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I apologize that it's been so long since I've visited with you on this blog page. It's been a very busy semester for me, in large part because I am also teaching. I'm happy to be back in the classroom and I hope that my White Collar Crime students feel the same way. Anyway, I'll try to kick up my routine and communicate a bit more frequently before you take off for the summer.
I'm speaking to you today from the Nilan Johnson Lewis law offices in downtown Minneapolis. This is an appropriate backdrop today for my message regarding Hamline's Chowhound program and the importance of networking.
As many of you know, the Chowhounds are those of you who have signed up for opportunities to attend dinners, receptions and other gatherings sponsored by non-profit, often charitable organizations, and most often underwritten and attended by attorneys in law firms and corporate law offices. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for our law students to network in the company of practicing lawyers.
Chowhounds get a chance to practice their social skills in real-life professional settings. They also place themselves in a position of learning about job opportunities. Remember: two-thirds of all job opportunities are secured through informal referrals and networking.
Now, the Chowhounds are on my mind today for a couple reasons.
First, spring is Chowhound season. You will see notices throughout the spring regarding a number of events sponsored by our friends in the legal community.
Also, two weeks ago I attended the Winter Celebration for Minnesota Women Lawyers at the Hyatt Regency Hotel here in downtown Minneapolis.
There were easily 500 or more lawyers in the room to hear civil rights lawyer and Harvard Law Professor Lani Guiner speak on the subject of women and legal education.
We had about 10 Chowhounds at the event, which was a good showing. They heard an inspiring speech. They had an occasion to introduce themselves to practicing attorneys who they would not otherwise meet. And they got a good, warm meal. And their parking was free, since the law school reimburses students up to $10 a month for parking at networking events.
The law school benefits too, because Chowhounds are great ambassadors for Hamline. At the MWL event-during the Q&A following the speech-a Hamline law student was among the few people to question Professor Guiner. I should also mention that Hamline was the only law school sponsor of the evening.
Still, there were too many empty seats in the ballroom. That means that I and our career services office will work harder to get more law firms and corporations to invite our Chowhounds. It also means that you Chowhounds out there need to continue to step up and follow-through by attending these events. It may be a bit harder for you as we approach the end of the semester and exams, but I cannot overemphasize the value of taking some time away from the books to be in the company of lawyers. In the long-term, it pays off.
And don't forget that there is a variety of other networking events outside of the Chowhounds list. For example, many of you should attend the state bar association's Labor & Employment Section Reception for Law Students on this Thursday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Solera in downtown Minneapolis. This is a command performance for anyone who wants to practice labor and employment law. I'm sure they will take a late RSVP if you'd like to attend, so see the Connection http://law.hamline.edu/events for details.
Likewise, if your interest is in intellectual property law, it would be no-brainer for you to attend the Hamline IP reception on Thursday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gray Plant law firm, again in downtown Minneapolis. You can RSVP with Anne Markus (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the alumni affairs office.
That's all for today. Enjoy your spring break.