How to Thrive in Uncertainty: Networking While Social Distancing

Regardless of no in-person events due to the coronavirus social distancing measures, authentic connections both new and old are still being forged. On April 24, two ACC Australia members, L’Oreal General Counsel Anna Lozynski (@legallyinnovative) and Megaport Senior Legal Counsel Melissa Scott (@theinhouselawyer) shared their thoughts on “How to Thrive in Uncertainty” in a Friday Night Live session on Instagram.

While the purpose of this live chat was to support law students and those who have recently graduated, there were several takeaways for anyone working in the legal community, regardless of their post-qualified experience. Here are our top five tips.

1. Think outside the square with education.

Keep your CV rich with activities during the pandemic by upskilling in non-legal areas. You could join a coding webinar, take an online cooking class, or learn a new language using a free language app, like Duolingo or Babbel.

Do not limit your attendance to only legal webinars and conferences. Sign up for a webinar that is completely unrelated to law, such as data analytics or a session on artificial intelligence. This way, when potential employers ask how you used your time during the COVID-19 lockdown you can say you filled your time with something positive, educational, and out of your comfort zone.

2. Expand your network.

Separate to educational upskilling, Anna recommends continuing to network and encourages people to reach out to lawyers via social platforms.

“I encourage everybody to reach out to someone you haven’t met before via a direct message. Message someone you admire, someone who resonates with you. Reach out and ask if they will have a virtual coffee with you.”
– L’Oreal General Counsel Anna Lozynski

3. Be innovative.

Explore opportunities within the legal profession that will introduce you to products, services, or processes where you have limited knowledge. A suggestion for law students and recent law graduates is to get together as a group and email legal tech companies to organize a demo.

“Make it your mission to spend the down time you have to get to know what technology supports our industry,” suggested Anna. This would be a great initiative to share with potential employers.

4. Create a standout CV.

Reach out to people who you respect and ask them to look at your CV and cover letter. “It takes time to craft a great CV and depending upon the type of position you may need various CVs,” suggested Melissa.

Also, if you are in the position to do so, offer to do unpaid work for a company or area you are interested in. This will help you understand a company’s internal language and culture, and potentially put you in a better position when a paid role becomes available.

5. Be resilient or learn resilience.

During the live chat, comparisons were drawn between COVID-19 and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the negative effects it had on the legal profession. Anna, however, shared that she secured her first in-house role -during the GFC and encouraged everyone to maintain a positive outlook, and envision brighter days ahead.

“You are so much more than just a law grad or law student. You are a human; you have a lot to offer and remember we are all going through this together. It’s not just one particular cohort.”
– L’Oreal General Counsel Anna Lozynski

Anna and Melissa finished their live chat talking about the importance of taking time to relax and the role it plays on our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Between Anna’s Friday night green juice and Melissa’s apartment fire alarm sounding (which required her to evacuate the building), the two shared a lively, casual chat full of great tips on how to use one’s time effectively during this pandemic.

For more well-being tips, visit the ACC In-house & Wellness Support page. For more guidance on the pandemic, go to the ACC Coronavirus Resource page.