Dear 1L: LinkedIn Networking
by Amanda Haverstick
This article originally appeared here on writinglawtutors.com.
Last fall, I received a flood of panicked calls from jobless 2Ls.
Don’t let that be you. Don’t wait till after OCI. Go all-in with networking NOW. Here, some steps to start on LinkedIn.
✏️ STEP 1: PERFECT YOUR PROFILE.
Your LI profile is often the first place prospective employers go. Make sure yours is meticulously matched to your resume and error-free.
🔹 Don’t be like stuck-in-old-ways lawyers from mega institutions that write their website bios and LI profiles as if describing distant, third-party paragons.
N.B. I admit, I used to write mine like that. It now feels oddly out-of-touch.
*Obviously, conform to any employer policy and be 100% professional, but absent prohibition, I encourage you to be you.*
✏️ STEP 2: COMMENT. COMMENT. COMMENT.
Start spending time in the comments section of posts by lawyers and other professionals in the field.
🔹 You can view anyone’s activity on LI. Lots of folks regularly get long, interesting comment strings: They are conversations between and among lawyers.
⭐️ Join in the conversation!
🔹 When you comment, people usually write back.
💡 There. You have the start of a conversation.
Now, when you want to follow up by DM or e-mail, or both, you already have something to talk about!
🔹 A comment with 5 or more words can count up to 5x more for reach than a like or share (I am told by LinkedIn experts).
A comment also gets your name visible. Don’t comment just for the sake of it. But you should sometimes have something to say!
If nothing nice or valuable to add, just scroll, or comment disagreement—politely. (I know you know that.)
By commenting, you are giving something. It is polite to do that as a gesture, in the very least, for someone who has done you a favor, or someone who you hope will do you one.
Networking takes time. Fostering relationships takes time. You’ve had a good, long break from 1L now. It’s time to invest in your network.
The earlier you start, the better. It’s like putting money away in an IRA. The returns compound over time.
Amanda is the author of the popular #Dear1L blog, founder of Writing Law Tutors, and legal writing coach for lawyers and law students.
Amanda previously spent 20 years as a Labor & Employment lawyer in BigLaw and as an in-house counsel at a Fortune 500 company. She has also served as a career services consultant assisting law students at one of the nation’s top law schools.
I aspire to simplify and improve the quality of your law school journey and to promote your greatest possible success.
Read more at writinglawtutors.com.
Join Amanda’s growing list of 15,000+ followers on LinkedIn to make it through law school with flying colors.