NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new survey reveals that almost 50 percent of attorneys are members of online social networks and over 40 percent of attorneys believe professional networking has the potential to change the business and practice of law over the next five years. However, less than ten percent say they can rely on their current network to help them work more efficiently and cost effectively. The survey of 650 attorneys also reveals a high degree of interest – more than 40 percent – among lawyers in joining an online professional network designed specifically for their profession.
The 2008 Networks for Counsel Survey, conducted by Leader Networks – a consultancy that helps businesses foster online social networks – and commissioned by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® – the industry leader in networking and law firm marketing – is the first survey of its scope to examine the social networking practices of legal professionals.
“The legal profession is traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, so attorneys’ readiness to use online networking tools represents a significant shift in behavior. With our expertise in social networking for businesses, Leader Networks has seen that private online communities are one of the best ways to bring professionals together for business networking,” said Vanessa DiMauro, president of Leader Networks and author of The 2008 Networks for Counsel Survey. “We recognize a real need for a private, online network for attorneys given the results of this survey.”
“Online professional networking is a growing area of importance in the legal industry,” said Ralph Calistri, CEO of Martindale Hubbell and senior vice president of Global Client Development at LexisNexis. “As we develop a global network for the legal community through Martindale-Hubbell, objective research such as this survey by Leader Networks serves as an important way for us to listen to clients and guide our efforts.”
Networking is Essential for Attorneys, but Difficult
The survey found that attorneys leverage collaboration tools and referrals to serve the needs of the organizations they represent to find clients, and to identify specialized attorneys and other resources. However, traditional methods of networking are increasingly difficult:
Online Networking Becoming Clear Option for Connecting, Generation Gaps Exists
According to the survey, legal professionals are starting to be “connected” through use of online social networking for personal and professional purposes; however, the majority of attorneys using social networking sites are between the ages of 25-35.
Demand for Networks Specifically for Attorneys
Beyond the mainstream networks that have recently come into common use, a large number of private practice and corporate counsel attorneys are now interested in an online professional network specifically for lawyers.
The top five attributes considered when corporate counsel are deciding to join a professional legal network, are:
Attorneys Look to Trusted Brands to Deliver Networks
The survey found that attorneys are looking to well established brands that are respected and trusted across the legal industry to deliver professional networks.
Respondents revealed the following organizations can best deliver a professional network for lawyers:
About the 2008 Networks for Counsel Survey
The 2008 Networks for Counsel Survey was administered to 224 private practice attorneys and 449 corporate counsel on an international basis, with 22 countries represented. Company size ranged from 100 to 10,000+ staff, and the age and responsibility of the respondents were well distributed. The findings are available online at www.leadernetworks.com.
LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of business information solutions to a wide range of professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier (NYSE: ENL) (NYSE: RUK) (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 13,000 employees worldwide.
About Leader Networks
Leader Networks, founded by Vanessa DiMauro, brings over 15 years of social network and community building expertise to the enterprise. Leader Networks is a consulting firm that helps clients create professional peer networks and online executive communities, helping clients harness the power of new digital rules and tools to drive measurable business benefits from social media. Leader Networks provides a full suite of services for all stages of networking and community development. For more information, please visit www.leadernetworks.com.