Director’s Tip: Plan a Regular Coffee or Lunch with your Classmates-even after You Graduate and Even if You Already Have a Job

Every few weeks, this happens, and it happened today.  I got a phone call from a recent graduate.  She was thinking about looking for a new job, so I gave her access to Symplicity.  But we were talking about what other things she should be doing to find openings which may not be posted but might be found by networking (ie—how most folks find jobs ).  I asked her if she was keeping in touch with her classmates.  “Not much—I just don’t have time,” was the answer.   In recent months, I got a call from an alum who wanted to leave a law firm.  I asked this alum to start contacting the classmates they had kept in touch with since graduation.  They had a hard time thinking of anyone with whom they had kept up a relationship.

The life of a new lawyer is busy.  It is understandable if it seems challenging to find time to be social.  But do not let your work keep you from staying in touch with your friends, classmates and colleagues.  If you fall into that trap, you will miss out on ways to help your friends, you won’t learn from the issues they are confronting in their practices, you will become more isolated, and you will miss out on professional opportunities that they may be able to share. 

To each of you—especially the 3L’s who are about to graduate, I encourage you to put a group coffee or lunch with classmates on your calendar once every month or two—and then stick to it as if it were a critical appointment with a client.  Do this even if it means you work a little later another day.