Successful networking can grant lawyers access to business opportunities. Phillip Hunter shares his tips.
Networking groups are not just social networking sites. They also include industry bodies and membership groups.
There are a variety of groups for lawyers to join depending on your qualifications and area of practice or whether you are working in-house or in private practice.
Membership groups such as ACLA, Women Lawyers Association, Young Lawyers and Chartered Secretaries Australia are just some of the well known established groups. However, you may not be so aware of organisations such as the Banking & Financial Services Law Association (BFSLA), Business Chicks and the Associations of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
ACLA is a membership group established to be 'a voice for in-house corporate and government lawyers.' This is a national group where benefits include an annual national conference, a daily newsletter, research tools and networking facilities.
Business Chicks offers women's networking events, an online busiÂness community, tips and advice for businesswomen much like the Women Lawyers Association; which is a 'peak body representing women lawyers for the advancement of women in the legal profession'. State Law Societies offer groups such as Young Lawyers providing 'a forum to shape and influence debate on the legal and social issues affecting their profession'. Young Lawyers have a number of committees to get involved with, e.g. the Environmental Law committee and Human Rights committee.
LinkedIn also allows you to stay connected and increase your professional market presence. It enables you to connect with peers, publish articles, promote your skills and experience as well as join networking and profesÂsional groups e.g. the In-house Counsel Network which is aimed at existing and aspiring in-house counsel to keep them up-to-date with news, legislation changes, job opportunities and seminars.
Networking is more than collecting business cards.
Successful networks open doors to new opportunities, educational material and industry updates, also giving you a voice and a platÂform to discuss important issues concerning your profession.
So start networking and get involved.
Phillip Hunter is a legal recruitment consultant (in-house) with Naiman Clarke.