Guest Blog by Courtney Boykin, 3L at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
Networking and mentors have always been a weird topic for me. When I was in college I attended a lot of networking events. I built a strong relationship with the dean of my college and had the privilege to meet many different people doing many different things. Now in law school, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet as many people and of the people I have met, it seems as though they all, basically, did (or do) the same thing. Nonetheless, I believe that mentors are very important, especially in the legal field. As a 3L, here’s my advice about mentorship, networking, and things of that sort.
1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to professors and advisors.
Earlier last week, I started researching potential fellowships for next year. As you may know, I am extremely interested in public health/health law. Although I am graduating with both my JD and my MPH, most of my experience have been legal related rather than public health related. Because I wasn’t finding much on my own, I decided to reach out to one of my advisors. She quickly connected me to one of the alumni of the school that’s in the public health law field. If it wasn’t for me just randomly, on the cusp, emailing my advisor, I wouldn’t have gotten that contact information. That being said, don’t be afraid to reach out!
2. Networking events can be positive experiences.
I’ll be the first to say, I DON’T like networking events. I just find the idea of approaching someone with small talk very difficult for me to digest. It’s just really weird to me. Nevertheless, these events can be promising. To my introverted friends out there, don’t let the daunting idea of “small talk” deter you from attending these events.
3. Keep a positive rapport with your classmates.
It’s kind of weird to think of our classmates beyond the classroom and as coworkers or potential employers. However, the truth of the matter is that these will be some of our greatest resources for finding jobs and connecting with other people in the very near future. Having said that, BE NICE. That’s a simple statement, but it’s extremely important. Your law school reputation will follow you all the days of your life. Yeah. Be cordial. Be pleasant. Be nice.
How are you finding mentors? Share with other law school students and @The3Llife on Twitter and Instagram.