Are Networking Events Worth A Young Lawyer’s Time?

I know.  You hear it all the time.  Go to those networking events!  They are so valuable!  And, yes, you have heard it from me before.

But not all networking events are equal.  As you will read in this article, you need to be discriminating when it comes to the value of networking events.  Spring is just around the corner (we hope!), and Spring is a season full of networking events.  Better weather and hope for the future spring eternal at that time of year.  So, get ready with some good info on choosing your networking events wisely.

As the article points out, human connection is nearly DOA these days with the advent of more and more virtual communication.  The value of in-person communication is getting lost in the more trendy e-mails and other digital communication that is so popular with all of you.  Not only the value but also the effectiveness and efficiency of communication.  The risk of misunderstandings in this digital age are high.

And networking events are great opportunities to improve your in-person communications and gain confidence in working a room.  Cold calls — one where you just turn up in a group of unknowns to join the conversation — are very challenging, but there is no better place to work on that skill than at networking events.

But, beware of the differences in such events and how they rate in terms of use of your time.  As the author points out, “Studies have shown that casual chit chat and cocktails don’t work — introverts and extroverts alike tend to just interact with people they already know or with whom they have a lot in common.”  Very true.

The author recommends events that involve “relatively high-stakes activities that connect you with diverse others.”  And he goes outside the typical legal networking examples to suggest pro bono work and even joining a local sports team.

This is good and thoughtful advice from Canadian Lawyer.  If you are one of our friends in Maple Leaf Land, you also may want to consider the Women in Law Summit in Toronto later this month.  It looks like very interesting content.

So, go forth and network —- wisely!





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