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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. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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