• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
How to Web 2.0: Hands-On Guidance to Social Networking and New Technologies for IP Lawyers and Businesses
 

How to Web 2.0: Hands-On Guidance to Social Networking and New Technologies for IP Lawyers and Businesses

on

  • 1,734 views

Written materials to accompany my PowerPoint presentation at the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education's 2009 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute on September 25, 2009.

Written materials to accompany my PowerPoint presentation at the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education's 2009 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute on September 25, 2009.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,734
Views on SlideShare
1,732
Embed Views
2

Actions

Likes
1
Downloads
25
Comments
0

2 Embeds 2

http://www.lmodules.com 1
https://www.linkedin.com 1

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft Word

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    How to Web 2.0: Hands-On Guidance to Social Networking and New Technologies for IP Lawyers and Businesses How to Web 2.0: Hands-On Guidance to Social Networking and New Technologies for IP Lawyers and Businesses Document Transcript

    • How to Web 2.0: Hands-On Guidance to Social Networking and New Technologies for IP Lawyers and Businesses Written Materials to Accompany PowerPoint Presentation at the Minnesota CLE’s IP Institute September 25, 2009. By Leora Maccabee, Fall 2009 Associate, Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP Table of Contents: I. Introduction II. LinkedIn III. Blogs and Google Reader IV. JD Supra V. Facebook VI. iPhone and Blackberry Applications VII. Twitter VIII. Martindale-Hubbell Connected and LegallyMinded IX. Legal OnRamp X. Conclusion 1
    • I. Introduction Hundreds of thousands of lawyers are creating online profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Legal OnRamp, JD Supra and Martindale-Hubbell Connected. They are downloading business applications to iPhones and Blackberrys. They are blogging, texting and even tweeting. In-house counsel are using these new “Web 2.0” technologies to vet providers, hire law firms, research opposing counsel, update their contact lists, reconnect and collaborate with colleagues, generate trusted referrals, and get suggestions for best practices and insights into compliance issues in their industries. Web 2.0 is the interactive internet – blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the other sites, applications and ideas that encourage conversation on the web instead of just passive viewing of material. These sites, combined, are also a lawyer’s new website in the Web 2.0 online world. Which of these new technologies can address your existing professional needs and are worth your time and energy? What are the basic tips and tricks that will help you break into these new technologies? Read on. II. LinkedIn Every lawyer should be on LinkedIn. LinkedIn1 describes its site as an “interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals.” LinkedIn had 40 million users in May 2009. Of that group, 840,000 people were in the law practice industry,2 approximately 385,000 of whom were lawyers.3 Why join LinkedIn: LinkedIn is not a lawyers-only site, and because of that non-exclusivity, it is a mini-marketplace for services and networking. Once you have created a profile on the site, you can start “inviting” professional colleagues to connect with you. Once connected to colleagues, you can monitor changes in their employment, location, job titles, responsibilities, awards, professional membership, group activities, and email addresses. You can also interact with the people that your connections are linked to, and thus expand your network of clients and colleagues to friends-of-friends. You can post in your “status” (seen by all of your connections), or in groups you belong to, information like events you are speaking at, articles you have written or been quoted in, or legal or other professional questions you have for your colleagues. LinkedIn has professional networking groups, and an elaborate search function that allows you to connect with past colleagues and classmates, do reference checks on potential employees, and search for potential clients. 1 Http://www.LinkedIn.com. 2 “LinkedIn Lawyers Hit 840K.” Stem Legal Blog. http://www.stemlegal.com/strategyblog/2009/linkedin-lawyers- hit-840k/. 3 This number is approximate, based on a September 1, 2009 search of profiles mentioning either “attorney” or “lawyer” - http://www.linkedin.com/search/fpsearch?keywords=attorney+OR+lawyer&searchLocationType=Y. 2
    • The basic level of services on LinkedIn is free. You can also sign up for a paying account ($25/month minimum) which allows you to contact total strangers (people not in your professional network) through “OpenLink messages” and “InMails” on the site, as well as do reference checks on professional hires (a service only available to paying members). How to use LinkedIn: Many lawyers (and other professionals) use LinkedIn very passively, almost as a virtual resume. They create a profile, post their information, connect with a handful of colleagues, and then stop using the site. Savvy lawyers take LinkedIn a step further by posting “status” updates weekly, contributing articles (by themselves or others) in groups they join, and becoming “experts” on areas of the law in the Answers section of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is of value whether you use it passively or actively, although I would recommend the latter. There are four B’s to mastering LinkedIn: the Basics, Beefing up your profile; Building your network and Branding yourself. The Basics: 1. Go to http://www.LinkedIn.com to create a profile. 2. Every sentence on your profile is an opportunity for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using common keywords, industry terms and active language makes LinkedIn and Google searchers more likely to find you. However, a LinkedIn profile should be more chatty (read: networking) than a formal resume (read: job search). 3. Describe your education and employment in detail. The “summary” section is your elevator speech. “Activities” is for personal tidbits. Include professional skills in your “specialties” and craft a pithy “title” for your profile that reflects your status and interests. Do not mention current or former clients without their consent. 4. Add links to your websites, blogs or twitter feeds. Your LinkedIn “status” is immediately projected onto your connections’ home pages. Update your status at least once-a-week. Avoid mentioning in your status any non-public aspects of your cases as doing so may violate client confidentiality. A professional looking photo is a “must.” 5. When adding your websites/blogs to your profile, do not use the default “my website” categories. Instead, select “other” and type the actual name of the site (or a description of it).This adds SEO to your site and is more useful to viewers of your profile. 6. Create a “Vanity URL” for your public profile. On the “edit profile” page, click “public profile,” and change the link from http://www.linkedin.com/in/1234skdfjdjf to http://www.linkedin.com/in/leoramaccabee (insert your name here). This will increase your profile’s Google ranking and will be easier to promote on business cards. Beefing Up Your Profile: 1. Once you have filled in your LinkedIn profile basics, join Groups, add Applications, and get Recommendations. When you join a group, you can see the full profiles of all members, directly contact them on LinkedIn and search among the members using specific keywords. Join your undergraduate and law school alumni/ae groups. Join one or all of these groups: Minnesota Lawyers; Midwestern Lawyers; Intellectual Property Professionals; Global Intellectual Property and Business Lawyers; IP Lawyers; and Patent and Intellectual Property Practitioners. 3
    • 2. Add applications to your home page (only you see it) and your profile (everyone sees it). 3. A recommendation on your profile helps to make it 100% complete; gets you listed in LinkedIn’s “service provider” directory; and improves your professional brand. Never give false or misleading recommendations, and only ask for recommendations from people who knew you well in the capacity for which you are seeking a recommendation. Building Your Network: 1. Connect backwards in history: send invitations to high school, college, graduate and law school classmates, former colleagues, family, friends and family friends, professors, and anyone in your email address books. Then connect forwards: invite people you meet at conferences, reporters who interview you, colleagues and clients (assuming it is public knowledge that you are representing them). 2. DO NOT use LinkedIn’s generic language in your invitations to connect. Make the subject line and message personal and remind the individual how you know them. NEVER say “I do not know” to someone who asks you to connect with them. Doing so tells LinkedIn that the person may be a spammer. If you do not know a person, archive the message or send the person a note saying you forgot how you met, and ask him to refresh your memory. 3. Although it is tempting to accept every LinkedIn invitation to connect you receive, remember that you are, in a way, vouching for all the people that you are connected to by virtue of your relationship with them. Branding Yourself: 1. Brand yourself with your profile language and status updates; by creating groups; by asking and answering questions through the “Answers” tab; by giving and getting recommendations; by posting events; or by bringing your connections together (i.e. a job seeker and job hunter). 2. The “Answers” tab gives you an opportunity to answer questions in your field of interest by posting resources, links or advice. If the questioner ranks your answer as the best response, you are added to LinkedIn’s list of experts for that topic. The more “best” answers you give, the higher your rank. Forward your questions to your connections to get their answers and simultaneously grow your relationships. Signing up for LinkedIn and making your initial connection requests will take a few hours, but the time is well spent. This site is sure to be an essential networking tool for decades. III. Blogs and Google Reader Blogs are, according to the book Blogging for Dummies, “a chronologically ordered series of Web site updates, written and organized much like a traditional diary right down to the informal style of writing that characterizes personal communication.” Blogs can provide lawyers with new insight into contemporary legal issues, opportunities to see how other lawyers in one’s field deal with problems or new case law, and connections for the development of future business relationships. If no one is writing about your specific area of law (or no one is doing it well), you can also become a thought leader by creating your own blog on the subject. 4
    • Blogs usually offer readers the opportunity to leave comments at the end of articles, to which the blog author or other readers often respond, providing a unique back-and-forth conversation on the issues raised and ideas discussed. Sometimes a blog will have one article a week, and sometimes a blog will post ten times a day – it depends on the type and content of blog. Anyone can start a blog, so keep in mind a blogger’s credentials, and double-check their citations. A little terminology may be helpful here. RSS = Real Simple Syndication. RSS feeds allow you to get a blog’s articles in a news reader on your computer, so you do not have to go back to the website time and time again, checking to see if a new article has been posted. RSS works hand- in-hand with web-based feed aggregators like Google Reader. 4 Blogging for Dummies defines web-based newsreaders as “online services that allow you to aggregate your favorite feeds into a simple interface where you can read your subscriptions.” Subscribe to a blog, sign up for a news reader and the blog’s RSS feed will send each article to your reader automatically. There are dozens of great Intellectual Property blogs where lawyers and other legal professionals post articles and engage in conversations about patents, copyrights, trademarks, and more. Check out these Intellectual Property blogs: • Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law Blog - http://blog.ericgoldman.org/ • Duets Blogs, Collaboration and Creativity & the Law - http://www.duetsblog.com/ • Patently-O, Patent Law blog - http://www.patentlyo.com/ • The TTABlog, “keeping tabs on the TTAB” - http://thettablog.blogspot.com/ • The Trademark Blog - http://www.schwimmerlegal.com/ • Likelihood of Confusion blog, on trademark, copyright, new media, and free speech - http://www.likelihoodofconfusion.com/ • Property, Intangible, a blog about ownership of intellectual property rights - http://www.propertyintangible.com/ • Registration Ruminations, thoughts on Trademark Registration practice in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - http://registrationruminations.com/ • Rebecca Tushnet’s 43(b) blog, false advertising and more - http://tushnet.blogspot.com/ • The Patry Copyright Blog - http://williampatry.blogspot.com/ • Counterfeit Chic - http://counterfeitchic.com/ • Info/Law, Information, Law, and the Law of Information - http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/ • Moral Panic and the Copyright Wars - http://moralpanicsandthecopyrightwars.blogspot.com/ • Spam Notes, a law blog covering email, electronic communications, online networks, privacy, and more - http://spamnotes.com/ • Known in the Marts, business, copyright and trademark law for creative endeavors - http://knowninthemarts.com/ • Knockoff Report - http://knockoffreport.com/ • Useful Arts.us, Online Law Blog: how trademark, copyright, privacy and politics shape the Web - http://usefularts.us/ • The Patent Prospector - http://www.patenthawk.com/blog/ 4 Http://www.google.com/reader/. 5
    • • IPKat - http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/ • The iplaw blog - http://www.theiplawblog.com/ • Current trends in copyright, trademark and entertainment law - http://ipandentertainmentlaw.wordpress.com/ • Daily dose of IP - http://dailydoseofip.blogspot.com/ How to sign up for Google Reader: I use Google Reader to manage the RSS feeds from my favorite blogs and online news sources, and highly recommend it. Sign up on http://www.google.com/reader. Click “create an account” and walk through the registration hoops. Once you have the account set up, you will see an email box just for feeds from blogs and other news sources. Notice that you can “add a subscription” by clicking on the button in the top left corner of the Google Reader page. Or you can subscribe to a blog while you are reading a post by clicking on the little orange box with a squiggly line in your address bar, or (if the blog is trying to be helpful), by clicking on a link that says “subscribe here.” Many blogs allow you to subscribe to read them via email, but I recommend against that. Once you subscribe to more than one blog via email, the clutter can become unmanageable. Once you have a few blogs or newspaper RSS feeds in your Google Reader, you can group them by topic (Trademark, Patent, Minnesota, International, etc). Google Reader also has a series of shortcuts to help you read the articles quickly. You can find the shortcuts advice and answers to other questions on Google Reader’s Frequently Asked Questions page.5 IV. JD Supra JD Supra6 is a remarkable Web 2.0 application. If you are trying to budget your social and professional networking time, I would rank registering and submitting documents on JD Supra as a secondary priority to LinkedIn but superior to Facebook. According to the website, JD Supra is a “repository of free legal information shared by the professionals who generate it.” The site provides a platform for legal professionals to “publish top-quality work to a wide audience, maintain a profile online, and be credited for their experience, and expertise.” JD Supra then uses RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Newstex, Complinet, NuWire Investor, Justia, and Alltop to distribute your work.7 JD Supra’s own site is also very highly ranked and trusted by Google, which means that your profile and the documents you publish on JD Supra are likely to be found when people search for your name, or for the legal issue you posted about. Post your briefs, court filings, decisions, forms, articles, alerts and newsletters on the site and then search those submitted by your 5 Http://www.google.com/help/reader/faq.html. 6 Http://www.jdsupra.com. 7 Http://www.jdsupra.com/services/legal-marketing/syndication.aspx. 6
    • colleagues, lawyers, law firms, public interest & advocacy groups, law professors, and students around the world.8 How to Start Publishing on JD Supra: Before you can publish on JD Supra, you need to create an online profile at http://www.jdsupra.com/. Click “Share my work” and “join JD Supra now.” You do not need to pay to publish documents on JD Supra, but your profile on the site becomes more complete if and when you sign up for a premium account. For example, you cannot post your website, blog, email or office phone number on your profile unless you pay $37.50 per month. I do not think the fee is a barrier to participation. If you are listed on LinkedIn, or on your law firm’s website, it is likely that someone Googling your name would find your contact information, even if it was not available on the JD Supra site. Law firms and practice groups can sign up for JD Supra premium accounts with even more bells and whistles. Once you have a JD Supra profile set up, click on “post documents.” Choose whether the document is a legal document, legal form, or legal article or newsletter, and different categories for further information will appear accordingly. Describe the document’s type, jurisdiction, subject matter, and write a summary. JD Supra provides tips for pitching your document to readers, whether they are reporters, colleagues, or potential clients searching the web.9 Once you have completed your summary, submit the document. Be careful not to post a document by accident (I have done this) – since JD Supra has topic-based legal feeds that send documents all over the web. If you do publish a document by accident, call JD Supra and they will fix things for you very quickly. Actually, if you have any questions about their site, the JD Supra team is really friendly and accessible. Researching on JD Supra: JD Supra is also a good legal search engine, since it collects and sorts by topic all of the documents submitted by lawyers and legal professionals on the site. Use the site to browse the latest legal news, articles and analysis.10 You can also sign up to receive topic-based news alerts from JD Supra (of the documents that people post to the site) in your blog reader, on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Learn more on their online distribution page.11 V. Facebook Facebook12 is a “social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.” Lawyers who are not on Facebook are missing out on critical opportunities to 8 Http://www.jdsupra.com/browse/legal-news.aspx. 9 Http://www.jdsupra.com/about/scooptips.aspx. 10 Http://www.jdsupra.com/browse/legal-news.aspx. 11 Http://www.jdsupra.com/resources/syndication/. 12 Http://www.facebook.com. 7
    • network for referrals, research defendants and potential jury members, market their law firms, and vet potential legal hires or current employees. Lawyers who use Facebook solely for personal reasons should reevaluate their use to consider the site’s possibilities for marketing and for development of professional relationships. Learn more about why lawyers should join Facebook and how you can use the site effectively and appropriately for your business in my article on the Lawyerist blog, “Facebook 101: why lawyers should be on Facebook.”13 How to use Facebook: Sign up for a Facebook account at http://www.facebook.com. Enter your personal, business and educational information. The site walks you through the steps to create a full profile. There are several ways that you can tailor Facebook’s privacy controls to your personal and professional needs. Privacy settings allow you to post information for restricted audiences (keeping your business colleagues from seeing your personal photographs, for example). For more information on how to set up your Facebook privacy settings, see my article on the Lawyerist blog, “Professional Facebook privacy settings in under 10 minutes.”14 VI. iPhone and Blackberry Applications There are tens of thousands of applications (many of them free or cheap) that lawyers with iPhones or Blackberrys can download onto their phones to make their time working away from the office, in meetings, or on the road, more efficient and effective. This short summary will teach you how to download those applications, describe some of the highest-regarded iPhone and Blackberry applications, and show you where to look for more information. How to Download Applications to an iPhone: If you have an iPhone, you can download these applications by clicking on the iPhone “App Store” button on your iPhone, or by going to the App Store 15 on Apple’s website. Browse by Categories, Top 25, Featured, New, Top Paid, and Top Free, or use the search bar to find a specific application. Once you pull up an application, you can select “reviews” to see what other users have said about the application. If you decide you want the application, tap the “price” or “free” icon and then click “buy now” or “install.” You will then be prompted for your iTunes account information. Once you enter this, your download will begin. Once you have downloaded the application, it will appear on your iPhone. Note that once you are in the App Store on your iPhone, you can also check for updates to the applications that you already have installed. Which iPhone Applications to Download: There are applications for the iPhone that will help you take notes while driving, check your email, browse the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, update Facebook, track your billable time, edit documents and spreadsheets, share files, map your location or find the closest grocery store for a midnight snack near the office. For suggestions of the best legal and business applications, 13 Http://lawyerist.com/facebook-101-why-lawyers-should-be-on-facebook/. 14 Http://lawyerist.com/professional-facebook-privacy-in-under-10-minutes/. 15 Http://www.apple.com/iphone. 8
    • read “Reid My Blog!” article “Our Favorite iPhone Apps for Lawyers--ABA TECHSHOW 2009 Edition.”16 How to Download Applications to a Blackberry: Begin your applications search on the Blackberry App World.17 At this location, you can browse Top Free, Top Paid, Featured Applications, or you can just type keywords into the search bar to look for applications in your interest area. Once you find an application that you like, click on the application, and then click “Get it today.” The easiest way to get your download is then to provide an email associated with your Blackberry in order for the download to be sent to you via email. You can also download the Blackberry App World program18 to your computer or Blackberry in order to browse and purchase applications. Which Blackberry Applications to Download: Blackberry-using lawyers can download to their phones many of the same, or similar, applications those available to iPhone users. Legal Technology writer Nicole Black has already done the due diligence in listing her top choices – check out her post “Blackberry apps for lawyers”19 on the Practicing Law in the 21st Century Blog. VII. Twitter Twitter20 is not for every lawyer. The site is a micro-blogging platform and an opportunity for individuals to say in a very limited amount of space (140 characters) how they are feeling, what article they are reading, or whatever else they feel like writing about. Twitterers range the gamut, from CNN news anchors communicating with Iranian protesters and their readers, to 13-year- olds writing to their friends about school, dating, or television. Lawyers can use Twitter to see what people are saying about their firm, company or products using http://search.twitter.com, or the Company Buzz application on LinkedIn (which searches Twitter for keywords that you plug in); to connect with other lawyers around the country; to make themselves available to media personalities on Twitter as a potential interviewees; or to expose new audiences to their legal services. Twitter does take a fair amount of time to maintain (I recommend posting once a day), so joining should not be taken lightly. How to sign on and use and brand yourself on Twitter: Sign up at http://www.twitter.com, and fill out the 140-character bio. Use your real name or some variation as your username and include a professional photo. You can design a free and easy professional background design at http://www.twitbacks.com. When you are trying to fit as 16 “Our Favorite iPhone Apps for Lawyers--ABA TECHSHOW 2009 Edition.” Reid My Blog! Http://reidtrautz.typepad.com/reidmyblog/2009/04/our-favorite-iphone-apps-for-lawyers.html. 17 Http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/. 18 Http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/appworld/. 19 Http://21stcenturylaw.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/blackberry-apps-for-lawyers/. 20 Http://www.twitter.com. 9
    • much information as possible into the 140-character limit, use the website http://bit.ly to shorten links for your tweets. Once you have gotten familiar with sending tweets on Twitter.com, check out one of the desktop applications like http://www.twhirl.org, http://www.tweetdeck.com, or http://www.seesmic.com (my favorite), which allow you to tweet without signing onto Twitter, better track replies and messages, and provide you with a way to group your twitterers by category. Add yourself to Twellow,21 Twitter’s yellow pages, and to JD Scoop’s list of lawyers and legal professionals.22 How to Tweet and Twitter Etiquette: On http://www.twitter.com, write a tweet by typing into the space under “What are you doing?” your answer to that question. It is important to add value in your tweets, by sending your followers news posts, advice, and resources. The cardinal rule is that your followers do not want to know all the details of your personal life, but they also do not want to follow a news robot, so about 80% of your posts should be professional and the other 20% personal. Do not get too personal though - remember that all of your tweets are searchable on Google. Do not worry too much about getting people to “follow” you. Send a few tweets that you think people would want to read (i.e. articles you have read recently, with links to the articles), and then look up lawyers to follow on JD Scoop’s list or on http://www.twellow.com. It is important to tweet before you start following people; no one will follow you if they do not think you bring them value. Here is a little Twitter lingo. A person’s twitter username is called their “handle.” To “follow” someone means that you receive their tweets. A re-tweet (“RT”) is a re-post of someone else’s tweet that you like, with an acknowledgement to the original source (i.e. RT @Leoramaccabee [insert great post here]). A private message between two twitterers is called a Direct Message (“DM”). You can only DM someone if they are following you. You can respond to a post by using the @ symbol, and then their name (i.e. @Leoramaccabee Thanks for the lesson!). People are alerted on twitter when they receive a DM or an @ reply from another person. For more information, check out attorney Robert Ambrogi’s post “Tweet 16: 16 Ways Lawyers Can Use Twitter”23 or read Shane Richmond’s step-by-step guide to getting started on Twitter. 24 Learn more about Twitter Etiquette from Chris Brogan’s “Brief and Informal Twitter Etiquette Guide.”25 VIII. MH Connected and Legally Minded 21 Http://www.twellow.com. 22 Http://scoop.jdsupra.com/2008/09/articles/law-firm-marketing/145-lawyers-and-legal-professionals-to-follow-on- twitter. 23 Http://www.legaline.com/2009/03/tweet-16-16-ways-lawyers-can-use.html. 24 Http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/shanerichmond/8039797/Twitter_a_stepbystep_guide_to_getting_started/. 25 Http://www.chrisbrogan.com/a-brief-and-informal-twitter-etiquette-guide/. 10
    • Martindale-Hubbell Connected,26 bills itself as the “online, professional network– designed exclusively for legal professionals– that leverages the unsurpassed reach of the Martindale- Hubbell database of more than one million lawyers.” Legally Minded 27 describes itself as an “online community serving the legal profession. Our goal is to create an unparalleled resource that gathers law school students, academics, firm administrators, legal support staff, judges, paralegals, attorneys, law librarians and other professionals to contribute, network, and collaborate online.” If you have the time, it is worth checking out these lawyers-only sites (or the Minnesota-based My Practice28) to see whether you think they will be beneficial to your practice. Both sites offer you the opportunity to create a profile; connect with colleagues; join groups with individuals of shared interests; exchange ideas, files and resources with connections by uploading your blog posts or other documents; and explore legal resources on a variety of issues. Legally Minded went public in its Beta, or draft, version in December 2008. Martindale-Hubbell Connected went public in its Beta version in March 2009. Martindale-Hubbell Connected currently has about 14,000 legal professionals registered on the site, 12,000 of them lawyers. But compare that to LinkedIn (launched in May 2003), which boasts a whopping 840,000 people in the law practice industry29 - of which about 385,000 were lawyers30 - registered on its site in June 2009. If you are trying to whittle down the legal sites that you NEED to join versus those that you COULD join, I would recommend keeping these lawyers-only professional networking sites off of your to-do list for now. That said, if you want to be a thought leader, and have the time and energy to be an early adopter, the newness of these sites may give you the opportunity to become somewhat of a legal expert in those communities. IX. Legal OnRamp Unlike Martindale-Hubbell Connected and LegallyMinded, Legal OnRamp31 is targeted at a very specific set of lawyers – in-house counsel. As a result, the resources that Legal OnRamp offers to that class of lawyers is completely unique. According to the website, the social networking site is a “collaboration system for in-house counsel and invited outside lawyers and third party service providers. There are lawyers participating from over 40 countries, and a rapidly growing collection of content and technology resources.” If you are an in-house lawyer, this site is a tool you may want to explore. Firm lawyers should only request to join the network if they feel that they can add value to the in-house counsel already on the site. 26 Http://www.martindale.com/connected. 27 Http://www.legallyminded.com. 28 http://www.mypracticelaw.org 29 “LinkedIn Lawyers Hit 840K.” Stem Legal Blog. http://www.stemlegal.com/strategyblog/2009/linkedin-lawyers- hit-840k/. 30 This number is approximate, based on a search of profiles mentioning either “attorney” or “lawyer” - http://www.linkedin.com/search/fpsearch?keywords=attorney+OR+lawyer&searchLocationType=Y. 31 Http://www.legalonramp.com. 11
    • For in-house counsel, the benefits of joining the site include: conversation and networking with other in-house lawyers in public and invitation-only groups and forums, and opportunities to discuss the law with firm lawyers who are experts on the issues and to read legal documents submitted by firm lawyers either to answer particular legal questions or so in-house counsel can assess a law firm or lawyer’s potential for future hiring. There are two ways to become a part of the Legal OnRamp network. Either you can request to join the network on their website, or you can be invited by a colleague who is already on the site. If you are a firm lawyer and request to join, make sure to describe how you will add value to in- house counsel by joining the network. A few quick tips once you are accepted: • Firm lawyers can read Frequently Asked Questions in specific legal issue areas by going to Content – Ask an Expert – Intellectual Property (for example). Then click on the list of topics to see what lawyers have already submitted. Warning – there is very little back and forth on these “Ask an Expert” topics so you may get a mistaken answer, or one that is not the majority rule for an area of the law. • The search function is great. Type in the legal issue area that you are interested in, and not only will the search sift through the site’s FAQs, it will also pull Legal OnRamp forum conversations (which involve much more back-and-forth communication) about your legal issue, and will show you legal web results for your topic. • Upload publications, post a photo, and use your “status” to inform people in your network of what you are doing professionally, and to share resources from your work. • You can write a blog on the site about your legal area of expertise, or feed into the website a blog that you have written elsewhere. Legal OnRamp is not for everyone, but some of its more well-known users include Aaron Van Nice, Director of Operations for the Baxter International Inc. Legal Department; Mark Chandler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Cisco Systems Inc.; Jeff Carr, General Counsel of FMC Technologies, Inc.; David Cohen, Director of Legal Affairs & Risk Management for Angels Baseball; and Fred Bartlit, Partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP. X. Conclusion For more information about Web 2.0 for lawyers, I recommend that you check out the legal technology blog Lawyerist,32 which frequently publishes my articles on social media and professional networking for lawyers. I would be happy to answer your Web 2.0 questions via email at Leora.Maccabee@maslon.com. I hope you will contact me on Twitter33 if you decide to tweet, and connect with me on LinkedIn34 when (notice I did not say “if”) you sign up. 32 Http://lawyerist.com/. 33 Http://www.twitter.com/leoramaccabee. 34 Http://www.linkedin.com/in/leoramaccabee. 12