This article was written by Sanya Solanki, ILS Pune
“The way of the world is meeting people through other people.” – Robert Kerrigan. To reach somewhere it is important to meet and indulge with people who have been there. Most of the influential personalities will tell you about how networking has proved to be a boon for them. Networking is a crucial aspect of a person’s career regardless of their field. Similarly, in the legal industry, whether you are a budding student or an experienced lawyer, networking plays a vital role.
Networking essentially means cultivating long or short-term professional contacts. It involves interacting and developing relations with people within the community that could benefit your career or business prospects.
For law students, networking helps in a lot of ways during their law school journey and after that. The networking community they build during that time presents them with various opportunities later in life.
Networking helps you establish a professional presence in the community. It helps you interact with scholars, advocates, professors who you would have probably not met otherwise. It gives you knowledge about the legal sphere and the various aspects involved in it.
HOW DOES NETWORKING HELP YOU?
The legal industry is not confined to any one aspect of law. There are multiple fields like criminal law, civil law, intellectual property, entertainment, cyber cell, etc.
Law Schools provide multifarious opportunities and activities for the exploration of student’s interests. However, most of the time pupils are flummoxed by the complex structure of functioning of law school and are in a state of self-conflict because they are unable to comprehend most of it. In situations like these, we find that interaction with professors, seniors, attorneys turn out to be quite fruitful. They can provide you guidance, suggestions, and information that can help you with your contentions and also make it easier for you to figure out your interests.
There is a difference between knowing the recipe of pasta and knowing how to make pasta. The application of knowledge is the key here. Similarly in the legal field, knowledge of the law is not enough. It is also essential to know how to apply those laws in reality and there is no better place to learn those skills than in an internship.
Internships help in obtaining practical knowledge of a certain subject and therefore it’s important for every law student. To score a good internship it is important to have successful professional relationships with the correct people. A good relationship with a professor or an advocate could help you get the internships you want. If you want to intern under lawyers and judges of the Supreme Court or the High Court, a good letter of recommendation goes a long way. A strong relationship with the right professionals can help you find internships where there is scope for growth and learning.
When we embark on the journey of law school our end goal is to secure a job that is emotionally and financially fulfilling. Everybody wants to succeed in the path they have chosen and find a job which gives them utmost satisfaction. Although grades, internships, and extracurricular activities highlight your CV it is also important that it reaches places and employers that will provide you with the right opportunity.
Networking is the key here. With the right relations and strong network, you get an upper hand over your colleagues. You may be able to secure interviews with firms and advocates that you believe are the right direction for you. A personal recommendation from professionals helps you outshine the multiple people who might have applied for the same position.
HELP TO BUILD CONFIDENCE
‘It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allow us to keep looking for new adventures’. This famous quote by Oprah Winfrey shows how important trait confidence is. Every successful attorney will always tell you how crucial confidence is in the legal sphere and rightly so. Fostering the right networking web can help you in the development of communication and conversational abilities. Further, it can also help you in working on your approachability prowess which is vital because as lawyers you are expected to interact with team members and clients. All these soft skills help you build your confidence as a lawyer and advocate.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Networking helps you interact and build relationships with people who have their hands on a lot of important information. Knowledge of this information can benefit you and help you make important decisions. Furthermore, interacting with people from the same sphere can keep you updated about the current situations and legal affairs.
From a legal perspective, it is evident that networking is a vital skill for young lawyers. It enriches their other skills and helps in their growth. Inculcating authentic interests in people can yield great results in the future to come. Therefore it’s important that every student invests in networking and building strong relationships
Curated by Athira Albert of Kristu Jayanti College of Law, Bangalore.