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They may be out there, but I’ve not heard stories of law firms using social media successfully to recruit top shelf law grads and lateral hires.

Perhaps the biggest reason is that law firms are not too adept in using social media. Often their attempts to look ‘cool’ by using social media only result in the firm looking lame — especially as to people who understand social media, like the people you’re recruiting.

Social media has proven to be the great equalizer when recruiting for National Public Radio writes Washington Post’s Sarah Halzack (@sarahhalzack).

Determined to land the most qualified people, NPR’s human resources team decided to try something unusual: They put the word out on Twitter — and only on Twitter — that they were extending the deadline for applications by one week and asked their Twitter followers to “re-tweet” the information.

That move led to 132 re-tweets and drove 140 people to submit applications. From that set of new applicants, the organization hired 15 interns.

Social media is not just on the periphery for NPR per Halzack.

At a time when many companies and organizations are trying to effectively marshal social media resources to promote their brand and attract talent, Washington-based NPR has put these platforms at the center of its recruitment strategy. It’s an approach that by nature targets a job candidate who is digitally savvy and an active user of social media.

NPR has developed hashtags for various jobs as well as to highlight the lifestyle of working at NPR.

Is this possible for law firms? No doubt. A law firm taking a hip and savvy approach to social media would stick out like a sore thumb, or better put a shinning star, from all the law firms using social media in ways that turn off the people being recruiting.

Recruiting by social media could be equally effect no matter the size of the firm. Whether an AmLaw 100 firm or a firm with 3 lawyers in rural Wisconsin, the innovative will lean to joining you as compared to other firms.

Applies also to all levels of hiring – summer interns, associates, partners, of counsel.

Look what you get as a law firm when recruiting via social media. Bright, hip, innovative, and forward thinking lawyers whose use of the Internet will result in getting more done for clients with less and the ability to grow a network for business development.

Who’s using social media to land the best and brightest? I’d love to find out.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Dita Margarita.