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Networking – what every lawyer needs to know
Your success as a lawyer depends on how well you network with other lawyers and your area of expertise. Lawyers who fail to network fail over time.

But what exactly is networking?

Networking is maintaining regular contact with people for the ultimate purpose of developing business. It is sincere and constant effort to help others, anticipating that you will, in turn, be helped. Networking effectively involves defining possible contacts, determining your network purpose, developing a plan of action and committing the same time and energy necessary to produce meaningful results.

Why is networking important?

Great lawyers know that business is generated through sustained working activity. This is because most people learn about opportunities from people who are not their close friends.

These lawyers understand that people do business with people they like, trust, confide in and feel comfortable around. They also understand that a great network involves creating quality relationships that take time to build and get stronger over time.

To sum it all up networking is like planting flowers for a garden. It is the initial work that feels awkward and boring, as it might feel insincere. However, but will produce great beauty in the end. Like how not everyone is born with a silver thumb, not everyone is born with an extrovert personality and ability to communicate with anyone. But everyone can learn.

How do I network effectively?

Networking will not always bear the benefits immediately so it is not always easy to know when you have done it effectively. It is also not just increasing the frequency of relation, it is about having productive and efficient relations. It is important to be genuine and authentic while building networks and have realistic expectations.

Here are our Sonder Tips to networking effectively:

1. Start with the people you know, used to know and would like to know

Of course, do not catch up with Mrs Adams from 4thgrade over a cup of tea. Do however have a look at former neighbors, friends, former clients and fellow employees and decide which people on your networking list are strong possibilities for a sustained business relationship. Make these your priority contacts.

For a bona fide funds lawyer, places like the Cayman Islands are a great place to be. As the tax structures in offshore jurisdictions are very rewarding, law firms are assisting their clients in managing their funds and setting them up. Off shore law firms have been increasing their headcount in their funds team over the past 6-12 months.

2. Maintain your network

Stronger relationships are easier to maintain. It is important to remember that all business relationships, need time and attention. Older relationships can be more effectively maintained by introducing new and creative ways of staying in touch. Aim to have one-on-one recognition and make sure to establish a mutual point of interest. Sometimes it may be as simple as forwarding articles of interest to the person you are trying to create a relationship with.

3. Mind your social media

Social media has exploded and over 800 million people now connect with one another using Facebook more than one half om a daily basis. Even more are connected via LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Though many lawyers are still unsure about Facebook messenger overtaking email. LinkedIn aka the Facebook for professionals is a way to make yourself stand out.

Many lawyers have taken to it to find real contacts by relying on the power of exponential networking to identify connections to potential clients.

The gold mine of social media are the blogs. Law Blogging, or ‘blawging’ is a quick and useful way to report current developments to colleagues, clients and general public. If your blog becomes mainstream, you will find yourself quoted or invited to comment on television or radio – how about that for networking?

4. Be yourself

Everyone can smell inauthenticity. The best way to make people gravitate towards your is to be your honest self. You will thank us later.

“You have two primary choices in life: accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
– Denis Waitley
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