Paralegal Associations and The Secrets of Networking Success

According to the best selling author Susan RoAne, “networking is a long-term process by which we share ideas, leads, information, contacts, advice, and support that's mutually beneficial.”
Paralegals Associations and Networking
—— Networking through professional paralegal associations ——
Human beings are gregarious and tend to associate with others who are like them.
In addition to opportunities for participating in social and benevolent organizations, every profession has groups that its members can join and that provide additional options for congregating with peers.
Paralegals are no exception to this trait, with virtually every state and large city hosting at least one paralegal association!
—— Opportunities for every job search and career move ——
For paralegals looking for a job now, local paralegal associations provide a starting point to build relationships with other members of the profession.
The more contacts you have, the more people know you, the more opportunities you will have, not only in terms of finding your next position, but also in terms of having a sounding board and receiving input for your thinking and approach regarding your efforts.
For example, panel discussions organized by paralegal associations are a great way to network successfully.
First, it can give you ideas about what could be your next career move by learning about a new trend in law or the paralegal profession.
Second, it gives you a chance to meet with lawyers or paralegal managers face-to-face.
If you like a presentation, you can walk up to the presenters at the end of the presentation, talk with them, and follow up later. When someone comes to an event to talk, it is usually because they want to give back and you can be the person they give back to!
Besides, recruiters often attend these events, so it can be a good time to talk to them, too.
—— Networking and continuing education for paralegals——
That role, particularly as it relates to the transmission of professional standards, goals, and values, has gained in significance as a result of changes in professional training and in society during the last decades.

Although paralegal education formerly was accomplished through apprenticeships where training in substantive law, practice skills, and professional values were integrated, today it is usually segmented into paralegal school and on-the-job training.
Paralegal schools teach legal writing, convey general technical knowledge and
information about the profession, and provide some notice of professional
values and ethics. But paralegal schools only begin the creation of a professional.
Economic changes have resulted in an increase in the variety of tasks that paralegals perform and a growing competition between paralegals and young associates for interesting assignments. The crisis of these past years has also reinforced the trend toward specialization.
These factors make it more difficult for new paralegals to obtain on the job training from more experienced paralegals within their law firm or legal department. And if training is given, it is more than likely it will be practical and directed toward the completion of tasks that will increase partners' income!
The result is that, although social science studies have shown that
success in a professional "role" requires knowledge of the profession's goals and values, it is unlikely that these subjects are afforded much discussion in modern law offices.1
—— Paralegals associations could be the answer——
That's why networking through local or national paralegal associations has become more important than ever.
By networking with your peers, you are learning from more experienced paralegals appropriate role behaviors, developing your work skills and abilities, and adjusting to your professional group's norms and values.
These associations are now the place where education and on-the-job training can be integrated in a practical way.

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