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Law blog more valuable than law review in landing job

November 5, 2014

That’s the word from Michigan State University law grad, Pat Ellis (@pmellis), in speaking to an audience of law students, law professors, and administrators at his alma mater today.

Ellis parlayed his online networking while in law school into a job with leading Detroit law firm, Honigman Miller. As a result, he was invited back by Dan Linna (@DanLinna), Assistant Dean for Career Development, to educate and inspire.

Ellis told the audience that one blog post of his shared on social media brought far more attention and conversations with lawyers and law professors than a law review article would.

Heck, I met Ellis at the LegalTech Show in New York City earlier this year as a result of engaging him via his blog. There were any number of lawyers at the same cocktail party who Ellis met with because of his online networking.

Ask yourself how many law students travel to New York City for such an event, let alone know a lot of lawyers attending the same event. Ellis was there because his blogging opened up doors that would have been otherwise closed to him.

Blogging was also more enjoyable for Ellis because of its more engaging style. No long articles that needed to be footnoted. How long would that take? Who was going to read such an article?

His message was a strong one. The things historically thought of value by law students — which law school, law review, moot court, who you know — were no longer as important. Developing an online presence via networking was more important, per Ellis.

When blogging while in school Ellis advised having a good blog design, great content, linking to social, tracking visitors, posting regularly, and writing in your voice.

Ellis was a man after my heart when he told the audience that networking online requires law students to listen, engage, curate and create content with their own point of view.

He was wise beyond his years in advising students to forget trying to please everyone, you’ll please no one. That’s a lesson most lawyers have yet to learn.

I had the honor of speaking to the audience, via Skype, to kick things off. I enjoyed it immensely, but it was Ellis who stole the show and drove home the message that students ought to blog and network online — if they wish to get the job they’re after.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Fernando Stankuns

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