Networking: What works best?

We’ve got a solid start on the UMass Amherst Lawyer-Alumni and Pre-Law Networking LinkedIn group – over 130 members so far, with almost half practicing attorneys, and the rest a mix of law students, and undergraduates and alumni interested in careers in law.  There’s a decent variety of fields, law schools and locations represented (although the latter naturally skews to the East Coast so far), and a range of experience levels among the lawyers, from new associates to long time partners. 

I’d like to build on this foundation by inviting those of you already in the group to share your best networking tips – both online and in real life.  What works?  What doesn’t?  Attorneys, what approaches make you want to spend time responding to an inquiry from a pre-law student or alum, or a law student?  Which approaches turn you off?  What about contacts from other lawyers?  Law students, and pre-law alums and undergrads: tell us about your successes and frustrations.  And pose your questions.  (Not in the group yet?  It’s never too late to join—this discussion will take place in the LinkedIn group.)

To start us off, I’m sharing three recent articles on networking for lawyers:

First, Gavin Ward, a Scottish solicitor, offers up 10 LinkedIn tips for new lawyers. Alison Monahan, of Girls Guide to Law School, describes how to develop a “contacts road map” to make your online and real world connections more goal-oriented.  And finally, Texas lawyer Michael Maslanka takes us completely offline, providing tips for building meaningful lawyer mentoring relationships.

Looking forward to hearing your best advice.