Staying connected to your undergraduate institution can be an incredibly useful networking tool as a law student and there are a number of ways to do it.

Student organizations are a great way to meet other law students and to find those who may have also attended your undergraduate institution. The College of Law even has two great student organizations created just for this purpose. For those of who attended the University of Florida (UF) we have the LitiGators, and for those who attended the University of Central Florida (UCF) we have UKnight. These organizations hold a number of events to help students stay connected and coordinate activities with the local chapters of their respective alumni associations (Capital Area Gator Club and UCF Alumni Club). Both are great organizations to follow because many local attorneys are active in the local alumni chapters. Whether you attended one of these institutions or not, meeting alumni and other law students from your undergraduate institution can be very valuable because when you are looking for an internship, clerkship or job, they may be in a position to help you.

Another great way to stay connected and to network in the area of law that interests you is to attend conferences or symposiums at your undergraduate institution. Some even offer scholarships or waive their registration fees for students. I am an alumnus of the University of Florida and last year I attended the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference held by University of Florida College of Law. I had a great time and also had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my undergraduate professors. When they found out that I was attending Florida State University College of Law and the area of law I was interested, they offered to connect me with old friends at government agencies where they had previously worked.

Even without an opportunity to attend an event at your undergraduate institution, it can also be helpful to stay in contact with your undergraduate professors because they can still be valuable references and for internships, externships, or future jobs. Recommendations from those professors who can talk about your academic performance, work in your area of interest, and can detail your depth of understanding in that area can really help your application stand out from those of other applicants.

There may be a number of other opportunities that your undergraduate institution provides that you might not even be aware. Your specific undergraduate college, school, or department may have access to scholarship information or have publications or blogs that highlight their alumni. Staying in contact and getting your name out there could result in someone contacting you for an opportunity. Your alma mater may have study abroad programs that you might be able to participate in as a visiting law student that matches your area of interests.

Because networking while in law school is important to your future success, staying connected with your undergraduate institution is one of many ways to accomplish this. So keep your eyes open for those opportunities because you never know when that connection may come in handy.

?????????????????????????????????????????? Stephanie Schwarz, 2L

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