A multiple Lawyers Weekly award winner has shared his thoughts on the value of networking for lawyers working in-house, and how it can develop their professional skills.
University of Tasmania counsel Theo Kapodistrias told Lawyers Weekly that building his professional network, upon assuming an in-house role, had a “huge influence” on the development of his career, and had greatly enhanced his professional skills.
“In-house [work] can be quite isolating — although you are part of the business, in some ways, you end up being a bit more distant from the legal community,” he explained.
As a result, networking has been invaluable to his development and sense of community, he said.
“Through both volunteering and networking opportunities that are available, I have had the opportunities to connect with new people. It has provided me with the opportunity to work with lawyers from across the country, and opportunities to network with lawyers internationally.”
The sense of isolation that can exist with in-house work would be significantly worse if he did not put himself out there to meet new people, he argued.
“[Your businesses] ultimately benefit from the essential learnings available from your peers. The legal community in Tasmania is small, so it is nice to have a supportive in-house community here,” he said.
“I would always encourage fellow lawyers to engage with their respective industry body and look for opportunities to get involved, as personally, the time commitment has paid enormous dividends.”
It is also particularly crucial, Mr Kapodistrias added, because in an evolving legal marketplace, businesses and institutions require their legal services to not only be “incredibly responsive”, but also be innovative in the delivery of those services.
“There are many in-house teams who are well-advanced in their innovation journey, so being able to ask those lawyers questions about what they are doing and how they were able to implement those systems is essential,” he advised.
“Being part of networks has provided me with the opportunity to ask fellow in-house lawyers those questions and learn from their experiences.”