Cockpit Counsel

Building Strong Networks for In-House Legal Pros

Watch this short video where Tim shares his perspective on how to build a strong network, why some of the best mentors are non-legal professionals, and more.


Question: How can in-house attorneys build strong networks?

Answer: It's a good question. It's important to foster the relationships that you already have with people first. Make sure that your relationships are meaningful. But if you're trying to expand your network, try to find people that you really can learn from and that you really want to learn from. It has to be more about wanting to establish something more than just a one-off or two-off conversation. Try to identify people maybe who are where you want to be in your career.

See if you can establish some sort of a mentorship type of conversation. Looking at your opportunities to help mentor others Mhmm. I think is is a big way to help grow your network. Maybe it's not going to be something that you sort of harvest from your network today, but over time, like, you'll absolutely see those people that you mentor go on to do hopefully go on to do great things, things that are better than what you've done.

Being able to be a part of that and, really invest in somebody else's future, I think, is a cool aspect too. So I think you take a couple of different approaches to it. And then with, like, industry-specific or profession-specific things, if you're gonna go to dinners, if you're gonna go to these types of networking cocktail hours, like, you really gotta put yourself out there and be deliberate. You know?

Don't go there, talk to one person, finish your drink and leave. If that's all that you can muster, because I know it can be hard sometimes to just go and create conversations with perfect strangers out of thin air, that's fine. But I would try to be a little bit, you know, a little bit more dedicated on it and and really just put in the effort, which is tough to do. You gotta do it.

Question: Why do you think it's so important for in-house professionals to have a diverse network to rely on?

Answer: I would say that the most important thing is that there are people who could work an entire career in-house and only see a handful of separate types of issues. You may not actually be developing as a professional.

You may end up set in your ways, or you may end up stagnating because of the way that your company views you or your role. I think it's important to have people from different, you know, people with different backgrounds, different experiences, different industries, even folks who are, you know, who particularly for in-house lawyers, maybe people who moved on and are now in the business. Right? I find the people who are, for me, some of the most valuable, mentors that I have are people who are not lawyers.

I have plenty of very valuable in-house senior in-house lawyer mentors who are also great. But really having that diversity of industry, diversity of experience, diversity of profession. It'll just make you a more well-rounded business person.

It'll also show you where you may have exposure or weaknesses in your hard legal skills. Just hearing about others' experiences may highlight parts of parts of your knowledge base that may be lacking.


Tim Parilla Headshot
Tim ParillaChief Legal Officer, LinkSquares
Alyssa Verzino headshot
Alyssa VerzinoProducer, Cockpit Counsel, LinkSquares