSVP:  Please RSVP directly to the coordinator if you plan to attend! Just click the coordinator’s e-mail address above.

Click here to read a recent article from Inside Counsel discussing trends in privacy regulation.

Networking Your Way To An In-House Position

As I wrap up this week’s discussion on exploring an in-house career, I cannot place enough emphasis on the importance of networking!  Research consistently shows that most job seekers land a job through networking.  In fact, 70% of Florida Coastal grads find their first job through networking.  In order to position yourself for an in-house counsel position, you should start establishing meaningful connections with in-house lawyers during law school.  Many in-house lawyers belong to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global voluntary bar association exclusively for attorneys who practice law as employees of private sector organizations and who do not hold themselves out to the public for the practice of law.  The North Florida chapter of the ACC allows law students to participate in their chapter activities free of charge.  If you are interested in learning more about student involvement in the ACC, please email me directly (afourman@fcsl.edu), and I will notify you of upcoming ACC events.  The Career Services Department (CSD) can also facilitate connections with alumni who work in-house to set up informational interviews so that you can learn more about what it’s really like to work in-house.  Make an appointment with a CSD counselor today to develop a personalized networking strategy.  In addition to traditional networking, networking through social media has become increasingly relevant in recent years, and law students are well advised to establish a professional social media presence.  Stop by the CSD library for resources to help you get started.  I personally recommend Amanda Ellis’ The 6Ps of the Big 3 for Job-Seeking JDs, which is tailored to law students and lawyers and walks you through establishing profiles, navigating, and utilizing the three major social networking websites(LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) for your job search.   LinkedIn also offers a weekly webinar, LinkedIn 101: The basics of LinkedIn, every Wednesday at 2pm (EST).  The earlier you start to position yourself for your dream job, the more attainable it will be!

It Pays to Network

Check out this article from Corporate Counsel, Women GCs Are Networking Their Way to the Topemphasizing the importance of professional networking throughout your legal career.  The article recaps a panel discussion presented by the New York City Bar Association that focused on the increasing number of women general counsel at Fortune 500 companies.  According to the article, forming and maintaining professional relationships is a necessary element for success.

Alternative Career Spotlight: Contract Management

If you are looking for an interesting and challenging career outside of the traditional practice of law, consider the growing field of contract management. The knowledge and skills that you develop in law school are directly transferrable to the contract management industry.  Skills required for contract management positions include analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and written and verbal communication skills.  Additionally, contract management offers a variety of career path opportunities, and it is a growing field, particularly as businesses become increasingly global, demanding more efficient supplier and customer relationships.  Typical job duties in a contract management position include creating proposals, negotiating contract terms, resolving legal disputes, and making presentations. Furthermore, the contract management team works closely with all areas and departments within an organization.  For more information about contract management, visit the National Contract Management Association’s website at ncmahq.org.  Also, visit the CSD library for additional resources on jobs in contract management. 

The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) offers a significantly discounted membership for students ($25/year).  Benefits of membership include valuable networking opportunities with industry leaders, live webinars covering hot topics in contract management, national educational seminars, access to the NCMA’s job bank, and a monthly subscription to Contract Management Magazine.  Click here for complete details on how to join.

Interested in a Broadcasting Career?

Are you interested in a career in the broadcasting industry?  The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Education Foundation will host its annual spring Career Fair during the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. 

The Career Fair provides an excellent opportunity for media companies to network with students and entry-level job seekers interested in a career in the broadcast industry.  In addition to a variety of media recruiters, the Career Fair includes a series of informative sessions, and one-on-one career coaching.

For more information or to register for the Career Fair, click here.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution is holding its Spring Conference April 18 – 21, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Capital Hill in Washington, D.C.

The Spring Conference is a vibrant forum appealing to a broad range of interests with two full days of concurrent panel presentations, a poster presentation session and reception and ample opportunities for information sharing and networking.

Registration is currently open and there are special law student rates. Click here to register.

Want to Work with a Sports Team?

Do you dream of working with a sports team?  If so, you need to start building your network of connections while you are in law school.  Internships are key in that process. 

So, how can you apply for internships with sports teams?  Come to the CSD office and check out The Sports Internship Book.  This book has contact information for internships with major leauge teams, minor leauge teams, athletic conferences, university athletic departments and much more!  The application deadlines for summer internships are coming up soon – so don’t delay!

Additional Networking Resources at CSD

Hopefully you are convinced that you need to be out there networking!  If you still are not comfortable trying it, don’t worry – you won’t be until you do try it.  But, come by the Career Services Department and check out some of these great resources for more information on networking:

  • How to Work a Room, The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online by Susan RoAne
  • What Do I Say Next?  By Susan RoAne