Career Services Blog
Navigating Networking: The Elevator Pitch
What Is It: An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive overview that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator, typically 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Why: Having a well-crafted elevator pitch helps you come off as polished and prepared in networking situations - it also makes it easier to answer when interviewers open up with the dreaded “Tell me about yourself.” The goal of an elevator pitch is to capture the listener’s attention and interest, and to persuade them to take action - such as giving you some information about their path or practice, or some tips to aid you in your legal career. Generally you want to come out of the elevator pitch with an ask for information, not an ask for something more (like a job).
Crafting the elevator pitch: Think about what information would be of interest to the listener. Since almost anyone you meet in the legal field is a potential employer, or connected to a potential employer, you’ll want to highlight an example of your relevant skills, interests, and/or experiences. (Make sure that it doesn’t turn into a recitation of your resume though!)
It’s good to ease into your elevator pitch by starting off a bit more conversational and biographical, and working up to the practice areas you are interested in, your why of law school, or other factors that play into your interest in pursuing a legal career. After you have those basics down, it’s more natural to move into a concise highlight of 1-2 skills/accomplishments/experiences that are relevant to the interaction, and ease into your goals. Always finish off with an ask/conversation starter to keep the interaction going.
Roadmap: A good tool to assist you in developing your elevator pitch is the Elevator Pitch Roadmap found in the Career Connect Resource Library. You can access that HERE. You only have a short amount of time to make an impression, so use the roadmap to develop a quick, concise, intro that starts a conversation and makes them want to learn more. It is absolutely okay if your elevator pitch isn’t wholly focused on your legal accomplishments! You are a whole entire person, and not just a law student!
Pro tip: It’s a great idea to practice your elevator pitch out loud, as it will help you deliver it smoothly and confidently. You can practice by yourself (maybe in front of a mirror), with friends or family, or make an appointment with your Career Services team to help you hone your pitch. As you practice, pay attention to your body language, your tone of voice, and your pace. These elements can all help to make your pitch more persuasive.