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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. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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