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LegalJob met with a first year law student this week to brainstorm about possible job opportunities for the summer.  She was articulate and showed great initiative in setting up the meeting but she did not seem have an endgame in mind.  It was not clear what she was looking to get out of the meeting.  LegalJob had some ideas about how to be helpful but there was no request made by the student. 

When networking with people about possible job opportunities, have an endgame in mind.  Decide what action step you are looking to get out of the meeting and make your request.  Are you looking to be considered for a certain position within that person’s firm?  If so, are you willing to work for free?  Would you like that person to send your resume around to contacts at other firms?  Do you want to be introduced to others that could be helpful?  What do you want?  Have a specific plan.

It is certainly okay (and probably a good idea) to ask about the person about his or her background and insight — every person loves talking about their favorite subject.  However, you do not want to spend the meeting brainstorming about different areas of the law you could possibly specialize in or what kinds of jobs you could enjoy.  Have those conversations with the career services person at the law school.  At this meeting, focus on your plan and execute.

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