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IBA: Holidays - Time to Network

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Whether it’s your first or twenty-fifth holiday networking season, every member of the legal community can gain a great deal from leaving the desk behind and hitting the party circuit. To maximize the opportunity we’ve compiled some tried and true tips from the Networking Gurus and other industry professionals.

Have a plan. Set a goal for each gathering. For example, if you know an event will have 50 guests, introduce yourself to at least five new people.

Ask…Know who you want to meet and don’t be afraid to ask your friends, relatives, and old and new acquaintances for introductions. If someone shows interest in your services, don’t hesitate to ask for their contact information. You’ll be surprised how many people will give it out – if you ask.

Focus on other people. Listen as much as you talk. Attentiveness is memorable.

Don’t forget your business cards AND a pen. When you hand out your card take a second to write a note on the back. A reference to something you were discussing, a recommendation to a restaurant, anything that personalizes the contact is good.

Don’t cling to your friends… or the buffet. Friends and good food can distract you from your mission: to meet prospective clients. Make the effort to break free from what’s comfortable to gain face time with prospects.

Have fun, but don’t eat or drink too much. It’s the holidays, so relax and enjoy yourself. It’s fine to have a good time, but you don’t need to be the life of the party. Act like a professional at all times.

Thank the host/hostess. Send a hand-written thank you note. Sadly, this happens so seldom that your effort will stand out.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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