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A Word to the Wise

Law-Focused Social Networks

Other Resources

Online Communities for Attorneys
An LTRC site-tation post

Narrowing Social Network's Focus
An Internetnews.com article from Jupiter Online Media

Facebook and Google Reader for Lawyers
Lawyers Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the potential use of Facebook by lawyers (Scroll to the bottom to get to the first podcast)

Social networks (LinkedIn, FaceBook & MySpace) in plain English
A You Tube Video presentation linked from Kevin O'Keefe's blog Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Protecting Your Reputation
An LTRC site-tation post

Your Internet Image
An article originally published in Student Lawyer, October 2007

Calling In Pros to Refine Your Google Image
A 2007 Washington Post article

Clean Up Your Digital Dirt!
Creating Your Digital Identity by Women for Hire

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A few social networking sites by and for lawyers:

Lawyer-Link

LawLink: launched September 2007 by California litigator Steven Choi; currently has 200 members

Legal OnRamp: for law firm and corporate attorneys; launched by Cisco Systems General Counsel Mark Chandler

Legal Force Network (under construction): for intellectual property lawyers

Texas Bar Circle: the bar world's first social networking site

Proceed with caution when creating an online profile. Set your profiles to "private," and write everything as if your employer, clients, and opposing counsel will read it -- because they will. With the increased use of online communities comes the increased need to monitor and manage one's online reputation. Create Google or Yahoo alerts (See Instant Gratification) that automatically notify you of any online mention of your name. Some may refer to this derisively as "narcisurfing," but knowledge of your online presence is necessary to maintain control of your identity.
A Social Experiment
By Tonya Johnson and Michael Ward
It's a fitting metaphor for our electronic age: a business technology, popularized by kids, based on a concept nearly as old as the human race. It's already affecting your bar. So just what is social networking?

Social networking exists as part of a movement called "Web 2.0." The term is fluid – even its coiners have trouble explaining it – but all Web 2.0 sites are based on one clear concept: collaboration. They use the Web to connect varieties of people for a certain purpose. But where Web 2.0 sites Wikipedia, Flickr, and Del.icio.us use that collaboration mainly to create a product (such as a vast encyclopedia and an advanced categorization system), social networking sites emphasize creating relationships.

Social networks, of course, are far from new, and the Internet has always had the ability to host them. But they began fulfilling their online potential only in 2003, when youth-dominated MySpace was launched. MySpace's popularity (with nearly 75 million members currently) led to other social networking sites, including Facebook (more than 34 million members) and business-oriented LinkedIn.

This mass acceptance of social networking has made it a revelation for lawyers (and other professionals), who have seized the chance to build a global network that is both convenient and free. Attorney Doug Cornelius blogs that eight of the biggest firms in the AmLaw100 have Facebook networks. And a Law.com article reported that 90,000 attorneys have LinkedIn profiles – a membership that would make it the country's third-largest bar.

Lawyers have even branched out to create their own social networks, some for all lawyers, others focused on specific practice areas. (One such network, Legal OnRamp, reports plans to use wikis to allow legal departments to share their knowledge.) The State Bar of Texas recently became the first bar association to launch a social networking site for members, Texas Bar Circle.

Technology Corner | Social Networking
Issue 14 | April 2008