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Old 03-09-2006, 10:10 AM   #349
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andViolins's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
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local bar

Originally posted by redheaded stepkid
I have been trying to get involved in activities with the local (city) bar in order to lay a networking foundation for the future. Do people find that this process is better accomplished (at an early stage in the career) by joining lots of committees and going to a lot of events or just focusing on a select (but most relevant to your practice area) few?

Also, any real benefit (at an early career stage) in becoming active with the ABA or is that something for more established lawyers?

[and before anyone says ask in your firm, I have, but I am trying to seek an broader array of opinions/experiences-hell, I'll even read what Hank has to say........]

If you ask five lawyers about the best way to establish contacts for future business, you will get 6 different answers. Perhaps seven. Some will tell you that getting involved in the local bar and its committees is a complete waste of time. Others will drone on about how it was their bar activities and work on a specific cimmittee that created their whole book of business. I've heard rainmakers say, "develop a good niche or skill, and surround yourself with people who need that skill." Nice. Like a fortune cookie. Another stated, "get involved with activities that you like, you will develop your clients from those activities." Well, all those days at the strip club haven't done jack for me. Like I said, everyone who you consider to be a good rainmaker has gotten there a different way. If there were one good cookie-cutter approach, then everyone would have a $2 million dollar book of business, but that just ain't reality.

As a first year at biglaw, I think the most important thing that you can do, right now, is good quality work for the partners in your firm. They, the partners, are your clients. If you do good work, they use you again, and as a junior associate, billable hours are the key. Don't sweat the other stuff at this point. If you want to get involved in bar activities, do it because it is something that interests you, don't do it because you think you have to. At least not now.

That's my .02 on the subject. However, you will likely get lots of other "expert" opinions.

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