Summer is an important time for law students. As 1Ls go into the summer, those in student development know that they need to be networking and preparing for their 2L summer job search. As 2Ls go into the summer, they need to impress their firms in order to receive post-graduate offers. Students who are working in public interest or government need to continue to build contacts and do good work so they can acquire solid references.
How can Career Development offices get ALL these messages across to their students?
It is difficult to get students to prioritize networking when their energy is directed towards their work day. Hosting an alumni networking event this summer is an easy way to encourage students to get out and meet practicing attorneys. If your school sets up the event, students will have an array of contacts, without having to set up individual networking meetings.
Scheduling a networking event doesn’t even have to put a dent in your career office’s budget! Bars in any given city will often reserve space for a large group — for free –without imposing a drink minimum.
Networking events do not even have to tax your office’s resources, if you can find a dedicated alumni in the city in which you want to schedule the event — and a few dedicated students who can encourage them to coordinate the event. You can even design a new position that students can use on their resume: “Summer Networking Leader” and equip them with the resources to plan an event on their own.
If you are coaching students on how to succeed in the workplace, Millennials respond best to short form digital videos. Talk to the tech team at your school to create a plan for a few short videos that equip students with important professionalism tips, such as 1) asking what the deadline for a project is, 2) not being shy about asking questions if they get stuck on a research question, and 3) being proactive about meeting lawyers at their organization or firm.
As students meet with counselors in your office before heading off for the summer, bring up professionalism in the workplace and tips they can follow to ensure their own success.