Tag Archives: Networking

The Business of Sports Power Breakfast

sports and businessNext Tuesday, May 21st, the Jacksonville Business Journal is hosting “The Business of Sports Power Breakfast.”  A panel of business executives, including representatives from THE PLAYERS Championship and the Jacksonville Jaguars will discuss economic impact and how deals get done.  If you are interested in an alternative legal career in the sports industry, you don’t want to miss this educational and networking opportunity! 

Tickets are $35 if you RSVP by Friday, May 17th and $40 if you miss the RSVP deadline.  Click here for full details!

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.

How’d They Get an In-House Job?

Most attorneys working in-house started their career path by working in law firms.  However, Inside Counsel recently published an article featuring four attorneys who went straight from law school to corporate jobs.  Read this article to find out how these four in-house attorneys used networking, a career fair, a contract position, and an alternative career to make it to their dream job as in-house counsel.  (Click here to read the article on InsideCounsel.com.)

So Networking is Effective….But I Hate Networking

The last time we discussed networking, we looked at why networking is more effective than responding to job postings (click here if you missed that post).  I expect that after reading that post, many of you thought, “Okay, so networking is effective, but I can’t network / hate networking / am not going to do it” – or something to that effect, but with more expletives. 

As a former networking hater, I totally get it!  I spent many years hating networking like a kid hates shots.  But friends, I am here to tell you that you will not advance professionally if you do not embrace networking.  Let me repeat – you will not advance professionally if you do not embrace networking.

So you might as well start practicing now, while you are still in the relatively safe environment of school, rather than once you are tossed out into the coldness of the “real world.”  And I think once you have started, you will find out that networking is actually pretty easy, especially since it something that you already do on a more informal basis every day.

Networking = Building Relationships.  If you want to avoid the scenario in the above cartoon, you have to get rid of the concept that networking is about “getting something.”  People can sense when you are just talking to them to see what you can get from them.  Instead, you want to focus on building relationships – finding out about what a person does professionally, how they got there, where they see themselves going, what they enjoy doing in their free time.  Does that sound a bit like what you are already doing when you are making new friends?  It should, because it’s the exact same thing – just on a professional level!

In Wednesday’s blog we will discuss how to get over that initial awkward hurdle of starting a networking conversation!

Why Networking is More Effective Than Responding to Postings

I think we can all agree that responding to job postings is a pretty easy and safe way to find open positions and apply for them.  But how many job postings have you applied to and had absolutely no response?  Tens?  Hundreds?  Maybe even thousands, depending on how long you have been job hunting.

While responding to job postings definitely has a place in your alternative career search, it should just be one component, not the sole focus.  The reality is that the majority of jobs (a rough statistic is 80% of jobs) are found through personal contacts!

Why do the vast majority of jobs come through personal contacts?  Two main reasons are (1) ease and (2) known quality.  While it is easy for an employer to post a listing for a position, it is time consuming (and therefore costs big $$$) to spend countless hours poring over STACKS of resumes.  Further, a hiring manager tends to feel like a candidate recommended by a trusted employee – or better yet, who the hiring manager actually knows – is a known “quality” person.  Therefore, given the choice between two people with similar backgrounds and experience, one of whom the hiring manager has met for thirty minutes in a formal interview and one of whom the hiring manager interacts with regularly on a volunteer committee (for example), the known person will almost always get the job.  

While networking is not a quick-fix job search solution, it is effective and can often lead to higher quality job positions.  Even if you are not searching for a job right now, one day in the future you probably will be.  So start networking today!