With final exams in full swing here at Vanderbilt, the minds of many law students, both in Nashville and elsewhere around the country, have likely started to wander into thoughts of how they will be spending their winter break. Indeed, as front lawns and shopping malls are increasingly festooned with all manner of decorations, it is hard to ignore the fact that the holiday season is upon us. While many law students are eager to spend the holiday break engaging in some of their favorite activities which might have recently fallen by the wayside, such as eating a homecooked meal or sleeping, this extended period of time off also presents a prime opportunity for students to engage in the vital task of networking . This networking can take the form of continuing already established outreach, but winter break also provides a unique networking opportunity, the holiday party. Aimed mainly at 1Ls, but occasionally open to all law students, these holiday parties serve as an opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with a particular legal employer (note that these parties are thrown almost exclusively by law firms) while providing the employer with a chance to put faces, and perhaps, more importantly, behavior — more on that in a moment — with the names on the job applications that they have received or will soon receive. Yet despite the seemingly straightforward rationale for all parties involved, these holiday soirées can occasionally flummox students.

The most frequent question I have fielded on the subject is, perhaps, the most straightforward one: “Should I go”? The short answer is, sure, why not. An opportunity to consume some free food and drinks while learning about a place you might spend the next 30 years of your life sounds like a decent way to spend a late December evening. At the very least, it will be more productive than your eighth viewing of A Christmas Story . Plus, the budgets for these receptions tend not to be on the low side. While you likely will not be served a homecooked meal, unless your family has a few […]

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