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IBA: Networking Today for Opportunities Tomorrow

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Never before has networking been more important to professional growth. In fact, some would argue in today’s business climate it’s not what you know, but who you know that can make the difference in a lawyer’s career.

Judge Tim Oakes of the Marion Superior Court recently addressed a group of law students on the topic of networking. Though he didn’t promise to provide a magic bullet for successfully building relationships, he did give several helpful tips particularly for those seeking to practice in the Indianapolis area.

 

iba networking The Honorable Tim W. Oakes of the Marion Superior Court shares his ideas for successful networking.

“Indy is a big town with a small legal community,” he said. “Don’t overlook someone you meet at the grocery, your kid’s school, a playgroup or even your neighborhood bar. You are always networking or should be.”

He noted that knowing who you is essential in relationship building.

“Don’t be superficial. It’s a turn-off for attorneys when networking,” Judge Oakes said. “Relax, and know yourself. Know what you want and where you want to be realistically. You can’t be afraid of your weaknesses. Everybody in the room knows what they are. It’s obvious. The trick is flipping them to your advantage.”

He also suggested that those seeking to widen their circle of contacts try new things. Be a servant leader by getting out and helping others.

“It’s about working hard to be a good person and hopefully being even better to others than they are to you,” he said.


iba networking Joel Tragessor of Frost Brown Todd, and Nancy Goldberg and Maria Castetter of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office give their time to mentor evening students at Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis.

Interestingly Judge Oakes mentioned that he has never received a job from an interview, though he’s had many career opportunities. He said, “There’s always an “in”. It just may not be through the front door. Search for it! Do your homework.”

Most importantly, he concluded, “Networking isn’t about now; it’s a long-term proposition,” Judge Oakes said. He emphasized, “Contacts you make today aren’t about the May 2011 job. It’s the 2016 job that you’re working toward.”•

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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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