Networking 101: Teamwork
Unfamiliar. Uncomfortable. Unnerving. Three words law students often use to describe “networking.” Overcoming those hurdles requires time, a rather limited resource. Luckily, Lawyers Club is intentionally structured to guide attorneys and law students over and around hurdles such as these, that inhibit the advancement of women in law and society. Personally, I have learned that taking full advantage of being a Lawyers Club member requires teamwork. In fact, it has been clear to me from day one that each attorney or judge I interact with remembers being in my shoes. That familiarity seems to lead Lawyers Club members to do what they can to help students like me achieve my individual goals.
I wasn’t even a law student when I found myself standing alone in the corner of the lobby outside the ballroom at the U.S. Grant, awaiting the start of the Equal Pay Day luncheon. There, I met a recent law grad holding her brand new baby girl. We bonded over our mutual awkward feelings—I wasn’t even completely sure I was allowed to be at this event. But, we both had enough courage to show up, Lawyers Club welcomed us with open arms, and we fell right into place at our respective stages in the journey to becoming the lawyer we each want to be.
This woman, (and each woman and man I met in this organization since that first luncheon), has become part of my “team,” whether they realize it or not. I am constantly blown away with the amazing opportunities I have been offered, and how close I am to realizing a decade-long dream. I look forward to the day when I can celebrate with my “team” and share stories about how each individual played a key role in my success. I also very much enjoy sharing my experience with my fellow classmates. For example, I recently introduced a new friend and classmate to “members of my team” at the Red, White, and Brew. He is a charming individual who came up to me before class and said, “I need to network. I hear you’re the person to talk to.” He mingled with attendees as easily as I knew he would, but being at his first networking event, he was incredibly grateful to have me and another friend as a networking team as we moved about the room. Hurdles leaped, together.
So, thanks, team! Law students: Go find your “team.” All: Got a story about your “team?”
This blog post was authored by Courtney Strange