News & Information

Networking... It’s Easier Than You Think

Networking - the practice of gathering contacts. The concept seems simple enough but putting the practice into effect is harder than it seems. Many people don’t realize the value of networking. Networking is invaluable on so many levels. It’s a source of referrals for work, a source of information and a great way to meet colleagues who in many instances can turn into great friends.

Just say the word “networking” and many people panic. The responses run the gamut from “I can’t do that” to “I’m not comfortable just going up to people” to “I’m not good at that.”
Networking shouldn’t be intimidating. It’s simply the act of meeting people with whom you can make a connection on a business and personal level. While it does take time and effort, the rewards are worth it. By knowing the right people, the solution to a problem or that perfect job, could just be a phone call away!

Remember that networking takes time. Don’t expect to get business the first time you meet someone. The purpose of networking is to get to know one another. To feel comfortable with that person and truly know who that person is. The better you connect as individuals, the more likely that someone will recommend you professionally or be willing to share information. Ask them about themselves, what they do for a living, what they do for fun, if they have family and what they do. Invariably, you will find things in common to break the ice and make that connection. Listening and being sincere goes a long way. The goal is to build lasting relationships and actively maintain them.

Networking can be done in so many ways - get in touch with old friends, join online communities, join your local chamber of commerce, attend conferences and join professional organizations.

Bar Associations provide a great way to network. They offer opportunities through MCLE programs, mixers and fundraising events. You can network by getting involved in the planning of the events and programs or simply by attending.

The Barristers put on a large number of programs throughout the year in all areas of the law. We are always looking for individuals who want to participate in the programs either by presenting the programs or helping coordinate the programs or both. By putting on the programs, you can not only meet other professionals on a personal level but you have access to individuals who you might not otherwise been able to reach.

The Barristers have recognized the need to not only network with other attorneys but to network with other professionals. Every third Thursday of the month, the Barristers host a social mixer at The Thompson Hotel’s Rooftop Bar from 6pm to 9 pm. The event has been hugely successful with attendance close to 200 people, due to the tireless efforts of our Social Chairperson, Debbie Fontaine.

The Barristers also host the Vintage Bouquet, a food and wine event, that benefits the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation. The event, on Sunday May 15 from noon to 4 pm, features tastings with an exclusive list of 15+ wineries and 15+ restaurants/chefs, as well as a live and silent auction. Every year the event draws members of Los Angeles' business, entertainment, and community leaders, not to mention lovers of outstanding food and wine. What better way to get to know someone than over a glass of wine and delicious food!

Networking is an important part of your professional development. It is key to unlocking doors and reaching your potential. Learning how to do it, and actually doing it, is one of the most powerful tools you can have. So go ahead, take the plunge.

A solo practitioner, Leigh Leshner's law practice is primarily transactional entertainment and business law. She brings hands on business and entertainment experience to her practice where she represents producers, writers, directors, actors, production companies and business owners. She can be reached at 818-763-6300.