Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

What to wear to CLE & how to network

So I'm heading for a two-day CLE tomorrow, and I'm wondering feeder11/08/17
Assuming male? I usually go way casual (slacks/golf shirt) wutwutwut11/08/17
Thanks!! feeder11/08/17
Credited response. Avoid wearing a suit to a CLE. It screams defectoantesto11/09/17
Jacket, no tie is the happy medium. Super casual risks looki 3rdamendmentscholar11/09/17
Slacks Boots, slip-ons, whatever Casual button-up isthisit11/09/17
Thanks!! Networking was actually not too daunting too. I con feeder11/10/17
Did you get laid? isthisit11/10/17
Fair question kramer71611/10/17
Lol. No. feeder11/11/17
you're an idiot. I see this every time I'm at a networkin dingbat11/10/17
I could be wrong, but I think what he meant is he connected kramer71611/10/17
I’m not a student. It’s comforting though to reconnect w feeder11/11/17
This isn't a flippant response, pick up the book or audio bo thirdtierlaw11/11/17
Just bought it! Thanks. feeder11/11/17
I went to a recent alumni student luncheon at my alma mater. flyer1411/11/17
I have never seen true "networking" at a CLE. Most of the t patenttrollnj11/12/17
I have picked up a few matters from "networking" at CLEs. Al retard11/13/17
Isn't it a bad idea to go to a CLE hoping to "network"? Most molawmo11/13/17
That is why it is one of the best places to network. Nobody thirdtierlaw11/13/17
feeder (Nov 8, 2017 - 4:29 pm)

So I'm heading for a two-day CLE tomorrow, and I'm wondering what's the proper attire for a CLE where I am trying to make a good impression and network with others in my practice area? Also, any tips on how to network effectively in CLE-type situations? Thanks!!

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wutwutwut (Nov 8, 2017 - 4:41 pm)

Assuming male? I usually go way casual (slacks/golf shirt) but if you're looking to network I'd wear a button down and decent looking jacket. I generally see people wearing everything from jeans to full suits. (Some firms mandate members wear suits to CLE, some don't care, some are in-house and DGAF how they present.)

Just start talking when time permits, be friendly, be yourself. I've seen dudes put out an "I'm desperate for work" vibe that shuts people down, and you don't want to be that guy.

Assuming you can move from place to place during breaks and after lunch, etc., if the people you're near at first don't want to talk (and you may find many buried in their devices working instead of paying attention to the CLE), move to a new group.

Good luck.

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feeder (Nov 8, 2017 - 5:09 pm)

Thanks!!

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defectoantesto (Nov 9, 2017 - 12:48 pm)

Credited response. Avoid wearing a suit to a CLE. It screams either “desperate for a job” or “my big law firm made me wear this.” Either way this tends to alienate a fair number of people you may want to network with. I think business casual makes most people comfortable.

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3rdamendmentscholar (Nov 9, 2017 - 1:49 pm)

Jacket, no tie is the happy medium. Super casual risks looking like a scrub, suit and tie guarantees you look like a tool.

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isthisit (Nov 9, 2017 - 2:25 pm)

Slacks
Boots, slip-ons, whatever
Casual button-up

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feeder (Nov 10, 2017 - 1:45 pm)

Thanks!! Networking was actually not too daunting too. I connected with people from law school and went on from there.

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isthisit (Nov 10, 2017 - 2:13 pm)

Did you get laid?

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kramer716 (Nov 10, 2017 - 3:27 pm)

Fair question

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feeder (Nov 11, 2017 - 8:22 am)

Lol. No.

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dingbat (Nov 10, 2017 - 5:07 pm)

you're an idiot.

I see this every time I'm at a networking event - a bunch of students all huddled together.
You're not there to network with your fellow students, but with the older attorneys who could actually help you achieve something in life.

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kramer716 (Nov 10, 2017 - 7:26 pm)

I could be wrong, but I think what he meant is he connected with fellow alumni from his law school.I don't think they are current students, but I am usually off.

In theory they could be in positions to help him/her, but I see your point.

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feeder (Nov 11, 2017 - 8:26 am)

I’m not a student. It’s comforting though to reconnect with familiar faces. Puts you in the mood to meet other people. I gotta get better at events where I don’t know anyone. I’ve been to CLEs, usually business law CLEs, where everyone is just working through the event and it’s hard to connect with them.

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thirdtierlaw (Nov 11, 2017 - 9:08 am)

This isn't a flippant response, pick up the book or audio book "How to talk to anyone" by Leil Lowndes. It'll change your life. Networking and getting people to like you is a skill that can be learned.

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feeder (Nov 11, 2017 - 8:29 pm)

Just bought it! Thanks.

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flyer14 (Nov 11, 2017 - 10:10 am)

I went to a recent alumni student luncheon at my alma mater. It was clear that the students were there for free food and the alumni were there for the free CLE. All of them kept clustering together and talking with each other - in particular the students who were clustered by class. I wound up deliberately changing tables to sit with a bunch of 2L's... whereupon I expounded on the virtues of working in government.

It was on Friday, which was when the government observed Veterans Day. I wore a polo and jeans. The fact that I had a paid holiday off while the students were in session should speak volumes about why working in the public sector is awesome.

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patenttrollnj (Nov 12, 2017 - 7:45 pm)

I have never seen true "networking" at a CLE. Most of the time, people are just itching to get out of there. If anyone is chatting, it's people that already know each other.

Thus, I'd just wear something "business casual." Even wearing nice jeans with a button-down shirt would be fine.

Things to avoid are flip-flops, t-shirts, hoodies and anything untucked.

In a nutshell, you want to be respectful of the people giving the lecture. So dress accordingly.

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retard (Nov 13, 2017 - 6:09 pm)

I have picked up a few matters from "networking" at CLEs. All of them came from people I already knew though.

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molawmo (Nov 13, 2017 - 12:07 am)

Isn't it a bad idea to go to a CLE hoping to "network"? Most people are bored off their a$$ and they are barely paying attention.

The best case scenario is that you make an acquaintenance with one or two other attorneys sitting nearby. I'd love to know if JDU disagrees, but I think this is a one of the least valuable networking strategies one could deploy.

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thirdtierlaw (Nov 13, 2017 - 6:53 am)

That is why it is one of the best places to network. Nobody wants to be there, so you all have something in common. You won't walk out of there with a job offer. You may walk out with the contact info of someone who can you in the room with a person who can make an offer.

The trick is getting people to like you. So you'll want to avoid selling yourself. But striking up a conversation, leaving a good impression, and getting a name should be your only goal. You can follow up by email a few days later.

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