By Masha Zhuravleva, Staff Writer, 1L
“A simple hello can lead to a million things.”
(excerpt from I-Land-A a Double Irish and A Dutch by Natalie Hush)
Believe it or not, Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the San Diego legal community are key components to your future success as a lawyer and your roadmap to success begins today. Instead of preaching to you about the brutal law school educational process and how it is hard to find the motivation you need throughout the semester to succeed academically, I will simply give you the “Socializing 101 information” that will explain your networking options and opportunities and introduce you to the knowledgeable faculty on campus who will help you succeed.
Most people — whether they have attended law school or not — will tell you that, in order to ensure your success you must foster strong relationships. The same is true in the legal field–these relationships will open many doors. My law school experience has been enjoyable and valuable, but only because I have made the best of it. Generally, law school life can seem like an endless series of daily tasks, errands, and studies. But making time to engage in quality social and networking events in between one’s studies, is key to developing the personal relationships beneficial to a law student’s future employment and personal relationships. Networking in the San Diego legal community will provide you with the opportunity to meet and say, “Hello” to possible mentors who will soon become your colleagues if you remain in San Diego.
I imagine that a follow-up question students may have would be, “How can professional networking be enjoyable, especially if the school piles up academic tasks and I have very little time to socialize?”
My response would be to say that, human beings are social by nature and we value quality relationships. Even if you do not classify yourself as a social person or not, I will bet that you still have valuable relationships with a few people. In addition, more than any environment I have ever been in, TJSL has faculty and staff who are here to help you succeed academically, socially, and mentally.
The first tip in “Socializing 101” is to introduce yourself to Jeff Chinn and Isabel Eustaquio in Career Services located on the first floor. Jeff is the Director of Career Services, and Isabel is the Associate Director of Career Services. Both of them can help you stand out to a potential employer through your persona, résumé, and cover letter. Jeff and Isabel will take the time to start first with building your résumé today, and they will ensure that you are the strong candidate whom employers are seeking.
The second tip in “Socializing 101” is to identify the “right” events to attend and find the time to attend those events. The “right” events simply are those events in your area of interest. All of the student organizations and our faculty generally hold networking events here at our school, including a monthly Alumni Happy Hour at Bottega. You can find out more information through the touch screens on campus and emails sent by the San Diego County Bar Association (free membership for law students!). Reach out to the SBA for advice.
Lastly, your networking does not end when you graduate. You should be active with the American Bar Association or a section of your local bar associations that fits your interests and expertise.
Join the school’s organizations of your choice and attend their events. Your school and the faculty are here for us; your success is just an email away.