The germ of ambition coursing through human cells propagates a number of adverse effects. Symptoms include insight days, skills sessions, and networking events being on your social calendar. Strain of targets ache upon your pre-frontal lobe, competitive instincts grip your adrenal gland and you begrudgingly accept that you’ve now joined that boisterous rank of wannabe trainees calculatedly sprawling their way into the legal world. The path we’ve embarked on is chaotic, so the blissful moments of order along the way are to be cherished. Last year I had the pleasure of attending a Christmas Networking event at the Slug & Lettuce. Nice place, nice ambience, and of course most very nice free champagne to greet you with. Firms attending included Eversheds, Bond Pearce, Burges Salmon, Wragge & Co, Martineau, and DLA Piper. How you use a networking day is up to you. There’s the opportunity to make contacts, to prise out information on the process, possibly score some hints, or even just work on those all-important networking skills. Sagely career minded people stress very clearly we take full advantage of these.
I, feeling slightly under-dressed I hasten to add, sipped and talked to a lovely graduate recruitment lady from DLA Piper to kick things off. She told me about the firm, I listened intently, and then the levees of curiosity broke. I had many a question, and her saintly patience granted me many an answer. After wading the members entangled in conversation with the firms, dining occurred, and a moment was not wasted for further networking fun. Wine flowed, and I had the opportunity to speak to a trainee from Bond Pearce. Her week, she told me, was more or less going to be spent socialising with prospective trainees at similar events dotted around here and there. Being within thirty centimetres of four bottles of wine this schedule sounded wonderful, I thought. She answered more questions and offered words of reassurance too, which was nice. The great thing about these kinds of events organised by the L4NL society is they make the career we have chosen to pursue more accessible, in the sense that from speaking to trainees who we ourselves seek to emulate and from hearing about their progression. You begin to see yourself in their shoes. It’s useful to have access to this given the difficulty and competitiveness of a career in the law, so networking events are usually time well spent. An improved knowledge of the application process was imparted on me; I planted the seeds for the development of my networking skills, and gained a higher blood alcohol percentage. Good clean fun was had by all, and long may the institution of networking thrive. I only hope members of our society don the trainee badge and espouse their existential wisdom to us in due course.