On March 30, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee hosted “Build Your Own Network – Panel and Speed Networking,” an event held at the offices of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, dedicated to law students interested in building professional relationships and standing out from the crowd. Speaking on the panel was Sameer Advani, Litigation Partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, James Cho, Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Charles Chen, Deputy General Counsel at HICKIES, and Marianne Chow, Counsel at Hearst Corporation. Moderating the discussion was Victoria Liu, co-chair of the AABANY Student Outreach Committee and a litigation associate at Willkie Farr.

Kick-starting the discussion on general networking tips was Marianne, who compared networking to the habit of going to the gym – both positive habits that, if properly nurtured and developed, have always yielded lasting benefits. Second to speak was Charles, who highlighted the importance of LinkedIn as a networking tool by describing how he used the platform to land his current position at HICKIES. Next up was James, who advised students to take the initiative in approaching attorneys and to attend events at other bar associations as well. Rounding off the discussion was Sameer, who reminded students to see networking more as an investment – a means of building fulfilling professional relationships rather than a cause for opportunism.

After the panel discussion came speed networking, which gave students the chance to interact with panelists and attorneys on a one-on-one basis. Every five minutes, students shifted over one seat to the left so that they got to speak to many different attorneys in the course of about twenty minutes. After these lightning rounds, attendees got to continue networking less frenetically over delicious food and drinks provided by the firm.

Many thanks to the Student Outreach Committee for organizing such a superb event, to Willkie Farr for hosting, and to all our panelists and speed-networking attorney participants for taking the time to share their valuable career insights with students.