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Meet Your Professor
Daniel June




Networking is vital in the legal profession. Not only is the career socially focused, based mostly on the use of language, but pragmatically there are fewer jobs than seekers, so networking is especially relevant. You should not wait until you are out of law school to begin. In fact, you should begin with your professors.

Professors are humans and they may find the job tedious or boring as we all find our jobs from time to time. What makes the difference for many of them is having some sort of human connection. You will probably feel the same; if you know, respect, and admire your professor, you will feel vitalized to perform better.

Your professor can give you more than feedback on your performance. He can advise you on what classes to take and how to take them. Just as 2L and 3L have wisdom to give to 1L, so the professors have their own domain of insight.

You will want to make use of office hours, but be timely. Stay for as long as you feel welcome, and come with pertinent and interesting questions. If you ask about something you are genuinely interested in, and which this professor seems uniquely able to answer, your admiration will shine and he will be glad to speak with you. So during his lectures, mine his words for something that could break the ice between you.

If a friendship were possible between you and a professor – and of course friendships require compatibility and mutual interest, it might in fact be impossible – you must start with a respectful distance, presuming nothing about his time or interest in you. Confident, but not presumptuous, and when you show you are interested in what he has to say he will likewise be interested in you.

It would be poor taste to expect favors, unprofessional to want special treatment. But merely knowing your professors, many of which who have had long careers in law, can open a node of connections to people in the world. For instance, if you have a specific interest in one aspect of law, he might be able to introduce you to a person of interest who specializes in that.

Make it a point, then, to always meet your professors, each of them, and early on in the semester. For the ones who you genuinely admire, you can attempt to get to know them better. That would be a friendship worth having.


Posted on: 01/18/2013 11:37 PM | Number of feedback 1


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