List of Social Networking Sites for Lawyers

While the jury is still out, so to speak, on the actual value of social networking for lawyers on professional sites, it is still something to consider and may have considerable value for networking and referrals. To help you understand the possibilities and investigate the issue on your own, here are some of the more popular social networking sites for attorneys.

If you launch into the social networking arena, remember the golden rule: keep work social networking focused on work and stay away from the personal stuff. Also, it's a good idea to check out some of the pages already posted on these sites by other law firms before setting up your own. is widely used by everyone who isn't a lawyer and some lawyers too. The formal is personal but can easily be turned into a professional page and has with it lots of options for privacy. is common for information sharing and networking among attorneys. You can apply or be invited to join so there is some "vetting" of the authenticity of the participants. You can find legal news, some groups, ads, and forums. Document sharing is big here. touts itself as focused on collaboration, but then that's what underlies all social networking sites anyway. The difference here, though, is that LegalOnRamp requires it. For instance, just to get in the door you have to specifiy what knowledge you would like to share with others in the LegalOnRamp community. Some news and blog posts are visible to nonmembers so you do have the chance to build your reputation, but that is more of a side benefit to this site because its real focus is on developing relationships between attorneys. is the most common social network site for legal professionals. Huge amounts of lawyers on members. It's easy to create a profile and to connect with others. Odds are that at least half of the lawyers in every big city are members here and you probably will recognize names right away. If you join anything, at least join this one. is the "Martindale-Hubbell Connected" networking site and its purpose is obviously both for networking with other atttorneys and creating visibility for potential clients. The company has been around for what seems like forever, so their credability is well established. They offer an easy format with lots of optional additional "add-on's" like blogs, forums, groups, directories, Q&A, and more. does have lots of business and law firm members but their mainstream is the lay public. Still there are law firms, law libraries, government officials, and lots of business leaders on the service. It requires more of a committment to "tweet" your short messages on various topics and using it for promotional purposes of specific legal services, one at a time perhaps, may be its best use for the legal profession.

More and more attorneys are using social networking as a tool for marketing themselves and their practice so maybe it's time for you to get started or to expand too. Before starting, think about what you want to do carefully. Create a cohesive networking presence that you "tweak" to fit each networking site's best capabilities and its target audience. And check your law firm's Social Networking Policy as well as your state's ethics rules for guidance.

Ron Burdge
Helping attorneys help their clients, since 1978.