“Selective networking should be a part of the day job, not just a ‘nice to do’ task.” I commend this idea from Mark Prebble, Managing In-House Legal Services: Providing High Value Support for Your Organisation (Thorogood 2009) at 19. Whether you meet people in the know at conferences, through social networks, from an article, with a blog, or in the course of a consulting project, you should periodically keep in touch. They can ask you questions about management; you can turn to them for advice when you need to. It costs little and it is the best kind of advice – knowledgeable, mostly objective, and free.
Each encounter with a person knowledgeable about legal department operations creates an opportunity for a continuing link (See my post of Nov. 16, 2008: conferences aimed at inside lawyers with 11 references; Sept. 22, 2008: social networks such as LinkedIn, with 7 references; and Jan. 1, 2008: consulting with 15 references.).