The first open meeting of the Practical Law In-house Future Forum took place recently, to discuss the topic of networking. The meeting featured presentations from Alisa Grafton, author of Great Networking: The Art and Practice of Building Authentic Professional Relationships and partner at De Pinna Notaries, and Andre Brown, Senior Commissioning Editor at Practical Law.
While we had initially planned to hold the meeting in person, especially given the subject matter and its timing during the traditional festive event season, logistics and a desire to open the meeting to as wide an audience as possible in the end dictated a virtual venue, which was open to all who registered.
Registration numbers and a straw poll of attendees conducted during the meeting revealed a healthy interest in the topic among those at different stages of their careers: 60% of those who provided details were trainees or had up to three years’ PQE or in-house experience; the remainder were qualified lawyers of more than three years’ experience. Registrations indicated that interest was not limited to those working in a particular sector, with financial services, healthcare, media, retail, telecoms and the public sector represented – among others.
A further poll of attendees at the beginning of the meeting showed that the vast majority (79%) thought networking a “necessary chore”, while the remaining fifth (21%) found the idea of it “terrifying”. Not a single voter thought networking was “easy and fun” on joining. However, comments received at the end of the session suggested that our speakers’ insights might have helped to shift our attendees’ views, or at least help them feel better equipped for the festive season and beyond.
We have written up the key takeaways from the meeting in Article, Practical Law Future Forum open meeting: tips and takeaways on networking for early-career in-house lawyers.
We plan to hold further open meetings of the Future Forum and welcome feedback through the “Feedback” button at the bottom of the Practical Law homepage, or you can connect with Alice Southall or Merhala Selvarajah on LinkedIn