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Career Services


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Contact Us

Law Office of Professional Development

Office Address:

Law Center
1825 W. Rocket Dr., Ste. 1030
Mailing Address:
2801 W. Bancroft, MS 507
Toledo, OH 43606
419.530.2851

OPD@utoledo.edu

Networking

Only a small portion of jobs that exist in the United States are advertised in newspapers, trade magazines, or on the internet.  The majority are in the “hidden” job market and are never advertised.  That’s why it’s so important to let as many people as possible know that you are searching for employment.  Networking requires that you interact with people in a variety of ways.  Some students may choose to begin communicating and networking online, but there is no substitute for in-person communications.  

Networking isn’t always about finding a job.  It’s about making connections with people who can give you valuable information, provide you with a different perspective on a problem you encounter, share new ideas, or maybe someday hire you.  Of course, networking is not one-sided.  Think about ways you can be helpful or connect the individuals you meet with others.

Personal contacts can be the most valuable resource during your job search.  People who are familiar with an industry may be the most beneficial, especially if they are currently working within the area in which you want to secure employment.  They can provide you with even more contacts through their professional circles.  Your personal contacts should include:

  • Office of Professional Development advisors and staff
  • Faculty and Administration
  • Classmates
  • Alumni
  • Family and friends
  • Former supervisors
  • Individuals you meet at bar association functions

Many students find that networking happens naturally when they are participating in something they enjoy.  So join the local or state bar association and actively participate in a section group, or volunteer with a community organization, be it law-related or not.  (Many attorneys are active in community volunteer organizations.)

REMEMBER – Networking does not mean asking for a job.  Instead you are making contacts with knowledgeable people for the purpose of sharing information and gathering leads. 

SAMPLE NETWORKING E-MAIL/LETTER

TIPS FOR EXPANDING YOUR COMMUNITY 

  • Leteveryone know your interests!  That way, when someone hears of an opportunity in one of your interest areas, they will think of you and pass it your way. 
  • Remember that everyone is important!   Never assume a person is not a valuable resource in your job search.  You may be surprised at the sources of many valuable job leads. 
  • Help other people get what they want.  It’s an old saying, but one that is often true, “What goes around, comes around”.  If you happen upon a job opportunity that is not up your alley, but could work for someone you know, pass it on, and hopefully others will do the same for you. 
  • Make it easy for your contacts to help you.  Explain exactly what it is you’re looking for. “Do you know anyone in the Public Defender’s office?” is much easier for a contact to answer than “do you know of any jobs that would be good for me?”
  • Know your professors.  It’s easy to show up to class and then leave, but professors often have many community and business contacts, especially in their area of expertise.  In addition, it is vital to develop a positive relationship with professors as you will (almost certainly) need their endorsement as a reference at some point.
  • Take advantage of unpaid internships and volunteer opportunities.  Working for organizations will allow you to meet people who you wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.  This will also help you gain valuable experience.
  • Always follow-up with new contacts.  Send an e-mail, or make a telephone call within 48 hours of meeting someone new.  This makes you look professional because it shows that you follow through on things and it reduces the possibility of your new contact forgetting you.
  • Stay organized.   Anew contact will do you no good if you can’t find them later – try to keep a record of those you meet as well as when/when you met and what was discussed.
  • Say thank you to those who assist you in your job search.   Never forget to thank all your sources.  A simple thank you note is appropriate in most situations. 

OUTREACH TO LAW ALUMNI

Many students have found Toledo Law Alumni to be a great resource.  The key to interacting with law alumni is having appropriate goals and expectations for the interaction and knowing how best to approach them. 

NATIONAL ALUMNI NETWORK:

  • The College of Law maintains a list of law alumni across the country.  If you are interested in contacting alumni in a specific geographic region or area of practice, please contact the Office of Professional Development to request more information.

DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN INTERACTING WITH LAW ALUMNI

  • DO be at your professional best in any form of communication.
  • Do send an introductory letter or e-mail indicating your interest in learning and ask for a good time to follow-up.
  • DON’T ask if they can give you a job. 
  • DO be mindful of their schedule/time-constraints.
Last Updated: 6/13/16