Linkedin for lawyersTech Crunch reported yesterday that LinkedIn did $243M in 2010 revenue with $15.4 Million in net income. Not a strong profit margin yet, but that’s a 102% increase in revenue over 2009.

With an upcoming IPO this year, LinkedIn’s prominence as the professional network of record for lawyers and law firms, is only going to be strengthened. There’s simply no excuse for lawyers not to be using LinkedIn and the networking tools it presents you.

Look at the growth figures I pulled from LinkedIn SEC filings.

  • Registered users increased from 32 million in 2008 to 90 million in 2010.
  • Unique visitors increased from 36 million per month in 2008 to 65 million per month in 2010.
  • Page views increased from 36 billion per quarter in 2008 to 65 billion quarter in 2010.

LinkedIn’s strategy includes serving as the “Professional Profile of Record.”

By maintaining the trust we have developed with our members and through continued improvements, such as enhancing our profile tools and search engine optimization, we seek to be the professional profile for every professional worldwide. Using our platform, any member can find, connect with and learn about other professionals

For decades Martindale-Hubbell served as the professional profile of record for attorneys and law firms. Their day has past. LinkedIn has replaced Martindale-Hubbell.

Not only does LinkedIn serve as your profile as a lawyer, but LinkedIn provides a vibrant networking platform to network within the industries and communities you’re looking to grow your practice.

As a lawyer, there’s no excuse for not having completed your LinkedIn profile and begun to use LinkedIn to connect with business people and other legal professionals. For law firms, there’s no excuse for not having an educational program in place to teach your lawyers how to do these things.

Larger law firms paid Martindale-Hubbell hundreds of thousands of dollars for directory listings. It may be prudent to now use some of those dollars for the resources and personnel needed to develop LinkedIn education programs.

  • TLA

    I’m not so sure about this premise – at least not yet. If I am looking for a law firm and lawyer that can help me in a particular area, LinkedIn doesn’t yet have that information. Martindale-Hubbell is specifically designed to help people find lawyers. LinkedIn is a bit more tailored to networking. For example, when I look at a law firms LinkedIn page, I see the poeple who have some 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection to me which could be the marketing assistant. I can’t find lawyers that practice in a specific area. Furthermore, since everyone owns their personal page and can opt-in or out, there is no consistency over the marketing messages that are being sent. Not that LinkedIn is that far away, but I don’t think they are there quite yet. Law firms and lawyers shouldn’t ignore this medium, but should push LinkedIn to further meet their needs.

  • Great post, Kevin, and totally agree with your sentiments. To the first commenter, possibly the only thing missing on LinkedIn at this point is a clear legal industry practice area structure for attorneys that Martindale-Hubbell offers. But I disagree that you cannot locate specialists in particular areas on LinkedIn, practice area or geography or both. More burden of describing one’s expertise and background is placed on the attorney (and/or firm) on Linkedin, and the ones accepting the challenge are definitely benefiting. And LinkedIn provides valuable additional context, such as their network (and others you may be able to consult for feedback), background/history and other details about him/her. Part of the evaluation by prospective buyers today is the “Internet research” about someone or something, and when involving professionals, LinkedIn is a key resource during that consideration.

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  • Paul

    I agree with TLA, and totally disagree with the premise. As I say in my blog attached to my website on Choosing A Lawyer, when I need to find or recommend a lawyer in an area where I do not have contacts, I look to Martindale and its rating system. I do not recommend an unknown lawyer who does not have a Martindale rating. Linked appears to be nothing more than self promotional linking.