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Professors Can Still Help after Law School

Bryanna C Frazier

Professors Can Still Help after Law School
Thomas Barwick via GettyImages

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As young attorneys, we know the importance of networking and constantly seeking opportunities to develop clients. We understand that business development is more than attending networking events and handing out business cards. Ultimately, one of the best business development strategies is cultivating authentic, mutually beneficial relationships with as many people as possible. Of these relationships, some should include our law school professors.

Often, our professors have more to offer than what is contained within our academic encounters during law school. There are a variety of ways in which they can help you attract clients and further your career.

Publications

Whether for a law review journal, a bar magazine, a firm blog post, or any other publication, writing about cases, laws, and other relevant topics is a great way to gain recognition in your field. Such recognition can lead to clients. Law professors are tasked with keeping a pulse on the current activity in the practice area in which they teach. Therefore, our professors may serve as a great resource for generating ideas for topics on which to write, for direction to various publications for submission, and for reviewing and commenting on our writings. Additionally, as many law professors are tasked with producing significant scholarly publications, there may be an opportunity to coauthor or gain recognition for assisting in the research underlying a professor’s writing.

Speaking Engagements

Like publications, speaking engagements are a great way to gain recognition for yourself and your firm. Look for opportunities to present CLEs, participate in panel discussions (as a moderator or panelist), or speak at meetings or events held by organizations (local or national) relevant to your practice. Again, because law professors are tasked with staying current on the practice area in which they teach, our professors may serve as great resources for generating ideas for presentation topics and direction to various groups, organizations, conferences, and other opportunities for speaking engagements.

Practice Area Expertise

Another way our professors can assist in business development is by being a resource when we encounter complex or nuanced client matters. Having a relationship with your professor in which you feel comfortable in reaching out to discuss the complexities of an issue and seeking guidance on finding a resolution can reduce the time you would have spent researching laws and cases. Finding an answer or creative solution to client issues promptly builds your reputation and makes you and the firm look good to clients—good work often leads to repeat business and referrals.

Direct Client Referrals

Finally, it’s always important to remember that direct client referrals can happen anytime from anyone, including our law school professors. Our professors have lives outside of academics, and their family, friends, or individuals in their network may have legal issues on which you can assist. Cultivating a relationship with our law professors, as with any other contact, may lead to your name and your firm coming first to mind when professors are asked to recommend an attorney.

Of the various resources available for business development, our former law school professors are often overlooked. However, our professors can become valuable in shaping our careers by assisting in our business development endeavors. So, whether through a mentorship relationship or just staying in touch, young attorneys should include their law professors in their business development plans.

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