Professional Development

8 Tips to Help Grow Your Professional Network

Establishing a strong professional network can benefit your business several ways, from receiving feedback by bouncing ideas off successful entrepreneurs and business owners to opening doors that were once closed — building your professional network should be something you are always working on.

You have undoubtedly heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” right? I’m such a firm believer in building business connections and relationships that I decided to launch an online community that business owners and entrepreneurs can access 24/7 — EBOC launches July 15th and I’m excited to be able to provide a community that people can connect through.

The right connections can open doors with some amazing opportunities behind them, so here are eight tips to help you grow your professional network.

Read more HERE 

By Jonathan Long Via Huff Post

Summer Event for Law Students and Young Lawyers (NYC)

A note from Jane Bary:

My name is Jane Bary and I work for UJA’s Lawyers Division. I would like to invite WashU Law students to a Summer Law Happy event on Tuesday, July 17 from 7-10pm at Raise New York (416 3rd Avenue, New York City). The event promises to be a fun networking opportunity for law students working in the New York City area this summer.

How are you performing this summer? There is only one way to know: Tip 7–It’s Time to Ask for Feedback!

While you are now comfortable in your new work environment, performing quality work and being able to come away with a good reference, writing sample, or possibly even a job offer for some positions is an invaluable part of your summer.  Even if you believe you are producing exceptional work for your employer, there is only one way to be certain of this: ask.  Requesting feedback is often uncomfortable, but seeking out feedback is vital to your success. In fact, 26% of people who fail in the beginning of a job do so because they can’t accept feedback. Yes, feedback. Everyone likes to hear that his or her work exceeds expectations, and no one wants to be told that he or she has come up short. True professionals welcome constructive feedback. They know that any feedback that points out a shortcoming, as hard as it may be to hear, helps them to learn and to grow.

Welcome feedback. If your supervisor doesn’t automatically provide it, proactively seek out some constructive criticism of your work sooner than later.  Now is the time.  However, be mindful of when you ask for feedback.  Schedule a meeting ahead of time and be specific about the action items you intend to improve upon. Your initiative and drive to succeed will pay off in the end.

Lastly, in the words of Mary Crane, here’s the most important feedback principle to keep in mind: own it and hone it. Listen to any feedback that you receive and take immediate action to improve behaviors that don’t meet expectations.



Successful Summer Tip #6: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Related imageSummer is busy.  So why would you want to add a mock interview with an alum to your plate?  Actually, several reasons!  If you are already a great interviewer, you will have the chance to impress one of your target employers through a mock interview.  (We have seen this work!)  If you feel you could use a little practice to perfect your skills, your mock interview will help you prepare for the interviews that count.  If this idea is still akin to a root canal for you, remember that investing just a little bit of time over the summer could yield great results and set you up for a more comfortable, confident, and successful interviewing season.

Sign up here to do a mock interview in your current city, your target city, or multiple cities.

Summer Connects – The Importance of Building the WashULaw Community & Networking

WashULaw Summer Connects are coming to a city near you, and we hope you’ll attend!  These intimate, after-work gatherings are designed to introduce current students to alumni and to help forge a real community in your city.  In fact, we encourage you to invite a colleague from work and bring them into the WashU fold (maybe they’ll return the favor)!  This is a great opportunity to expand your professional network but also to have productive and meaningful conversations with seasoned practitioners in your city who also happen to be friendly alums.  Their experience and perspective may be invaluable to your own career exploration.  Here are some tips on how to shine at this or any networking event.



5 Ways to Shine

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Showing up Unannounced & Unprepared
as soon as you are invited to a business-social event (welcoming reception, business lunch or dinner, baseball game, etc.), and indicate that you either will or will not attend. Once you have indicated that you will attend, only an absolute emergency excuses your absence.

Before you attend a reception, prepare a handful of questions that you can ask anyone. These will encourage others to speak and thereby take some pressure off you.  Questions might include:  What projects are you focused on this summer? Where were you employed as a Summer Associate, and what’s your best memory of that summer? Do you have summer vacation plans? 

The Wallflower
If you happen to be an introvert, remember, it’s absolutely critical that you attend some of these events. Law firms specifically are in the business of building relationships. Demonstrate that you have the ability to walk into a room filled with people you don’t know and initiate conversations.

Deal-break handshake
At a reception, grab something to eat or a beverage, but never both. Keep one of your hands always available to meet and greet others.  Be aware of the “dead fish”, “sweaty palms”, “your majesty”

Don’t be “that” person
Feel free to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at any employer-sponsored event. However, know your limits and adhere to them. (By the way, if you abstain from alcohol for any reason, do not feel pressured to consume alcohol this summer.)

Where are your manners?
Be nice! Don’t forget to express your gratitude for someone’s time. Send a quick note of appreciation and keep your contacts informed of any updates on your job search.


**some information is Copyright © 2018 Mary Crane & Associates.

Making the Most of Your Summer Program. A message from Akin Gump

Making the Most of Your Summer Program

You studied hard during your first year of law school, impressed firms during the interview process and landed a position as a summer associate. Congratulations! However, it is important to remember that the effort you put forth and the connections you make this summer are equally important to your future legal career.

In this post, we will provide you with tips on how to make the most of your summer program.

Know what is expected; if you do not—ask questions.

Doing your job well requires understanding what is expected of you:

  • Make sure you understand the form of the final deliverable and the amount of time that the assigning lawyer expects it to take. Doing so will help you avoid performing exhaustive research on what should have been only a brief email, or turning in an assignment that is half the length that it should have been.

Read more here

Organize your Job Search

Starting in June you should be sending applications to all firms in your target location and practice areas. Think Broadly.  If you would take your dream job in a not-so-ideal location later in the application cycle, apply to it now as well. Here’s a tip to help you stay organized during the application process: create a spreadsheet to help you keep track of your applications. This spread sheet could include:

  • Name of firm/organization/government agency
  • Date you applied
  • How you applied (email, website, direct send, OCI)
  • Any and all contacts you have made
  • Networking events you have attended
  • A small snippet of why you want this particular firm (this will help you prepare for interviews later!)
  • Anything else helpful to you

Make sure you use the location you are in this summer to your advantage.  We are happy to put a request into the career research bank to find bar groups, alums, networking events, or receptions that you can attend. Remember, we are here all summer to help.

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Successful Summer Tip #2 – Checklist for a Successful Summer Work Experience

A word from Mary Crane…

Copyright © 2018 Mary Crane & Associates.

Checklist for a Successful Summer Work Experience

Prior to Day One

  • Do a commute test run.  It’s absolutely critical that you arrive on time throughout the summer, and especially on your first day of work. Remember, you have one opportunity to create a first impression. It’s better to arrive 30 minutes early than five minutes late.
  • Check your Day One outfit.  Ensure that it is clean, pressed, and does not require mending. If you’ve purchased a new jacket or blazer, clip any threads that have tacked the rear vents closed. Check your shoes. They should be polished and the heels should not be worn down.

On Day One

  • Focus on creating an impression that you are confident and professional. Avoid creating an impression that communicates: I am entitled; I am better than anyone else; I am not a team player; or I deserve praise and recognition for completing assignments on time.
  • Be prepared to introduce yourself professionally by stating your name clearly, extending your right hand for a firm handshake, and making relaxed eye contact.
  • If you are scheduled to attend an orientation program throughout Day One, use that time to start building relationships with your fellow summer hires. Many summer associates naturally gravitate to fellow hires from the same school. Start expending your network of contacts to include summer hires from other schools as quickly as you possibly can.
  • Be prepared to start work immediately. If you are immediately assigned to a work team, pull out your pad of paper and pen and start recording assignments as they are delivered. If anything is unclear about your assignment, ask clarifying questions immediately. (Do you need a draft or a final work product?)
  • Show interest and enthusiasm in all that you do and in everyone with whom you meet. Remember, on Day One the odds are good that the receptionist knows more about the practice of law and your particular employer than you do. Seek to build allies and relationships throughout the organization.

Manage Time & Projects

  • Set aside a chunk of time every Sunday to preview the week ahead. Review the status of ongoing assignments and key deadlines, and anticipate opportunities or challenges that could arise. Do not arrive in your office on Monday without a game plan for the week.
  • Be prepared to constantly revise your game plan.  On an hour-by-hour basis, you may need to reprioritize specific tasks and larger assignments. Be prepared to constantly ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing that I need to accomplish during the next 20 minutes?”
  • Forget multi-tasking. Multiple studies have confirmed that the human brain is not structured to multi-task. Try performing two tasks at the same time, and you will only succeed in doing both tasks about 50 percent well. Instead of multi-taking, focus on mono-tasking. Give a short period (aim for 15 minutes) of undivided attention to your most important task. At the end of each 15-minute period, address emails and voicemails. Then repeat.
  • Ask for feedback, and demonstrate that you hear and will respond to any constructive feedback that you receive. When a senior lawyer indicates that you need to improve a particular skill set, immediately visit your favorite recruiter. Ask for his/her assistance in addressing this issue.  (Could you please point me to an online tutorial or a personal coach?)