"One of my major takeaways from law school is you need to find a way to stand out - through grades or by some other means. My focus was to have as many people as possible know who I am and what I am about."
That was the advice Tucker Ellis attorney Brandon Cox '12 gave to current Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students at a November 12 lunch panel sponsored by the Student Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Several members of the Cleveland legal community shared with students the importance networking played in their professional experiences:
Barbara Roman ’77 (Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis, past CMBA President) stressed that students should expand their "sphere of influence," to open the possibility of future opportunities. "The time to start networking is early, to then build upon those efforts throughout law school," she explained.
Julie DiBaggio ’04 (Weltman, Weinberg & Reis) told students about the importance of not only getting involved with the community, but also taking leadership roles. DiBaggio offered the example of leadership roles she has taken within sections of the CMBA, which have helped further her career.
Scott Heasley ’10 (Chernett Wasserman) stressed the importance of never passing up an opportunity to network, and recommended they maintain an outgoing personality in everyday situations, as he explained the initial contact for his current position came during a children’s play date.
Brandon Cox ’12 (Tucker Ellis) advised students that managing their schedule efficiently is important to allot time for networking while going through the rigors of law school. He warned students about trying "crash course network" as they prepared for graduation, in lieu of making constructive social connections throughout their time in law school.
Justin Eddy ’12 (Mansour, Gavin, Gerlack & Manos) shared advice he received through the Supreme Court of Ohio new lawyer mentoring program. "It's important to forge new relationships and make connections with people," explained Eddy. "You can then use resources like the bar association to maintain those relationships you've made through networking and your classmates."