Building a Professional Network


NetworkA usually informally interconnected group or association of persons (such as friends or professional colleagues).
-Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

When I started this professional development series, I had envisioned devoting an entire month to certain types of posts, but finals got in the way of that plan.  However, I promise I’ll be more on top of it once finals are done!  So without further ado, here is the next installment in this series about creating a professional network.

What is a Professional Network?

A professional network essentially consists of the professionals you know in a particular field.  It can be made up of professors, internship supervisors, family, friends, some person you met in the elevator, etc.  Really, there’s no limit to who you can include in a professional network.  If you have LinkedIn, it basically consists of your connections.

Benefits of Having a Professional Network

Personally, I know I have heard about building a professional network ever since I started college.  But once I started my law school journey, I truly discovered the value of identifying people to include in your professional network.  I actually got my internship last summer through my professional network.  I’ve also gotten the opportunity to discuss the legal field and obtain valuable advice about law school through my professional network.  Professionals are always willing to talk to law students about what they do and what they look for in future employees.  Even if that person doesn’t do exactly what you’re interested in, they likely know someone else who does that and can help you out.

How to Start and Build a Professional Network

During first semester of law school, my school requires us to start a networking spreadsheet.  On this spreadsheet, you collect names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, etc. of professionals you know and meet.  To begin this spreadsheet, I started with a number of attorneys and other professionals in the legal field I knew prior to law school.  Honestly, I had a lot of connections even from high school so don’t think about your professional network as just people you meet in the context of law school.  In my “professional network,” I have connected with a lot of parents of people I went to school with and even some of my undergraduate professors who have connections to the law.  I also try to connect with these people on LinkedIn so make sure your page is looking professional!

Building your network can definitely be a little daunting when you’re first starting out.  Law schools always have professionals coming in and speaking to students about what they do.  Whenever I go to panel events, I try to find a connection with at least one of the speakers and talk to them after the event.  After I talk to them, I always ask for their business card in case I think of any follow up questions after the event.  Additionally, law school professors are a great resource for networking.  They’ve seen many students sit in their classrooms and a lot of the professors will definitely help you connect with any alum that work in a field that you are interested in.

What are your tips for creating a network you can look to for internships or career advice?

November Obsessions


Obsession — An idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.”
-Oxford’s English Dictionary

November seemed to go way quicker than any other month this year.  Probably because I only actually had two and a half full weeks of class this month and my school’s finals period officially starts tomorrow!  So here are my obsessions for November!

1.  A Bad Moms Christmas.  I absolutely loved the original Bad Moms movie, it was funny and super entertaining.  When I found out that a sequel was in the works and it was debuting a weekend I had to be home, I basically forced my mom to go see it with me (jk she actually wanted to see it just as much as I did).  If you’ve seen the original, this movie falls in line perfectly, but just focuses on the mom’s moms and Christmas!  It was super funny and totally got me in the Christmas mood, even if I saw it the first weekend of November.  Also, Justin Hartley spends half of the movie with his shirt off so that’s a major plus!

2.  Brazi Bites Brazilian CheeseBread.  I know, I know, more food, but honestly I love these things!  Shark Tank featured this brand on one of its episodes a few years ago, but I just recently found out about these.  Essentially, they’re bread bites that have a lot of cheese is them and they’re naturally gluten free.  I’ve gone through about three bags of these this month so they definitely have my stamp of approval.

3.  Will & Grace.  If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you might know that I recently rewatched all of PLL because I never watched the last few seasons.  I finally finished watching it after what seemed like forever and needed a new show to binge.  I wanted something funny and settled on Will and Grace since its reboot just started airing.  I’m really enjoying watching it and love the dynamics between the characters.  If you’ve never seen it, the show focuses on Grace and her gay best friend, Will, as they navigate life in New York City.  Of course, chaos ensues in every episode but it turns out well in the end.  My fav characters are probably Jack and Karen; they are so hilarious and have the funniest relationship.

4.  The Rooster Bar by John Grisham.  If you follow any news relating to law school in general, you’ve probably seen articles about for-profit law schools and how they’re losing their accreditation and funding.  This book focuses on what it labels “The Big Law School Scam,” relating to these types of schools.  It follows three friends as they take on the scam and drop out of law school during their last semester (I mean seriously, who would ever do that?).  Some of the book is unbelievable for someone actually in law school, but it does highlight some of the interesting issues regarding the current legal education system.  I’d definitely recommend reading this because it’s a quick read and really interesting for someone in law school to pick up.

5.  Spending Time with Family and Friends.  My favorite part of the holidays is getting to spend time with those I love, and this Thanksgiving was no different.  While I’d love to say I spent a lot of my time over break studying and prepping for finals, I’d be lying, although I did work on my outlines a little.  However, my favorite thing about break was that I got to see a lot of my family and my friends.  I was super excited to see my bestie who moved away from home for her adult job and my cousins.  I had a lot of fun with them, and it made the holiday amazing!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving break and good luck as finals approach!

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