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Five Tips for Legal Networking this Summer

It's summer-a roofdeck somewhere is calling to you, and you're not giving up a chance to leave work while it's still light out so that you can go sit in some stuffy legal event with a bunch of strangers.

Understandable, but networking shouldn't stop just because summer has started. The social aspects of summer and the fact that you may have more time due to a less demanding work schedule or summer break may provide you the perfect opportunity to build invaluable connections. Check out the below tips to keep up with your networking throughout the rest of the summer.

1. Get social.

Probably ingrained in us from the days of school breaks as children, many adults still view summer as a more laid back time, prime for happy hours after work or quick lunches outside in the park. I know you have a ton of work piling up, or if you don't, you'd rather just go home and enjoy your free time. But don't turn down every invitation to mingle with your colleagues or law school friends this summer. Get out, enjoy yourself and be social. Networking isn't just about making connections; it's about maintaining those connections too-summer social events are perfect ways to foster those relationships you already have.

2. Dabble in Social Media.

Networking isn't limited to in-person gatherings anymore; social networking is a powerful tool if you know how to use it. Take advantage of your free time this summer and learn about social networking sites. Carefully build professional, well-written profiles, and learn the best ways to use these sites to make connections you need to build your career.

3. Event Hop.

Just because it is summer doesn't mean that legal industry events shut down. In fact, the summer is filled with many prime networking and career events for law students and attorneys, including awards dinners, lunches and pro bono activities. Figure out which of these events best match your career goals, and sign up. Not sure where to start? Check with your firm, law school, bar association, legal organizations (e.g. some organizations like Ms. JD host event calendars on their sites), blogs and social media for upcoming events.

4. Follow Up.

Slow summer days can be perfect opportunities to catch up and/or follow up with connections. Reach out to all of those individuals who you've met over the past several weeks or months and keep your connection going. And maintain those relationships you've already established with an email, telephone call, direct message or in-person meet up.

5. Go to Career Fairs.

Don't just throw your resume out into cyber space; connect with employers in person. Head out to legal career fairs, meet employers of interest and learn more about their hiring criteria. You never know where personal connections will lead (the annual Vault/MCCA Legal Diversity Career Fair is actually coming up in just a few weeks. I hope to see you in D.C. or L.A.).

What kind of networking have you done this summer?

Read the full post by Mary Kate Sheridan on is the source of employer and education ratings, rankings and insight for highly credentialed, in-demand candidates. Vault's editorial mission is to empower candidates with unbiased research needed to evaluate the professions, industries and companies they aspire to join.

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