Stop Squandering Opportunities

Vol. 42 No. 4

By

Erin Binns is director of career planning at Marquette University Law School.

Students listen to lawyers present on career panel. The end.

Students attend class with lawyer as guest presenter. The end.

Students attend a Student Bar Association event and mingle with lawyers. The end.

Does your story end with being in the same room as a lawyer and never following up? Ignoring chances to build relationships with lawyers is quite frankly one of biggest mistakes you can make while in law school.

You owe it to your career to capitalize on introductions. I talked with a student who volunteered over 250 hours of service at a legal clinic. Each of the 250 hours he worked side by side with practicing lawyers. He estimates he was assigned over 20 supervising lawyers. And he blew it. In terms of relationship building, his stats are abysmal. He’s 0 for 20. Zero thank you’s sent, and zero meetings requested. He showed up and worked with attorneys and never thought to benefit from their proximity beyond the task at hand. Don’t be this student. Recognize situations to make connections with professionals and take action. Your career needs it.

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