May 2019

Letter from the Chair of the Forum

By Mellania E. Safarian

Clark Hill LLP

Hello New Lawyers:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this month’s publication of For the Record. I want to encourage each of you to take advantage of our e-publication and submit your proposed articles to our Editor in Chief, Kevin Hambly at This is a great opportunity for New Lawyers to become published in an award winning publication. I look forward to reading your articles next month.

As New Lawyers, we are often told that networking is important to our careers. The message is loud and clear – if you want to be successful, you need to spend time networking. It is great advice but networking is not always a priority or at the top of our to-do list. When our calendars are already overloaded with work, life, and family commitments, the last thing any New Lawyer wants to do is make small talk with strangers at yet another networking event.

But there is more to networking than merely making small talk with strangers – networking is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet. Experts agree that the most connected people are often also the most successful. And there is no denying the power that a strong, professional network can have over a New Lawyer’s career and success. When done correctly, networking will not only help you land a job quicker, but it will give you a competitive edge throughout every stage of your career.

In an ideal world your employer would place more emphasis on your career development. However, the reality for many New Lawyers is that we live in “the era of do-it-yourself career development.” Thus, the burden is on you to take control of your career development. You do not have to join multiple professional associations and attend every networking event in order to be successful. More often than not, such an approach to networking does not result in the type of network that supports your career development and advancement. Instead, networking should be intentional and purposeful and not just about collecting business cards and being seen.

One of the things I enjoy most as Chair of the New Lawyer Forum is networking with our community of lawyers. Even more so, I enjoy having a view into the networking skills of San Diego’s greatest attorneys. It is for this very reason I remain an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association – the invaluable and incomparable networking opportunities. The sooner you begin to build your network, the sooner fantastic opportunities will present themselves.   

I hope that you will continue to network with us and be sure to look out for future emails with events, programming and our monthly publication, For the Record. Also, make sure to check out our website at and like us on Facebook at to stay connected.

Mellania Safarian
Chair of the New Lawyer Forum