Networking Tips for Paralegals
By: Jessica Sutton, EKU Graduate Assistant
Networking is an essential component of career development. Networking allows you to stay on top of industry trends, keep an eye on the job market, and meet perspective employers, business partners and co-workers. While networking can seem like a daunting task, don’t be afraid to dive in. The following tips can help you get started.
Start While You’re Obtaining Your Paralegal Degree
Your time in school is an excellent opportunity to grow your network. There are many opportunities during your program, but especially through your teachers, your classmates and guest speakers. You never know where you may run into these individuals in the future. Your teachers are excellent references when you are searching for your first job and you may have fellow classmates that pursue their J.D. and will need a paralegal at a further date.
As we all know, social media has taken over today’s society. While there’s obviously sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are also websites just for career networking! LinkedIn is an example of a profession platform that provides a great opportunity to engage and collaborate with other professionals in your field. Some examples of paralegal exclusive groups on LinkedIn include Paralegal Network and the Paralegal Group.
You should join your local, state, and national paralegal organizations. The associations provide you with networking opportunities and information on topics that help you become a better paralegal. Most associations host CLE seminars, workshops, conventions and meetings. If you have business cards this is a great opportunity to get your name out and about. Another great organization to join is the American Bar Association, which many paralegals don’t realize is a resource for them.
Continue Your Education
Continuing Legal Educations and seminars and are a great way to network and make new connections. Participate with the people around you and exchange your information. There is always something new to learn within the paralegal profession such as trends, new software, and changes in laws. Staying up to date on current trends will also make you more knowledgeable when networking. Some examples of blogs that will keep you in the know on current paralegal developments include the following: Lawyerist, the Paralegal Society, the Paralegal Mentor, and the Empowered Paralegal.
Don’t be scared to start a Conversation
While many individuals may struggle starting a conversation, you never know where a simple “hello” can get you. Whether you are at a professional event, online, in class or waiting for court to begin, the smallest interaction could lead to the next step in your career.
About the author: Jessica Sutton will graduate with a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from EKU in May of 2019. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Eta Sigma Gamma. She is also a recipient of the Robert L. Kline Memorial Award and plans to work in government or community focused non-profit agencies.
Published on February 22, 2019