Is LinkedIn Losing Its Luster for Lawyers? Top 10 Reasons for Attorneys to be on LinkedIn
How useful is LinkedIn as a tool for lawyers? Lawyer, legal journalist, and blogger Robert Ambrogi recently hosted a lively debate (take a look at the comments section) about the pros and cons of LinkedIn for attorneys. Among the top con is spammy connection requests that result in even more sales pitches in your inbox. But my own take is that the benefits still far outweigh the annoyances. I recommend all attorneys build a robust presence on LinkedIn -- and that includes have a well written, searchable profile and making meaningful connections. Why? Here are 10 (non-exhaustive) reasons:
Be found by recruiters. LinkedIn is one of the top tools for legal recruiters and executive recruiters of all stripes: internal, retained, and contingency.
Control your professional image. Unlike your law firm's website -- which promotes you in a way that benefits your law firm, rather than you -- LinkedIn allows you to emphasis what you want and de-emphasis what you want so that your profile promotes your career goals.
Get an online professional presence. If you work in the government, a non-profit, or in a corporate legal department, then you don't have any professional online presence at all. LinkedIn gives you one. For free.
Have a self-updating online rolodex or CRM. When your connections change jobs, you know.
Meet with people you'd be unlikely to find through other means. Use it to find lawyers in your geographical area or practice area. Use it to find alumni of both schools, but also employers. Use it to join (or establish your own) shared interest groups (SIGs) like M-Lawyers for members of Mensa or a proposed SIG for Harvard alumni in the law.
Research career paths. What to know what it takes to build a career in criminal appeals? Research lawyers who did it.
Research potential employers. Learn more about the types of people the law firm or company hires. LinkedIn helps you figure out if you know someone -- or know someone who knows someone -- who can help you get insider intel on what it's like to work there. You can also get information about your interviews, your prospective team mates or partners, and your prospective boss.
Network your way into career and job opportunities. Figure out if you know someone who can influence the hiring process or make a connection with the decision maker. So simply build relationships with interesting people who might prove to be valuable contacts later on.
Research potential clients. Have your eye on a particular client? Use LinkedIn to help you make a connection, or simply learn more about the potential decision makers.
Uncover competitive information or market intel. Lots of people build LinkedIn profiles that inadvertently (or simply thoughtlessly) disclose trade secrets or other confidential information. Research the employers of your competitors (or your clients' competitors), and you'll be amazed that the confidential information you can discover.
What other benefits have you found to being on LinkedIn?