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Professional social networking: LinkedIn

Professional social networking: LinkedIn

Australian lawyers may be cautious when it comes to Facebook and Twitter, but joining a professional social networking site such as LinkedIn can provide a forum for meeting clients, generating…

Australian lawyers may be cautious when it comes to Facebook and Twitter, but joining a professional social networking site such as LinkedIn can provide a forum for meeting clients, generating business and displaying legal expertise, writes Julia Puntoriero

In the age of social networking sites we cannot help but get involved in anything that resembles a MySpace or Facebook network. It is all the rage, so having the ability to join a business-oriented network such as linkedIn can be as fun, useful and informative as you require it to be.

The beauty of it is that you will be alerted via email to anything that involves your page, links, or memberships, giving you the option to participate, or simply observe from afar and you needn't worry about embarrassing photos of yourself emerging!

It automatically matches your profile to professionals you may or may not know with the same background. It is a much easier networking tool (than trying to ring up and chat with strangers) and the results and possibilities are endless.

In addition, your profile can be as detailed or as basic as you like and you can state your intentions for joining. Lawyers will find this beneficial, especially when looking to generate work through new clients and contacts, or looking to reconnect with past colleagues and/or have legal questions answered. It also provides forums, job sites and advertising space which are at your disposal once you are a member.

Here is one prime example of how linkedIn is great for lawyers. Often legal questions will be posted and other lawyers will volunteer to answer. This can be advantageous to the person requiring the assistance, the lawyer answering the question - by having the chance to display their knowledge and expertise - and the observer who always wondered how to solve that legal scenario but never asked the question.

Final thought: taking advantage of being linked to 43 million users spanning more than 170 industries has to be beneficial.

Julia Puntoriero is a senior consultant at The EJ Group.

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