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Networking With Successful Lawyers

published December 24, 2021

By Author - LawCrossing
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( 4 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
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Networking is a critical topic. Unfortunately, most attorneys do not realize this. It is a shame because the most how successful lawyers are always those with the highest networking efforts. They are always the ones with the most business relationships because they have access to much important information through these business contacts. They are also known to an immense pool of people in and outside the industry they probably would not know otherwise. Both of these things are vital for finding success in the legal sector. This article will tell you why networking is necessary for finding and keeping a legal job and what repercussions come with not networking in your career as an attorney.

The Value of Networking and Professional Relationships During Job Search

People Usually Find Out About Positions From Acquaintances

When researchers started studying people's relationships with their jobs, they found that people rarely learn about positions and get referred to them by those in their closest circle. It is almost always someone just outside this close circle, an acquaintance. Close people know about the same opportunities, so you cannot find anything you already do not know. On the other hand, acquaintances usually function in different circles and additional access information from various sources.

Although these studies were not done directly on attorneys, there is no reason why it would not work the same way. And from my experience as a legal recruiter and an attorney myself, I know it is true in the legal industry. Networking is the perfect way to broaden your circle of acquaintances and thus increase your chances of finding the correct information about a potential future position that will shoot you to legal stardom.

The best thing any attorney can do is start networking as soon as possible. Those who began networking early in their law school have set up their careers for success. Young lawyers often use the relationships they have built before in their professional lives to get positions in significant law firms.

However, networking should never stop after you get your first job. Nowadays, attorneys rarely stay in their first law firms out of law school for their whole careers. Usually, they switch firms after a few years, either to get into a better firm or because they cannot handle the demands of their current firm. Networking is a huge part of that.

Many attorneys believe that once they get into a great law firm, the only thing they need to do is put their heads down, work super hard, and success will come. However, that is not how successful attorneys operate. Almost every attorney that has found success has done so because of their ability to network with the right people.

The work inside law firms is usually given out not only based on the quality of the work, as every attorney in a major law firm is expected to hand in the creation of only the highest quality. It is given out based on their ability to network effectively with senior associates and partners. These partners also bring in the work because they could network with the right people who can give them the job or refer business from others. These people are usually acquaintances; that is why it is so vital to network when and where you can.

The Most Successful Lawyers Are Usually the Ones With the Most Social and Business Relationships

As a legal recruiter, I contact many different types of attorneys to talk about other openings. I have found out that the most successful attorneys are also most willing and open to talk to me. Even though they are in law firms they love and probably do not need any new placement, they are happy to speak to me about all of the options I want to tell them about. At the beginning of my career as a recruiter, I was stunned that attorneys ranking highly in various top lawyers lists were the ones who were the most open for conversation with me.

I am convinced that this is not a coincidence. The reason why these attorneys were able to get on these lists is the exact reason why they were open to a discussion. They highly valued building relationships. They built social and new business relationships with their peers, superiors, recruiters, and even the media. These relationships then help them get on the lists even though there might be more skilled attorneys in their markets. They use their networking skills to get better positions, more recognition, and get to know more people. They see the value of networking and use it to their advantage.

So, How To Network To Find a Great Legal Placement?

You might be now wondering how to network to find the job of your dreams. I have noticed a few things that work, so here is a rundown:

First of all, just talking to people is not enough. Even if you meet and talk to hundreds of people, it will not bring you any fruit if they do not feel enthusiastic about being an attorney. Only if you make it known that you want a job, are excited to help people, and show this excitement will your networking success.

You also have to be very careful when you are networking. Your public image and how others view you matter when building professional relationships, so you have to take great care of your reputation. The goal of networking is to get people in your network to talk about you to potential clients. They will only do so if they have a reasonable opinion of you. Their idea is also influenced by what other people you know say about you, so you have to cultivate a positive image at all times. What peers from your law school say about you matters. What your previous employers, colleagues, clients, opponents, and everyone else you ever worked with issues. Even what your friends outside the legal industry say about you matters. All of this creates an image of everyone in your network views, so you have to make sure that it is positive to recommend you further.

The key to being a successful networker is maximizing the number of people you know and who know you. That is why many attorneys use legal recruiters - they have networks of law firms and attorneys with placement options that would take years to develop if the attorney wanted to do it on their own. Recruiters are not used in small markets because everyone knows everyone, and recruiters cannot offer that much new information. However, there are too many attorneys in large markets to network and learn about every opportunity effectively, so legal recruiters are a great way of being visible to more people and firms.

Another great way to broaden your network is by going to a networking event or two. You might think that such events are a waste of the time you could spend billing clients. However, that is far from the truth. When you start going to these gatherings and conferences, people will begin to remember you and see more familiar faces every time. You can talk to new people, get to know them, and get to know the people they know. These events often include various networking activities, a great way to favor others and strengthen business relationships.

Going to networking events, keeping in touch with people you have met throughout your life in law school, law firms, or otherwise, and take an interest in speaking with people about your work are all necessary to growing your network and finding information about the right opportunities.

Can Legal Recruiters Help You Network?

Legal recruiters can help attorneys who do not have an established network of business contacts connect with other legal professionals searching for a job. The good ones are connected to the top law firms, and they know how the legal market works, so they are perfect for networking.

Although some attorneys and other legal professionals believe that recruiters are of no good use because they only introduce attorneys to law firms, it may be true for some recruiters. However, those are never the successful attorneys ones. They are not good at networking.

Those great ones work very hard to keep solid relationships with the best law firms and build their reputation. Because of their position, their word bears a lot of weight, and they can influence the opinion of law firms about almost any candidate they send there.

However, to have this reputation, they also have to have some standards for the type of attorneys they choose to represent. They cannot express any attorney with any background or skills because the firms expect only the best candidates from these recruiters. They can also only work with a limited number of attorneys because they offer more than just an introduction to a few law firms. They spend hours with the attorney discussing the law firms they want to apply to and their approach to ensure that they get an interview. They stay in touch with the firms and contact them almost daily to bring attention to the attorney they represent. It allows them only to take on candidates they believe in and know will succeed.

Recruiters are great for networking, but it is always necessary to network on your own because of all of these reasons. Recruiters will help you get into their established web of contacts and put in a good word for you, but you are still the best person to put yourself out there. Use a great legal recruiter in BCG Attorney Search; use job boards like our Lawcrossing to find significant positions; however, do not forget to start building your network of contacts because you never know when you will need it.

Why You Need To Keep Networking Even When You Already Have the Job

Networking should never stop once you get a job, even if it is your dream position. Networking within your law firm or company is essential for keeping your job long-term and advancing and growing there.

Inadequate or non-existent relationships within a firm are usually the cause why someone is let go. While you usually cannot be fired because one person in the firm does not like you, you must keep in mind and be wary of. A person or two not selecting you in a big team of attorneys is inevitable; however, it can grow into a problem if you do not have allies in the firm. You have to have people on your side who will tell you if someone is talking negatively about you and defend you. Otherwise, more people might start listening to your "opponent," and your reputation might take a big hit.

Getting too close to some people and politicking too much can have negative consequences; however, not networking at all has some as well. Cultivating a strong network of people on various levels inside the firm is vital for finding inside information about moves that are about to happen inside the firm, who holds the most power in the firm, who has too much work, and who has not enough of it, that will help you move up the ladder.

Networking is essential once you get more senior in your law firm. Senior associates and partners are expected to bring in their own business to secure work and more junior attorneys. They cannot effectively do that if they have many business contacts and acquaintances who can refer business and prospective clients to them. Networking is an essential part of every stage of your career, and starting as soon as possible sets you up for success.


Networking is essential for success in the legal industry at every stage of an attorney's legal career. Unfortunately, not a lot of legal professionals you meet throughout your life will tell you that. Why would they? Your superiors and partners are better off when you work tirelessly on work they assign to you, not when you spend your time building your networks. However, once you realize the value of making contacts and how it can change your career for the better, you will not need anyone telling you that you should invest some of your time in networking.

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published December 24, 2021

By Author - LawCrossing
( 4 votes, average: 4.1 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.