F A Q s
Q: How should I allocate my time between networking and responding to job postings or sending out resumes?
A: The importance of networking cannot be overstated. It has been estimated that 70-80% of job openings are never posted. Networking will put you in a position to hear about those openings. In addition, networking will put you in a better position when you do respond to a job posting, since it is more likely that you will have a connection who can help get your resume noticed among the hundreds that could be submitted in response to a given job opening. LLM students/alumni should also keep in mind that employers are accustomed to hiring from the JD population, and networking can help you overcome that obstacle. For these reasons, we generally recommend that you allocate 80-85% of your job search efforts to networking and 15-20% of your efforts to responding to job postings or sending out resumes.
Q: I do not feel comfortable “working the room” at a cocktail party. How can I network?
A: The idea that networking involves shaking tons of hands at a party or reception is a common misconception. In fact, the most effective forms of networking do not involve that at all. Consider reaching out to people for one-on-one informational interviews, serving on a bar association committee, or engaging in volunteer work. See the resources on this website for more information about how to engage in this type of networking.
Q: I don’t have any good networking contacts. Where should I start?
A: Your network is probably bigger than you think. Make sure all your friends and family know what you are doing and why, and what your ultimate goals are. You may be surprised at who comes out of the woodwork to help you. Even if you don’t have any strong contacts now, it is never too late to start building your professional contacts using the resources on this page.
Q: When should I start networking?
A: Remember that networking is a marathon, not a sprint. You will be much better off if you start early and do a little bit each week rather than wait until you are in full job search mode to begin networking. The professional network you are building will serve you for a lifetime; it takes time to build those kinds of relationships.
Q: English is not my first language. Will that be a detriment to me in networking?
A: The best way to improve your English, as well as your networking skills, is to practice. Practice will make you a more confident and effective communicator. The more you get out there, the more effective you will be in your networking.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question you would like to see addressed on this page.