I heard last week that LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, a traditional lawyer directory, had entered into an agreement with LinkedIn, the leading online professional networking site, whereby LinkedIn would provide Martindale a social networking function to the martindale.com website. May well have been what Martindale would only show folks the last 6 months if you signed an NDA (I refused).

Turns out it’s true. LinkedIn is now powering a social networking function at martindale.com. Smart move on Martindale’s part as the LinkedIn technology is far more advanced than anything than LexisNexis could think of or develop on its own. Also may give Martindale’s web pages for law firm customers and lawyer customers better search engine performance, something Martindale has been struggling with.

I don’t have time to review the arrangement in depth (caveat that I stand to be corrected), but here’s a couple screen shot examples with a quick description of what I believe is taking place.

When you go to a law firm listing at Martindale, you’ll see the LinkedIn icon to the right of the firm’s name.

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell LinkedIn

Click on the icon and you’ll be prompted to see employees in the law firm who may be in your LinkedIn network. You’ll also be prompted to share with LexisNexis the names and relationships of people within your professional network at LinkedIn, something LinkedIn could not share with LexisNexis contractually or without violating privacy laws without your permission. If LexisNexis collects the names and relationships in the network of its lawyer and law firm customers so as to include them in LexisNexis’ data base, that’ll be a coup.

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell LinkedIn

More to come once I get a chance to look at more closely and hear some feedback from you guys.