PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: Helpful Resources for Career Exploration and Network Building
Published in the October 4, 2012, Advisor
Joining a bar association or other professional organization as a student member can help you explore potential career paths and connect with mentors at a minimal expense. Student members can access current information about practice areas and the legal job market. Members also have more opportunities to network with established professionals in a variety of different fields and regions.
Consider your career goals as you evaluate which association to join.
Join an organization in a region that interests you.
Join a specialty bar association if you are interested in pursuing a particular kind of practice.
Join a bar associations for a specific identity group.
Once you join, take advantage of your membership to build your network.
· Contact members and ask for informational interviews.
· Volunteer to research something for a committee.
· Attend a bar association talk or conference; many organizations offer significantly reduced registration fees for students.
· When you attend an event, capitalize on the opportunity. Talk to the speakers and ask for their business cards. Offer to buy them coffee. Speak with the person sitting next to you or behind you in line for coffee.
· If you can’t make it to an event, send an email to the speaker and ask to meet the next time you visit the speaker’s hometown.
For your reference, here is a list of just a few of the professional organizations for Oregon lawyers that law students can join.