On January 20, our Career Placement Committee continued its ever-popular Getting-on-Track series with Networking for Lawyers, where panelists shared honest information on how to be memorable and get the most out of networking. Panelists shared how they insert themselves into the conversation, how they hate people who ask them out for a drink and ask for business thirty minutes later, and what to do if they’re worried they won’t stick out. 

Our speakers included:

  • Pauline Yeung-Ha, Partner, Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
  • Austin So, Division General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Heraeus Incorporated
  • Robert Leung, Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
  • Yang Chen, Executive Director, Asian American Bar Association of New York
  • Jeff Ikejiri, Director, RGP Legal

Thanks to the speakers for sharing their expertise, to RGP for hosting, and to the Career Placement Committee for organizing the event. Highlights below:

Look for the Loft building in Times Square for tonight’s event! Ashley will be downstairs to direct you in and… https://t.co/IIawBx2mVi

Austin So: I didn’t network for the first ten years of my career, so I’m an example of what not to do.

Austin So: The difference between good networking and bad networking is being genuine.

Robert Leung: I try to find out who is going to an event. I don’t tell people my life story. I think about how I can benefit other people.

Robert Leung: Networking is a long game. You don’t meet someone and get work in half an hour.

Pauline Yeung-Ha: One day my partner said to me, “I think it’s time for you to go out. And I still didn’t know the purpose!”

Pauline Yeung-Ha: When you do network, you have to make an impression, and that’s the hardest part.

Yang Chen: These days with the Internet, it’s almost impossible not to prepare. Everyone’s time is precious.

Yang Chen: There are so many different networking events. Don’t go to a random one. Pick and choose. Go there with a purpose.

Yang Chen: Be ready for serendipity. You might meet someone you’re not expecting.

What do you do when you’re new and you don’t know how to break into a conversation?

Get a wingman for networking. It helps to have a person who is there who already knows people and is willing to introduce you to them.

Robert Leung: Every event you to go is a networking event.

Robert Leung: I’m at the point where I don’t care anymore. I walk up to people, listen to their conversation, and introduce myself.

Austin So: Go to every event. Sometimes it’s going to be useless, but that’s just life.

Austin So: As dirty as it sounds, you have to network up and down and in and out. Don’t make the mistake of not networking internally.

Austin So: Some people are like, “Let’s get a drink,” and thirty minutes later ask, “Where’s my business?” It could take months or years.

Austin So: This is my approach with other GCs – can I get your advice?

Jeff Ikejiri: Network when you don’t need it. That’s something for younger lawyers to consider.

Pauline Yeung-Ha: It doesn’t matter if you’re at a wedding or a funeral. Everything is networking. Bring your business card to the beach.

Pauline Yeung-Ha: When I’m the person who hasn’t brought anyone with me and I know no one, I look for other people who don’t know people.

Robert Leung: There are more qualified people for Partner than there are positions. Go to the cocktail party and write the perfect brief.

Yang Chen: I was forced to enjoy networking as @aabanyEd, and now I do. You can make friends in the process.

Robert Leung: First of all, get a business card. If you can’t do that, remember their name and look them up online.

Let’s get down to some practical tips about networking. https://t.co/UrIVMTWV41

Pauline Yeung-Ha: Meet people who may not be able to give you business, but may be able to give you referrals. And do a good job.

Pauline Yeung-Ha: I’m always looking for people who can speak the language – Cantonese, Mandarin… I’m the only Asian sometimes.

Pauline Yeung-Ha: I’m an elder law attorney. My clients don’t come back. They die.

Austin So: I like funny people. But you can’t pretend to be funny when you’re not funny.

Austin So: I ask people for help from morning to night… You can force people to be your mentor.

Advice from Rob & Austin: The best way to get business is to get a GC his or her next big gig.

Robert Leung: Think about business development every single day, every single hour…

Jack Chen: People at AABANY generally want to help.