It’s All About Connecting Your Way

It’s the dead of winter for many of us, but career planning and summer jobs are always on the minds of law students.   That’s one reason our next podcast will feature some essential tips to inspire you to make connections that will help you throughout your career –  and guide you on how to get started right now!

You may be thinking, “I don’t know anyone,” but the fact is you do.  Your peers, family, friends and professors should form the base for your network.  But you need to develop those relationships for them to be meaningful.  To start, it may help to rid your mind of your preconceived notions about what networking is!

Frank Kimball is the owner of Kimball Professional Management and he meets with hundreds of law students from the nation’s leading law schools every year.  In 35 years, he has interviewed, hired, placed, or counseled 10,000 more.  Kimball says networking is not only about landing a position; it’s about finding a way to build relationships with people, some of whom you might already know. “Well, I guess I’d put it this way.  I don’t even like the word networking anymore because it’s become a time-worn cliché that conjures up images of young people standing around the hotel ballroom throwing business cards at each other.  The point of networking is to connect with an individual and the concept of connecting with an individual is as old as the ages.

In the show, Kimball gives specific suggestions for resources that can help you identify the people you’ll want to connect with, but he says, just being in the room with the people you’d like to get to know, sending an email or finding out you have something in common is not enough.  “If you identify somebody with a common background and interest, then for sure shoot them an email with a copy of your résumé but then you have to pick up the telephone and call that person.”

Our other guests share insight about what has worked for them as students, as young lawyers, and in business and career development.  They all suggest finding your comfort zone and making connections in a way that fits yourpersonal style.

Kimberly Encinas, is a litigator at Munger, Tolles & Olsen, LLP in Los Angeles.  Encinas recommends joining specialty associations, as you’ll have a built-in common ground.  “You never know who’s going to end up being a client, especially at my level, in terms of what my firm does.  We represent mostly corporations, so looking to meet business people is important.  There are tons of bar organizations in the city where I am, in Los Angeles.  There’s a bar organization for women, which is the one that I’m mostly active in, the Women Lawyers Association. Pick your group.  There’s the Mexican Bar Association.  There’s Black Women Lawyers etc. so it’s not just the LA County Bar or the American Bar Association you can be involved in.  I would say to try and actually be involved in more specialty bars because you’re going to meet more people who are like you.”

Other guest include:

  • Jessie Kornberg, Executive Director of Ms. JD – a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women in law school and the legal profession.
  • Katherine Hayes, 3L student at Northwestern University.


Stay tuned for the full show, Networking 101, to hear more!