Alumni Create Groups to Help Classmates Keep in Touch
Nearly 1,400 Columbia Law School alumni are now connected through LinkedIn, a professional networking website that helps an estimated 55 million members exchange information, ideas, and career opportunities with people in similar professions. The Law School’s LinkedIn group, a collaboration between alumni leaders and the Office of Career Services and Professional Development, joins the alumni Facebook community as another web-based initiative to help keep alumni connected with the Law School and with each other.
The Office of Career Services and Professional Development monitors the group to make sure that all members are Columbia Law School graduates and to offer support and advice to alumni seeking new career opportunities.
“To get the most out of the Law School’s LinkedIn professional network, we recommend that graduates fill out the profile as fully as possible, to reflect the breadth of their career and educational experience,” says Marta Ricardo ’94, the Law School’s director of alumni and international career services.
The LinkedIn alumni network was founded by Tudor C. Velea ’02 in April 2008 during a volatile job market. For alumni seeking career opportunities, the network has already borne fruit. “Through our LinkedIn network, we recently helped a graduate obtain an in-house counsel position,” says Velea, who practices private equity, venture capital, and bank finance law in Bucharest, Romania.
The Columbia Law School Alumni LinkedIn network also hosts affinity groups to further support alumni with specific interests. To date, the Alumnae of Columbia Law School has established an online presence, and most recently, a network for alumni interested in legal practice in Asia has been launched.
For alumnae who are LinkedIn, the online network is moderated by Executive Chair Kimberley Danzi Overs, ’96 LL.M., a new media, marketing, and privacy attorney in New York. The online network furthers the work of the Alumnae of Columbia Law School group, which was founded in 1996 by Laraine S. Rothenberg ’71 to support and enhance the professional development of female Columbia Law School graduates. There are currently about 40 members, and the network has already served as the catalyst for in-person meetings in New York, says Overs. She hopes LinkedIn will also bridge the gap between the virtual and brick-and-mortar organizations in other metropolitan areas.
The LinkedIn network for alumni interested in legal practice in Asia was founded by Michael Paik ’98, who is of counsel at the Hanol Law Offices in Seoul, South Korea. The online network has attracted 10 members since it launched last month, and Paik is hoping that number grows to 100 by the end of the year.
The Law School’s Facebook page allows graduates to socialize and share their news with classmates and professors. If you’re celebrating a reunion this year, look for class-specific Facebook groups to launch soon. To join this growing 800-member community, please visit www.law.columbia.edu/facebook.