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Pros and Cons of Internet Professional Networking for Law Students

published July 03, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 60 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
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Most law students disregard social and professional internet networks as things not to be considered in their efforts to build a career or find a job. Usually, networking for law students involves fostering ‘real’ contacts like adjunct professors, internship contacts, practicing attorneys, legal staff and real people with whom they can socially interact within a physically relevant space. Also, networks like Facebook and Twitter are used so much for personal and social networking that few law students regard these resources as tools for building professional networks. However, there are professional networks like LinkedIn and others which may be used quite beneficially by law students.
 
Law Student Networking

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Why law students avoid internet social networks as part of their professional networking

There are some reasons why law students avoid social networking and many of these reasons are true for the uninitiated. However, if a person is aware of the pitfalls and risks concerned with internet networking activities then such risks can be kept at a minimum and advantages at their maximum. The principal reasons why law students avoid internet social networks for professional networking include:
 
  • Privacy concerns
  • Perception of inferiority of internet social networks when it comes to professional networking
  • Time wasting endeavor

However, internet professional networks, especially LinkedIn can be used to great advantage to network with other professionals, and also to ‘learn’ a lot about one’s own industry.

How internet social networks can be of value to law students for professional networking

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There is no doubt that on a regular basis, “real world” networking pays off quicker than professional networking on the internet. Nonetheless, there are certain advantages of internet social networks that cannot be refuted including:
 
  • High page ranks of internet social networks make it certain that your profile on such networks become visible on the first page of any search. Since a law students seem unable to avoid social networking altogether, it is better that a professional profile be there on professional internet networks like LinkedIn. For instance, if a professional is searching for a law student by name, at least professional profiles in professional social networks are also on the search engine page instead of the only casual profiles on ordinary social networks. In fact, this online balance may be attractive to certain employers.
  • Internet professional networks like LinkedIn help you enormously to develop and market your brand and influence what people come across when they search for you on the internet.
  • Internet social networks allow you to establish and maintain relationships with old classmates, alumni, and colleagues.
  • Internet social networks allow you to seek advice from experts or to establish relations with them quickly.
  • Internet social networks allow you to find references who can recommend you for a job.

Tips for using internet social networks to their best effect

Internet social networks can be used for building a professional career provided the below stated tips are followed.
 
  • Use social network invitations to connect with people of relevance.
  • Do not use generic language in the invitations, but use a personally created draft.
  • Develop your brand with regular profile updates, by creating groups, and by answering questions posed by other members.
  • Answer questions raised on law as the questions are raised and your questions will get noticed.
  • Entering legal discussion will help you to make expert contacts.
  • Search for jobs from the jobs board which almost every social network seems to have nowadays.
  • Use internet social networks to research about potential employers.

Finally, there is no doubt that for law students, “real people” networking is the best and most efficacious, but internet social networking is an unwatched arena, which can spell the difference in your career.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.
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