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LinkedIn Can Network Lawyers to Each Other and to Clients

Linked In

I must be behind the times. I had never heard of LinkedIn until yesterday. If you are like me, you might be missing out on a great tool for lawyers.

What is it?

LinkedIn provides an online method to network. Simply register for a FREE account, enter a few facts about yourself (occupation, employers, education – as much or as little as you want), and you can instantly connect with people like yourself.

Minutes after I registered, I was able to see lawyers from both my summer firms, as well as someone I worked with at a public interest job two years ago. I also did a quick search for my last name and found a number of family members (who I honestly did not know existed). To my delight, when I logged in today, the main page told me that 5 new alumni from my undergrad had signed up (coming from a small college, that’s a LOT).

The cool part is that once you add someone to your network, you can see who is in their network (your 2nd degree network). If you add enough people to your network, the odds are that your 2nd degree network will have a wide variety of interesting contacts and new people to meet (through the people on your network).

Also, LinkedIn recently added a service directory that aims to connect service providers with potential clients.

What’s in it for lawyers?

With powerful networking features like this, the gain for lawyers (and law students) should be obvious. LinkedIn seems to be a quick and easy way to keep track of people you know and learn about the people they know.

For example, maybe you need to refer a client to a lawyer who specializes in land use regulation. You can easily search your networks (1st and 2nd degree) and find someone who can help out. You may not know someone directly, but one of your law school classmates might know someone who perfectly fits the bill.

The new service directory also provides a great way to make yourself known to people searching for a lawyer. This feature might be especially useful for solo and small firm attorneys. If someone is in search of a lawyer, they might search LinkedIn and find you through one of their networks.

Other peoples’ thoughts

To be fair, not everyone thinks that LinkedIn is awesome. One user thinks that it needs some improvement. Another user has canceled his account, since he thinks it’s worthless. A final user has a more fair evaluation of pros and cons.

Have you used LinkedIn? What do you think of it? Please let us know by posting a comment, or you can drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, linkedin, networking, career, jobs, lawyer, attorney, client[/tags]

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9 Responses to “LinkedIn Can Network Lawyers to Each Other and to Clients”

  1. Manny Hernandez
    October 17th, 2006

    Thanks for linking to my post on LinkedIn. I honestly feel the advantages outweigh the issues it has.

  2. Andrew F
    October 17th, 2006


    Like I said, I have literally just begun using it, so I’m not sure if it will work for me or not. I can definitely see the potential, but I’ll just have to give it a go and find out. I figure I don’t have anything to lose, but a few spare minutes here and there. I’m glad that it’s working out for you.


  3. Jason Alba
    October 19th, 2006

    LinkedIn is great lots of reasons, is growing quickly and is updated with new features regularly. There are other professional networking sites, I imagine there will be at least one for lawyers. But don’t go into LinkedIn thinking you are going to have an insta-network, otherwise you’ll be depressed pretty soon. Also, there is ettiquite as far as how and who to invite, how to get introduced, etc. Lots of professionals use it, including recruiters to find prospects… so it isn’t a bad idea to have an account. I’d recommend understanding where it fits in your overall strategy though, it is not the silver bullet.

  4. Andrew F
    October 19th, 2006


    I think that you provided some great cautionary hints and thoughts about LinkedIn. I really like your point that it should not be seen as your one-stop networking solution. Rather, it should fit into your overall plan. That is so crucial with almost everything in life. Moderation in all things, right?

    I checked out Jibber Jobber today. It looks like an interesting networking tool as well. It solves one of my complaints with LinkedIn: tracking contacts who aren’t LinkedIn members. Many of the people in my network aren’t LinkedIn members, and some aren’t close enough for me to invite to join my network. However, I want to keep track of them and our overall relationship. I might have to fiddle a bit with Jibber Jobber and see if it solves this need. Once again, we’ve got to look at the overall strategy.

    Thanks for stopping by to comment, and I would love hearing your thoughts about Jibber Jobber’s ability to fill the above need I mentioned.

    Take care,