May 30, 2024

Written By Zoe Adlam

Networking for Non-Law Students: Building Connections in the Legal Industry

May 30, 2024

Written By Zoe Adlam

Networking is a crucial tool for anyone aiming to enter the legal profession. For non-law students, it is particularly helpful, as it helps build connections, gain insights and access opportunities.  This article will cover the value of networking for non-law students and how to do it effectively, so that you are ready to go out there, get networking and build meaningful connections in the legal industry!

Why is networking so valuable for non-law students? 

Networking has many benefits for non-law students. It will help you to develop your career, receive mentorship, access job opportunities, stay informed on industry trends and gain exposure to different areas of law.  

Networking can come with its own set of challenges. Lack of confidence, imposter syndrome and not knowing where to start can all affect non-law students when beginning their networking journey. However, non-law students can overcome such challenges by leveraging their unique backgrounds, focusing on their transferable skills and having an enthusiasm to learn.

Opportunities for networking in the legal industry 

There are various opportunities which can help non-law students to network in the legal industry. Some examples include: 

Non-law students can find such opportunities by looking in the following places: 

Give these resources a go, but remember that there is a whole world out there, brimming with networking opportunities for you to explore!

How to effectively network 

After finding somewhere you can network, it’s time to think about how to approach networking with confidence and professionalism. Here are some top networking dos and don’ts: 



  • Come dressed for success – professional attire and a smart appearance help make a positive first impression 

  • Pre-plan some questions/conversation starters as this helps calm nerves and anchor conversations. Think ‘How was your journey today?’ or ‘I like your scarf, where did you get it from?’ 

  • Think about who you can connect together. Example - If you have spoken to a fellow non-law student who is interested in intellectual property law, and you remembered you had previously spoke to a solicitor practising in that area, connect the two together. Not only does it show you have actively listened, but it positively helps others connect to opportunities.  

  • Talk about hobbies/interests outside of law, if the person is comfortable with this. It helps create memorable details about the person and builds rapport. 

  • Ask questions which you can find the answer to from a simple Google search of a firm’s website. Think entry requirements for training contracts or what the firm’s area of practice are. 

  • Talk over people when in a group setting. Demonstrating good listening as well as communication skills are important when networking.  

  • Underestimate the importance of connecting with your peers. Whilst they may not be able to offer work opportunities now, they could do so in the future and building a professional community is important during the early stages of a career.


After applying those top tips, it’s time for the follow up. When coming to the end of a conversation, it is important to solidify that connection. Politely ask for somebody’s LinkedIn or email address so you can follow up. It’s best to follow up the next day, at the latest, a week after. Keep it short and sweet, remembering to thank the person and indicate your willingness to keep in touch. 

How to build relationships with legal professionals

Once that relationship has been solidified, it is important to maintain it. Focus on building a genuine connection which is mutually beneficial. Think about what you can do to help them, set realistic goals about what you would like to get from the relationship and check in with them at regular intervals. 

When building relationships, there are still likely to be challenges, from imposter syndrome to fear of rejection or lack of confidence. However, by focusing on your self-confidence, setting realistic goals and reframing networking as an opportunity for learning and growth, the challenges of building a network can be put into perspective.  

Equally, it is important to remember that your network is there to support you. Seek out advice from mentors, peers or career advisors to navigate networking challenges and build resilience. 


What are the long-term benefits of networking? 

In the short term, you may find that you have a stronger group of peers, exciting career opportunities and an awareness of the legal profession which you didn’t have before. The magic of networking really lies in its long-term benefits, though - it helps with career advancement, professional development and personal growth. 

To maximise these long-term benefits, it is essential to stay organised, follow up consistently with your connections and continue to nurture those connections you have formed.


What this article has shown is how valuable networking is for non-law students, in both the short and long term, and it has given some advice about how to network effectively. From this, you should be able to breeze into networking, embodying a confident, curious and authentic mindset!


Non-Law Students