Category Archives: Networking

Social Networking Presentation


RSVP for the Social Networking Presentation on February 21st!


We’ve all heard about the pitfalls of social networking, but do you know how to use social networking to your advantage in your job search?  On Thursday, February 21st at 12:00 p.m. in Room 525, the Career Services Department will host a social networking workshop.  By now, you know all about the “don’ts” of social networking – this presentation will focus on the “do’s.”  Join us to learn how to create an effective profile on LinkedIn and how to research and engage with prospective employers through LinkedIn, Twitter, and yes, even Facebook.  This presentation will cover the basics for those just getting started and will provide insight on the latest tips, tricks, and trends to improve your odds in today’s job market.


Clearwater/Pinellas County Networking Opportunity

If you are interested in practicing in the Clearwater/Pinellas County area and want to network and meet potential employers, colleagues and judges, Coastal students have been invited to participate in the 74th Annual Clearwater Bar Oyster Roast as a student volunteer. 

The Oyster Roast is an event held annually by the Clearwater Bar Association where local attorneys and judges put aside the adversarial process, “kick off their shoes,” and enjoy food and drinks from local vendors.  In addition to being a great time, it can be a unique opportunity for law students to socialize with practicing attorneys and judges.

This year, as they have in the past, they are inviting law students to attend for FREE (yes, free!) if they assist with the cleanup process.  There are a limited number of volunteer spots available, so if this is something that you or your organization is interested in participating in, please contact or as quickly as possible. as the volunteer spots will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis.  Please include the following in your email.

  1. Name, address, and phone number;
  2. Your law school;
  3. Are you a student-member of the Clearwater Bar?  (We encourage all student-volunteers to sign up for the Clearwater bar Association.  There are no membership fees for student-members and this is a terrific way to connect with the local legal community)
  4. Are you available for cleanup on
    1. the night of the Oyster Roast (Saturday, March 23, 2013);
    2. the morning after the Oyster Roast (Sunday, March 24, 2013); or
    3. Both?

They ask that you only offer to volunteer for time slots if you are genuinely able to attend, as they will be depending on your help.

Join the Networking Club!

Did you know that over 80% of law students obtain their first post-graduate position through networking contacts?

 The Career Services Department recognizes how critical networking is to your success, and to foster your networking abilities, we have launched a networking initiative targeting three key markets – Orlando, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.  The program will meet monthly throughout the year to cultivate your networking skills, and you will receive invaluable guidance from career service counselors, as wells as other students, as you work together to prepare a network of contacts in your target market.  These efforts will culminate with a networking trip to each city to attend an event sponsored by the Career Services Department with the local bar association.  Students who participated in the Networking Clubs last year gained confidence in their networking abilities and learned how to translate those skills into legal experience and job opportunities

Please join us for the next Networking Club Meeting Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. in Room 400.  Our networking clubs include students interested in developing practices in Atlanta, Orlando or Washington D.C., but the skills we are learning and discussing would benefit all students.  Next week’s meeting will focus on Informational Meetings–What they are, how to land them, and how to prepare for them.  Please plan on attending and bring a friend!

Networking in Smaller Gatherings

Networking is often most effective when you are at a smaller event .  Focus on opportunities that provide more intimate interaction with those attending, rather than huge receptions where it is difficult to establish a one-on-one connection with someone else.  The target attorney is more likely to remember you and to spend time chatting with you if you are only one of ten people attending an event, rather than 1,000 at a large reception.  Look for small gatherings sponsored by bar associations, including section breakfasts, small group CLE’s, and sports activities.  Moreover, people are often more relaxed and casual in small groups, so both you and your targets will be more comfortable and likely to make a real connection.

Why should you schedule an Informational Meeting?


 Informational meetings are exactly what they sound like–interviews with attorneys to get information, not jobs.  You contact an attorney and ask if he or she can talk to you about a particular practice area, locale to practice in, or merely how he or she got into that field.  You are looking for tips, not a job, so the pressure is off both of you. 

You first make contact by email or telephone, and ask if you could meet to talk about their practice, or refer to something they wrote or perhaps a case he or she tried.   At the end of the meeting, don’t forget to ask the attorney if he could suggest other people you should meet–that way when you call, you can say who referred you, which may lead to another informational meeting.  You can also ask the attorney whether it would be okay if you contacted them again down the road if you had more questions.

Be sure to show up on time (not early or late), and show up with good questions.  Prepare to be there about 20 minutes, unless your interviewer wants to continue your talk, and always always send a thank you note for their time. 

Although this is not a job interview, you are not asking for a job, they are not offering one, and absolutely no resumes are given, there have been many jobs secured down the road after a meeting of this kind.  In the future, that attorney may be looking for an associate, or hear of another opportunity he or she may relate to you. 

To read more of Jay Shepherd’s column, click here.

Complimentary Webcast on Job Search, Networking & Interviewing

Lexis/Nexis is offering a complimentary career webcast this Thursday November 8th at 3:00pm ET titled “Ask the Experts: Answers to your Questions about Legal Job Search, Networking & Interviewing”. Please see additional information and the registration link below.Law Student Webcast: Attend a live webcast featuring four legal career experts and get your career questions answered. Send in your questions ahead of timeand our panel of legal career experts will answer them during the webcast.Learn how to identify the right legal career path for you and how to prepare for your interviews.The first 500 to attend and complete the email survey at the end of the webcast will receive a complimentary membership in the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division*.  REGISTER NOW

Meet the panelists:

  • Rachel Marx Boufford: currently the Law Editor at, Rachel is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former litigation associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP.
  • Sheila Nielsen: a lawyer turned career counselor with 20 years of experience counseling and coaching more than 3,000 attorneys. She runs Nielsen Career Consulting and a number of large firms rely on Ms.Nielsen for outplacement and executive coaching.
  • Brynne Lehner: a legal recruiter with more than 8 years of experience working both the law firm and law school side of recruiting. Before joining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, she worked in the Career Development Office at Pepperdine University School of Law, and prior to that for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York.
  • Richard D. Williamson is a partner at 5-member firm Robertson, Johnson, Miller & Williamson, and a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Nevada Lawyer magazine, and holds various leadership positions within the American Bar Association. His practice focuses on Real Estate Law and Complex Civil Litigation.

After the webcast Ask the Experts: Answers to your Questions on Legal Job Search, Networking and Interviewing, join the after-party on Facebook for a lively interaction with all of the panelists.


Join the Law Student Division of the Florida Bar’s YLD!

The Law Student Division of the Young Lawyers Division works to facilitate a smooth transition between law school and practicing law. They work closely with The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, local bar associations, and practicing attorneys to provide networking, mentoring, legal education, and community service opportunities to Law Student Division members.

Joining is free, and if you plan to practice in Florida, this is an excellent way to begin making connections in your chosen location and perhaps desired area of the law.  Speak to Coastal’s Law Student Division representatives or click here to learn more.

Tips for Informational Interviews

In a post on the Daily Muse, Jennifer Winter spells out a few tips for avoiding an awkward informational interview.

1. Come prepared. Do research on the firm and the attorneys before the meeting.

2. Keep it short. Make sure not to take up too much of your contact’s time. If the attorney wants to, he or she can extend the interview or start to wrap up. This is a courteous way to ensure you’re not taking up too much of their time.

3. Cement the connection.  Follow up with a thank-you note–it shows you truly appreciated your meeting–and it could open the door to further career opportunities some day.

Informational interviews are all about forging connections and broadening your understanding of your career. You can read more of Winter’s advice here.

The Personal Touch

After you have had an informational meeting, an interview, or other substantive interaction with an attorney, it is an excellent idea to send them a handwritten thank you, on personalized stationery, if possible, and sent by U.S. Mail.  The gesture will be much appreciated by the recipient, and will get your name in front of them yet again.  It may also create a positive impression, which may just be the edge you are looking for during the hiring process. 

Emily Esfahani Smith is associate editor of the New Criterion and managing editor of Defining Ideas, a journal of the Hoover Institution, and has written about this lost art of thank you letters here.  Her guide, while not specifically about the legal profession, could serve you well in life, in general.

Making Connections!

Small law firms tend to hire any time of the year based on their current needs, and they most often hire someone with whom they have a connection.  You can create that connection by networking at local Bar Association events.  Most Bar Associations have events year round, including luncheons and socials.  Bar associations also sponsor continuing education seminars, which provide excellent opportunities to network with lawyers in your chosen area of law.  For example, check out the events listed below sponsored by the Jacksonville Bar Association in the upcoming months.  Generally, you do not have to be a member of the Bar Association to attend the event, but student membership is $30 a year.   Then, call or meet with a Career Services Counselor to plan your strategy for creating your connection at the event! 

October 15, 2012    Sidebar Luncheon with the Federal Judges    12:00 PM – 1:00 PMOctober 26, 2012   Members Luncheon 12:00 PM – 01:00 PMNovember 12, 2012    2012 RAYMOND EHRLICH TRIAL ADVOCACY SEMINAR “THE ANATOMY OF A SUCCESSFUL TRIAL” — AN INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCE TRIAL SKILLS SEMINAR    8:30 AM – 5:00 PMNovember 12, 2012    Members Luncheon 12:00 PM – 1:00 PMDecember 13, 2012    Annual Bench & Bar Party  5:30 PM – 8:30 PMJanuary 10, 2013    Strategize Your Electronic Presence  1:30 PM – 3:45 PMFebruary 16, 2013    CLE at Sea: Carnival Fascination