Networking: A lawyer’s guide to maintaining connections during a pandemic

It goes without saying that a lawyer’s bread and butter depends on the relationships that they form. A successful law firm is built by maintaining positive relationships with existing clients and attracting new ones.

The pandemic has impacted how all professionals interact and engage with one another. In the past, networking hasn’t been a social distance-friendly activity – connecting would happen at industry events, conferences, and business dinners.

Now that networking has gone virtual, how can you make meaningful online connections?

Focus on providing value

When networking, it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling your connection all about YOU. That’s why you want to connect with them, right? To tell them why they should work with you?


Even if you’re one of the best attorneys out there, most people that you’re connecting with probably don’t care about your status or previous promotions. They care about what you can do to help them.

When you’re connecting with a potential client, focus on asking them questions and better understanding their needs. Why do they do what they do? What causes them stress?

Use this information to give them an elevator pitch tailored to them and how you can make their lives easier:

  • “You’re my ideal client because…” or “Here’s why I work with other clients like yourself…”
  • “I can help solve this problem by…” or “I understand that {problem} is an issue for you, here’s how I’ve solved this in the past…”

By the end of your conversation, this person should have a good idea of who your ideal client is, your experience or advice for solving their issue, and why they should continue talking to you.

Above all, be authentic to yourself and understand your brand. People can tell when you don’t fully believe what you’re saying – understand who you are and how you bring value.

Meaningful connections and genuine networking happen conversations are focused on helping the connection rather than selling yourself or bringing in business.

Make the most of virtual events

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when attending an online networking event is to just log into Zoom and expect to be successful. What you get out of an event is dependent on what you put in – and that requires some effort before, during and after the event.

Before the event, do some research on the speakers. Knowing some pieces of information about them and what their background is helps you to come across as well-prepared and knowledgeable. It also gives you some ideas to help build rapport and find common ground with them.

During the event, be engaged and participate. One of the best ways to take value from an event is to help provide value to it. Prepare thoughtful and inquisitive questions and answer questions when they’re asked. After the event, provide specific feedback to the hosts.

After the event, nurture the connections you made. Follow up with connections you made to continue the conversation. Ask them questions, discuss talking points from the event, and aim to provide value.

Utilize social media

In addition to requesting to connect with others and following up from previous conversations, social media can be used to help build your brand.

You can utilize social media to build awareness within the legal community. Joining online legal groups with other attorneys is a great way to stay updated on current trends and add your own commentary. 

Posting engaging content can help establish you as a thought leader and connect with potential clients. Aim to post content that is relevant and helpful to your ideal client, but isn’t a blatant self-promotion.

Engaging with your connection’s content is a great way to stay top of mind. Comment on their posts, “like” their work anniversaries and promotions, and don’t be afraid to reach out occasionally to check in with them.

In conclusion

Networking is essential for every successful lawyer’s book of business. Although connecting with others has gone digital for the time being, it may be more important than ever to make your interactions meaningful.

Utilizing our resources at hand and making the most of each relationship ensures you are providing value and making a lasting impression with each person you (virtually) meet.

How have you changed how you network during the pandemic?

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