July 31, 2014 Practice Points

Survival Tips for Networking Events

By Suzanne Jones

Networking is an essential tool for advancing in your legal career. In a recent blog post onMs. JD, Susan Smith Blakely gives young women lawyers the following networking tips from Diane@EffectiveNetworking.com:

•When walking up to a group of strangers, introduce yourself and ask to join their conversation.

•Keep your handshake to two shakes.

•Wear your name tag on the upper right side of your chest.

•Bring supplies, including a pen, business cards, and breath mints.

•Do not underdress. Being overdressed is better than being underdressed.

•Begin your conversation by asking the other person a question about herself and be ready to deliver your "elevator speech."

•Avoid alienating conversations about your personal relationships, sex, religion, and politics.

•Engage the other person for three to five minutes and then move on, and make sure to watch body language for signals to know when to end the conversation.

•Do not network hungry. Eat beforehand and do not hover over the food. If you do eat, avoid messy foods.

•Do not get drunk. Do not drink and drive. Drink sparkling water to avoid becoming the next day's gossip.

•Follow up the next day by email or handwritten note.


Keywords: woman advocate, litigation, networking events, etiquette

Suzanne Jones works at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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