Networking for lawyers: how being a part of the community helps your career?
It is now more important than ever for lawyers to develop their connections. Networking could help you both develop as a professional in your practice area and improve your legal marketing. One of the best ways to obtain new connections is to become part of the relevant community. We asked Lauren Mack, an organizer of a global community, to share her experience on participation in an innovative legal network and how it helps her career.
Lauren Mack is a New York attorney focused on counseling media and technology companies, e-commerce platforms, creative professionals, startups, and founders on their copyright, trademark, and contract needs. She is also Director at Legal Hackers, an international grassroots community.
Inna Ptitsyna (IP): How did your personal history with Legal Hackers start?
Lauren Mack (LM): “Back in 2012, not long before I was about to graduate law school, I heard about a “legal hackathon” happening at Brooklyn Law School. I was intrigued, so I went and was inspired by what Prof. Askin and his students were doing. Out of the hackathon, Phil Weiss started a Meetup group called Legal Hackers with classmates Warren Allen and Tariq Badat that I quickly joined and not long after offered to help organize with them.
The reason why I wanted to be a part of Legal Hackers is because it was very different from the other legal and technology events I was attending at the time. The topics of discussion didn’t always have an answer or guidance, so we often asked “what if” or “how can we address or solve this”? I loved the focus on actually DOING rather than just talking about problems with the law or technology.
The group also had a strong sense of community. I would see the same people at each event, and we would often hang out afterwards over dinner and/or drinks. I made much stronger connections this way than I would at any other networking event, many of which I continue to maintain today. The Legal Hackers community was so inspiring that we had no choice but to keep it alive and grow it as much as we could.”
IP: Why is it important to be a part of a community for networking?
LM: “It is important to be a part of a community because the legal profession is very collaborative. Even when you are representing opposite sides, you often need to work together to resolve an issue, whether it is finalizing agreement terms or settling a dispute. Having a community where you are running into the same people over and over again allows you to get to know them on a more personal level, which opens the door to expedited negotiations and client referrals. It absolutely helps to be a part of a community and ultimately it benefits your clients.”
IP: How does building networks help for your career growth?
LM: “Networking has definitely helped me in my career path, although it was often difficult to foresee how at the time. I was hired at my current firm because I ran into one of the partners at a digital music conference and he remembered me from seeing me at similar events years before. Referrals from other attorneys I have met through networking (or their networks) are also the primary way I obtain clients, which can be critical for professional growth if you are employed by a law firm.
In addition, my closer connections and I often consult each other on our respective practice areas, and through them, I can obtain answers to general questions quicker and easier than if I had to research it myself or engage outside counsel.”
IP: Could you tell other tips for lawyers to build up a personal brand?
LM: “Pick one to three areas of focus and brand yourself as a go-to resource in those areas, whether it be an area of law or a type of business or dispute. Of course, make sure that you can back that up with knowledge and experience.
If you can demonstrate expertise in a certain area of the law or a certain type of business or dispute, then that is more likely to stick in a potential client or referral source’s mind, and they will be more likely to turn to you in the future when that type of issue arises.”
Lawrina portal helps lawyers get free access to law and build their authority. Our main goal is to create a strong community for lawyers, where they will share their knowledge and insights. As a tribune for lawyers, we are seeking for a Voice spreading the words about the law, legal technology, and lawyer’s productivity. If you want to join our platform as a blogger, simply put a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The interview was taken by Inna Ptitsyna, the PR Manager at Lawrina, the legal portal helping lawyers to build authority on the internet and providing free access to the US law and updates over popular practice areas.