Virtual networking for junior lawyers
Building contacts within the legal profession is an important part of networking for junior lawyers. However, attending events, talks and mingling face-to-face with legal experts and colleagues has, understandably, taken a back-seat as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. As the legal profession, and indeed the World, has had to adapt and embrace the concept of a virtual life this blog post aims to set out four key ways junior lawyers can virtually network in order to get the most out of their training.
- Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) of The Law Society
The JLD is a community for “solicitor apprentices, LPC students, LPC graduates, trainee solicitors and solicitors up to five years’ qualified” which runs alongside The Law Society. The JLD has ensured that many events, which were initially intended to be face-to-face, have been hosted online through webinars and forums. For example on 12 September 2020 the JLD aired the virtual event “Supporting you through qualification and beyond” a recording of which is still available here. Events such as these allow junior lawyers to improve their legal skills and hear from esteemed panel guests on key issues affecting the current climate.
My top tip would be to make a note of key speakers’ or attendees’ names and contact them after the event to follow up on the discussion.
- Local law society events
Many local law societies also run forums and events, distinct from those run by the JLD or The Law Society. Our local law society is Kent Law Society (KLS). Prior to the pandemic KLS hosted a number of interesting events and talks such as “Women in Law” in February 2020. KLS remains very active with webinars being held online, as well as virtual social events. In the coming months they plan to host virtual cocktail making, virtual baking and a virtual escape room, after the first one was so popular. Attending these events allows junior lawyers the chance to meet and discuss important issues with other lawyers in their county.
My top tip would be to join your local law society and share tips with other junior lawyers on remote training during the pandemic.
- CrippsPG virtual events
Attending events hosted by CrippsPG has been a great way to meet other colleagues around the firm and come together to promote the core values of the firm. Many of these events have had to be attended virtually. For example, in September 2020 CrippsPG hosted a Black Lives Matter forum which welcomed Rose St Louis from KPMG. The forum received great feedback from attendees. In addition, many of our social events have now transitioned to online such as the Private Client Christmas Party which comprised a festive-themed quiz and some rather extraordinary teams tasks.
My top tip, would be to suggest future event ideas (whether social or professional) in order to make you and your colleagues feel more connected during this difficult time.
Social media is providing many of us with an essential platform for communication whilst we cannot speak to people in person and LinkedIn is no different. Following colleagues, legal commentators and possibly even clients is a great way to stay in the legal loop and build your professional connections.
My top tip would be to share any articles you have written or have found interesting to get your name and firm out there and use hashtags to allow the topic to gain traction.
Virtual networking is far from ideal but it is important to utilise the platforms and technology available to aid our training experiences. In addition to our professional lives, research has shown how maintaining connections and developing new ones has a positive effect on our well-being, which today seems more pertinent than ever.