At the Legal Tech conference yesterday in NYC I participated in a vibrant panel on Best Practices for Professional Networking with John Lipsey -from Martindale-Hubbell, Journalist Bob Ambrogi, Eugene Weitz of Alcatel-Lucent and Olivier Antoine of Crowell & Moring to discuss the emergence and best practices around professional networking for attorneys.
Key discussion points (with lots of questions and dialogue from the audience) included:
* Legal profession has been slow to adapt social media and professional networking but improving. Stats were offered from an ABA survey and from the Leader Networks “Networks for Counsel” study (downloadable here)
*How to evaluate/choose where to participate online – private networks for professional collaboration vs. public profiles
* Some concerns surfaced about how to do it and issues around legal (jurisdiction, client confidentiality, how not to disclose intention)
* What are the value drivers for business? How to measure the return on effort?
We also talked a bit about Martindale-Connected, a private online community for legal professionals. I am quite a fan of this community and believe it offers a good vehicle for professional collaboration, learning and networking online. In full disclosure, Leader Networks worked with Martindale around the strategy and planning of this community, but they have done a great job getting it out into beta and forward. They understand the rules of engagement and have created a trustworthy online community that allows the best professional networking and information sharing opportunities for legal to emerge.
We ended the conversation with discussions about how online professional networking and social media is here to stay. Lawyers are using it and there is an opportunity for legal to embrace social media and use it wisely for their professional betterment.
Questions from the audience honed in on the many concerns legal have around using social media – they are late adopters to many technologies so history repeats itself, but here’s hoping that the ease of the tools will lead many firms and legal professionals to focus on the benefits and opportunities granted through participation. There is definitely resistance on the part of legal to enter this brave new world of social media, but it is starting to gain momentum. I believe it will become more mainstream for legal in short time.
A well read blog LawyerKM (which focuses on knowledge management & technology for lawyers and law firms) summarized the panel quite well.
John Lipsey put together a fine summary podcast which goes into many of the Martindale Connected features and benefits.
Caselines, another noted blog, also posted notes with detailed Twitter commentary.
Tweets about the event at large can be found #LTNYThank you for reading Building Online Communities for Business by Leader Networks. We are a research and strategy consulting company that helps organizations succeed in social business and B2B online community building.
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