This email goes out to 1,281 South Asian legal professionals.
Pani Cooler was always an experiment. How can I get to expand my network by helping others to do the same? Apart from being a part of an annual event, how can I create serendipity and meet people I wouldn't otherwise meet? Pani Cooler has fulfilled that mission for me. I've found an excuse to meet impressive lawyers and law students and found people in niches I never thought I'd stumble upon (especially sports lawyers, we're killing it in sports).
But I wasn't sure what this meant to the people getting the emails? Was this just another email people sign up for and ignore? Did anyone care? Forgive the cliche for a South Asian lawyer to be this analytical, but I needed to run the numbers. And the numbers tell a story that people do care. 50-60% open this email every two weeks. And of those of you, 20-25% of you click through something.
This is off-the-charts on engagement compared to just about any other newsletter. So while I wasn't sure if there was something there, you've been telling me otherwise.
Smart people sometimes overlook simple things because they're too simple. Most fund managers would outperform if they just bought Apple stock, but they couldn't justify their fees if they did it. They can't do the simple thing.
So here's the simple thing. South Asian lawyers are on the rise. South Asian lawyers are making the headlines today. But we haven't even been in the game that long yet. The grey hairs in this community aren't even fully grey. Even if you think you're late to this community's ascent, you're early.
But this is not a story about rocket fuel. This is about chopping wood: collecting jobs to get more South Asian lawyers hired. It's not glamorous. But consider this: what happens when Pani Cooler gets a law student their first job? What happens when it helps that lawyer move in-house? What else does that lawyer trust Pani Cooler with? What happens when you collect that trust from thousands of people? In the meantime, Pani Cooler is that dutiful friend, showing up every two weeks. For years.
Simple thing. Now, there'll be other products and services developed, other partners that feed into the ecosystem. But the North Star will always be the success of its members, measured in income, creativity, and freedom.
Back to the chopping.
Career Survey Results
I sent you a survey to learn a little more about you - your role, how you've used Pani Cooler to explore roles, and where you're heading. 194 of you responded (if you'd like to add your entry you can do that here). Let's take a look at the unscientific results.
Here's where you work: 22% in-house, 41% law firm, 10% government, 19% students, 8% other.
Which is more important from Pani Cooler, jobs or profiles? 74% said jobs. But come on, we saw that coming.
20 of the survey respondents said they applied for a role through Pani Cooler. Of those, 7 said they interviewed. I want those numbers to go up. I'm reaching out to those that said they interviewed to learn about what went right and what could be better. If you've listed a role in Pani Cooler, I'll be doing the same with you.
53% of you said you're looking to move out of your role in the next six months(!). I find that fascinating. What does that reflect?
If you're in-house, you want to stay in-house - that's the move 86% of you would make (just one in-house lawyer said they'd go in-house). But only 33% of law firm lawyers said they think their next move is to go in-house. 40% of law students don't want to practice in-house or a law firm - they're holding out for something else.
Thanks for the opportunity to learn a little more about you and where you're heading.
Sponsor: The Indie Guide To Building Your Legal Network
*This Weekend Only: Pay-What-You-Want*
Part of the mission of Pani Cooler to is to help South Asian lawyers make the most of the powerful network being created here. I attribute any success I've had with my career to the relationships I've developed and grown. And I wrote the principles I used in The Indie Guide to Building Your Legal Network.
So in furtherance of the mission of growing this network, for this weekend only I'm making the guide pay-want-you-want. Pay what you want for the guide - my only ask is that you use it.
Here's what Amisha Patel had to say about The Indie Guide: "Your writing is clear and concise, and I like how you weave in personal anecdotes and stories from others. You also outline a very clear action plan. Even as someone not in the law school setting, I found this extremely valuable in thinking about ways to reinforce many of the lessons that needed reinforcing on how to present well in strengthening and nurturing my network."
Pick up your copy here - pay what you want for this weekend only.