Jinfo BlogOnline networking for lawyers

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Following our In Scope report on the developments in social networking for business in last month’s VIP, we read of a survey carried out by Leader Networks http://www.leadernetworks.com to examine the use of online social networks among US attorneys http://www.lexisnexis.com/media/press-release.aspx?id=1078.asp. One interesting outcome of the survey was the high degree of interest – more than 40 percent – among lawyers in joining an online network designed specifically for their profession. Entitled Networks for Counsel Survey and commissioned by Martindale-Hubbell http://www,martindale.com, the survey claims to be the first to examine the social networking practices of legal professionals. 22 countries, 224 private practice attorneys and 449 corporate counsel were represented in its findings. Its author, Vanessa DiMauro, commented on the report: ‘The legal profession is traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, so attorneys’ readiness to use online networking tools represents a significant shift in behavior.’ She goes on to say, ‘We recognize a real need for a private, online network for attorneys given the results of this survey.’ Traditional networking methods are still used by lawyers but, according to the report, are increasingly difficult. Some saw client referrals and peer recommendations as the most effective means of networking. In-person events and alumni relationships were cited as other opportunities to make and maintain contacts. There should be no surprise that the most “connected” lawyers through the use of social networking sites are between the ages of 25-35. An outcome of the survey, and a need that Leader Networks must hope to satisfy given that it is an organisation that helps businesses foster online social networks, is the interest in the development of an online professional network specifically for lawyers.

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