Monday, March 9, 2009

How Lawyers Use The Web To Network

From ChicagoLawyerMagazine.com we get a great article on lawyer networking via the web:
In a given day, a lawyer can keep in touch with her biggest client, her college daughter, and her best friend without leaving the office, sending an e-mail, or picking up the phone.

The world of networking has expanded dramatically as lawyers connect with their colleagues, friends and clients via online social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Legal OnRamp.

”I think it’s safe to say that with the hours we’re working these days there really isn’t as much time for the two-martini lunches, and for physically getting out and seeing people as perhaps we were able to do 15 or 20 years ago,” said Michael Waters, a 30-year-old Vedder Price associate who uses LinkedIn. ”As a result, this is perhaps a more efficient way to keep track of people and allow people to keep track of you — and at least maintain some sort of social contact with people.”

Online social networking sites are websites that allow people to connect with each other and share information. Each person creates a profile that, depending on the site, will include career and/or personal information.

They invite people to connect to their profile so they, in turn, can learn about those people’s families, personal histories, careers, and pastimes. This creates a network of people who can communicate with each other through the website by writing messages to each other, joining online groups, and sharing real-time information.

Lawyers can create a network that’s much larger than anything they would get from attending a cocktail party or making a few phone calls.

Some firms are slow to embrace these networking sites, while others have Facebook and LinkedIn online groups that allow them to connect with others.

The blog ”3 Geeks and a Law Blog” reported in October 2008 that 35 firms out of the top 100 created LinkedIn groups. For example, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom had 839 members in its LinkedIn group, and Baker & McKenzie had 278, according to the blog.

Some lawyers and experts say a generational gap exists within law firms because younger generations grew up connecting through these sites, while many older lawyers do not appreciate this new form of networking.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s December 2008 tracking study, 35 percent of American adult Internet users ages 18 and older have a profile on an online social networking site, four times as many as three years ago.

Fifty-seven percent of online adults ages 25 to 34 have a profile on a social networking site; while 30 percent of online adults ages 35 to 44, 19 percent of online 45- to 54-year-olds, and 10 percent of online adults, ages 55 to 64, have profiles on these sites.
Good Stuff! Please click here for the rest of the article.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

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