paralegal-networking

A Guide to Paralegal Networking

Building a network within any profession is essential to the growth and outreach of any company or individual. Growing your network before graduating college in the field you are pursuing can help your chances when applying for jobs. For example, internships are a great way to grow a network and meet people who can help you expand your knowledge, support you through your schooling, and introduce you to important people in the corporate world.  

When it comes to the legal world, networking is an important part of getting your foot in the door to kick start your career. Having a well-developed professional network means you have a group of well knowledgeable and experienced individuals in your corner. There are endless tools and platforms to meet people in your professional world. Below is a guide to paralegal networking and the top 5 ways to network. 

Top 5 Tool for Paralegal Networking

There is no right or wrong way to network yourself or your firm. Depending on your social skills, networking can be easier in person, over the phone, or through social platforms. Below are several scenarios that every paralegal should take advantage of in order to advance their career.

1. Paralegal School

Starting to grow a network before leaving school is important to help open doors when trying to get hired at a firm. In many cases, firms are looking for individuals to join who already have years of experience. However, get to know your teachers, classmates, or the people you intern with to help write recommendations or introduce you to hiring firms. 

Meeting new people in your profession and showing them how determined you are to make it in this career will leave a lasting impression. Determination and drive is something people remember especially when finding someone to join their team. 

2. Continuing Education Courses and Seminars

Attending seminars or continuing education courses is a great way to meet new people and make new connections. When attending these functions, introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Bring your business cards and follow up with people within the next few weeks following. Schedule a time to grab lunch or coffee and come with questions to further expand your knowledge, as well as create new professional relationships. Contact is the key to building new relationships. 

3. Social Media

Social media has grown to be one of the largest networking tools in the nation. LinkedIn is the leading professional networking site to connect with new people and collaborate with other professionals. Share your accomplishments and join in on discussions with others. There are specific groups created for paralegal networking both on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Not only is LinkedIn a great place for meeting new people, but it is a great place to meet new employers or employees for a hiring firm. 

4. Professional Organizations

This is an important skill for any paralegal. Join your local and state paralegal associations, as well as national paralegal associations. In addition to providing fantastic networking opportunities, associations provide a plethora of information on issues that can help you advance your profession and become a better paralegal. Associations also host CLE seminars, workshops, monthly meetings, and conferences.

Bring your business cards to all functions to easily market yourself and your company. To further get involved, serve on the board as an officer or volunteer to assist with seminars and other events. National associations offer certification options that are voluntary, however, give you an advantage in your career and are valued by attorneys

Although you are in the paralegal profession, you don’t have to be restricted to joining paralegal organizations only. Joining other professional organizations relevant to your field is a great way to meet new people and build your network. The American Bar Association, for example, is a well-known organization for lawyers to market even further than the paralegal realm. 

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