We would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who came out on the evening of November 28, 2019 to our event Scale up Your Legal Practice. We had a great turnout of both paralegals and lawyers (and a printer who specializes in business cards!) We listened to presentations given by Amanda Russell from Legal Shield, who sponsored the event, and Dezso Farkas of Farkas Law about the importance, advantages and opportunities of networking while also having the opportunity to put their advice into practice.
Amanda Russell started the evening with a presentation about Legal Shield, an organization that is dedicated to providing legal access to its members through a network of law firms.
Legal Shield wants to help middle-income people who are priced out of hiring lawyers. They want to give these people access to law firms in case they need help with contracts or setting up a will or really, any legal issue. Legal Shield wants to connect people with lawyers or paralegals who can help.
The question then becomes how can lawyers or paralegals practicing on their own become involved with Legal Shield?
Amanda explained that Legal Shield is always looking for individual lawyers and paralegals to add to their referral network. If the designated law firm chosen by Legal Shield as their in-province representative is too expensive or can’t meet the needs of the client, a referral is made to a lawyer or paralegal within the network who can do so. It can become another way for lawyers and paralegals to gain clients and increase their network.
Though it may seem ironic to have a talk on networking at a networking event, Dezso Farkas’s presentation was informative and humorous. He spoke about the principles of networking (and how similar they are to dating) and the different personality types that might be found at networking events.
He addressed the pitfall that many of us fall into: going to these events with a specific goal or person in mind to connect with. Throughout his talk he emphasized the benefits of having no expectations, to take the opportunity to have fun, meet people and explore all the different and unique ways collaboration could be possible.
Did you know there were six personality types that show up at networking events? Dezso discussed their attributes, the benefits of knowing what type you might be, and how to recognize the different personalities at an event so that you might connect more effectively. To name just a couple, there was “the detective” who does their research on attendees beforehand to initiate an informed conversation, and “the comedian” the person who wins everyone over with humour.
The evening ended as it began – with mingling and conversation as the attendees introduced themselves, what area of law they specialize in and what they’re looking for, but also enjoying chats about the holidays and good food.
As Dezso said, networking is a numbers game. The more you go to, the more practiced you’ll be, the more meaningful connections you’ll make. If you missed this one, there are more coming. There’s always a chance to practice your networking skills. Feel free to join us, start a conversation and have some fun.