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A guide to networking events

29 March 2023

Networking is a great opportunity for you to gain an insight into a firm's culture, build connections and find out more about what it's like to work at a firm. Networking events may be held in-person or virtually and will be incredibly beneficial in helping you decide whether or not it’s the firm for you.

Before attending an event it's wise to take some time researching the firm, so that you have an understanding of their culture and values and also that you have some pre-prepared questions to ask. After all, where you decide to apply to undertake your Training Contract is an important decision and will help shape your career as a Lawyer.

By networking regularly you'll build confidence in speaking with a variety of people at various levels. During the events you may find yourself speaking with Partners, Trainees, Associates and members of HR, so it’s important to listen attentively and come armed with questions to ask. You'll develop key skills by networking regularly that will each be invaluable to your future career as a Lawyer, some of which include building rapport, communication, speaking confidently and active listening.

Below are a few useful tips to help you navigate networking events successfully:

When should I arrive?

Aim to arrive promptly, ideally you’ll arrive 10 minutes ahead of start time to allow yourself time to get settled, grab a seat and be ready for when the event formally starts. This will also allow you an opportunity to speak with others attending the event and make some initial connections. Try to avoid being late, as this can often cause disruptions especially if an introductory presentation or speech has begun. If you do find yourself in a situation where you are running late, please ensure to let someone know and once you’ve arrived, enter the event quietly to avoid minimal disruption. On the other hand, arriving too early can show a lack of time management so it may be an idea to grab a coffee elsewhere beforehand.

How should I start conversations?

A good way to start a new conversation is to approach someone by shaking their hand and offer a warm smile. Be confident in introducing yourself and tell them what you'd like to speak with them about. It's important to remember that whilst networking is an opportunity for you to ask questions, it's equally a great opportunity for you to listen and find out more.

How to avoid awkward silences?

Pauses are often naturally found during conversations but it's a good idea to prepare a few questions that you may wish to ask in advance.

How to end a conversation and move onto speaking with someone else?

At some point the conversation will naturally come to an end and it's important to remember that there will be others that are wishing to speak to whom you have been, therefore knowing when to end the conversation and move on is key. It's important to avoid ending the conversation abruptly or by looking at your watch/phone, however once the conversation has naturally ended you should thank them for their time and move on.

What should I wear?

Most networking events are often formal events and require interview/work attire. Guidance will usually be provided before the event to specify the dress code, however if you’re unsure, feel free to reach out to a member of the recruitment team/event organiser to check.

What to do after the event?

After the event feel free to send a nice email and/or connect on LinkedIn with those that you have met - this adds an extra touch, although do be mindful not to bombard those that you connect with.

Our top tips for networking event Dos and Don'ts


  • Research the firm / topic of the event beforehand
  • Plan your route to the event (if in-person) and allow plenty of time to arrive (although avoid arriving too early)
  • Listen carefully throughout the event and take notes
  • Prepare questions for the event generally, but also for anyone in particular that you'd like to meet with e.g. a particular Partner/Associate/Trainee
  • Take a notepad and pen to the event (some firms will provide these but it's best to be prepared as possible in case they don't)
  • Limit the use of your phone, place it on silent or do not disturb and keep it away for the period of the event
  • Try to talk to as many different people as possible from the firm
  • Take genuine interest in the person that you're speaking to
  • Avoid directly asking for work experience or a vacation scheme
  • Be yourself, be confident and don't be afraid to speak to people
  • Try to remain engaged and professional at all times

Networking events at Lewis Silkin

Throughout the year we hold and attend various networking events, both in-person and virtually. Each year we hold an Open Evening at our London office, where you'll have the opportunity to speak with LS-trained Lawyers and find out what it's really like to both train and work at Lewis Silkin.

To stay updated about upcoming events, please visit our webpage.

This article was written by Megan Spring (Recruitment Officer).

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