We’ve all heard the adage: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” In reality, of course, it’s both. You can’t be a successful lawyer, or any professional, without knowing both the who and the what. But the message behind the well-worn maxim does have merit. You do need smart, trustworthy and, yes, well-connected people you can draw on to help you get your foot in the door-of-opportunity, solve a problem, close a deal—and for countless other reasons. And that gets us to the third pillar of advice that Scott Westfahl, director of professional development at Goodwin Procter, says all young attorneys at his firm receive: Build your network. “This piece of professional advice is the one I’m most passionate about because it’s the most quickly ignored,” Westfahl says. (In two posts last month, we presented Westfahl’s other career tips: Build your legal and technical skills and develop your professional skills.)Originally published December 5, 2012
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