Students begin building professional relationships at Networking 101

October 03, 2019

Rachel Greenwald '22 and Richard H. Melnick '85, Alumni Board member

Dressed in their best business casual attire, more than 100 Maryland Carey Law students took advantage of a special opportunity to train in the critical skill of networking. The Thursday evening program, dubbed Networking 101, included a workshop on relationship building, followed directly by a reception where students practiced their 30-second elevator pitches on area legal professionals.

“This program is a fun, interactive way to show students how to develop important presentation skills that they’ll need to build their professional networks,” said Assistant Dean for Career Development Dana Morris who moderated the workshop, “and what’s more, students get the chance to use those skills immediately—they have to think on their feet—and they walk away with strategies on how to lay a foundation for an ongoing professional connection.”

The workshop featured a panel of alumni drawn from various areas of practice who shared insider tips on everything from use of titles in conversations (a judge is always a judge) to strategies for joining a chat already in process.

Students reflected on the workshop before heading over to the reception. Robert Stenzel ’22 appreciated the “very practical advice on when to follow-up and how to follow-up,” after a professional encounter. His classmate Rose Woolson ’22 was comforted by advice from panelist Paolo Pasicolan ’06, an attorney at Miles & Stockbridge, who admitted that, as an introvert, he finds networking challenging. It was helpful, said Woolson, to hear from someone who “does this all the time and still finds it hard.”

Then, it was on to Westminster Hall, a gracious setting to mix and mingle, where several alumni from private practice, the judiciary, and public interest law were supportive conversationalists for the mostly first-year students.

The crowd was welcomed by Maryland Carey Law Alumni Board representative Amy Petkovsek ’06, director of advocacy for training and pro bono at Maryland Legal Aid; and Jessica Gorsky, an attorney with Whiteford Taylor Preston, representing the Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Both remarked on the advantages of building a professional network and encouraged students always to take advantage of events where they might meet valuable contacts.

Rachel Greenwald ’22 used tips from the workshop on engaging conversation partners during the reception and left confident that she had made strides in her networking abilities. “I got four business cards,” said the 1L, smiling.

Now, the only question is: will she send hand-written thank-you notes or email messages? But if she is not sure, no problem. Greenwald and her classmates have a huge network of supportive alumni and Maryland Carey Law faculty and staffers ready to help.

Networking 101 was hosted and co-sponsored by the Maryland Carey Law Career Development Office, Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Maryland Carey Law Alumni Board.