May 09, 2011

Expanding Your Networks for Business, Part II

Two weeks ago, I posted about how good old fashioned networking never goes out of style. This week, Business Pundit shares a list of 25 best places to network. The list is diverse enough that you're guaranteed to find at least a handful of activities that will serve your practice area, allow you to meet clients and referral sources in a comfortable environment and, most importantly, fit into a lawyer's busy schedule.

For example, joining a Meet Up group works well for lawyers who serve consumer populations as well as those who represent businesses and corporate interests since MeetUp groups are so diverse. Through Meet Up, you can also find speaking opportunities - which is another recommended networking activity.

There are also non-traditional networking opportunities for lawyers who feel awkward promoting themselves at a professional event. Volunteer activities - such as serving on a non-profit board, participating in a bar association's pro bono program, getting involved in religious activities or helping out with non-legal charitable work at soup kitchens or fundraisers - give others a chance to see your legal skills and work ethic in action in a non-pressured environment.

Of course, lawyers are also very busy, and may resent sacrificing personal time to network. However, many recreational activities - exercise clubs, pet clubs, music groups and Toastmasters - give you a chance to enjoy yourself while building relationships with others who may refer cases or hire you directly. Most people want to work with those whom they like and trust - so getting to know people in a relaxed, enjoyable setting can lay the foundation for doing business together.

Take a look at the full list of activities - because you're sure to find at least one that will fit your needs.

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