10/22/08

Large Law Firms Begin Using LinkedIn Groups

The value of Online Social Networks, such as LinkedIn are becoming more of a mainstay in the large law firm arena. Usually the taboos that follow these types of “outside the control of the firm” technologies prevent the use by lawyers or staff of the firm. However, I am seeing a shift in the attitude of some of the firms, and an embrace, although a weak embrace, of some of the functionality that these types of services can bring to the firm.

Law Firm Alumni Groups

I broke out my “researcher” cap and started delving through the LinkedIn Groups page to see how many of the top 100 law firms had some type of Alumni or Employee LinkedIn Group. I found that 35 firms out of the top 100 had a LinkedIn Group page. Most of them were Alumni groups, but there were a few that had current employee groups along with the Alumni, or specific groups just for employees. And, a few were apparently rouge employees that created a group at some point, but never did anything with the group after it was created.

Here is a list of the 35 firms, ranked highest to lowest by the number of members, and the type of LinkedIn Group:

Firm Name

Members

Type

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

839

Alumni

Heller Ehrman

323

Alumni

White & Case

281

Alumni

Baker & McKenzie

278

Employee & Alumni

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

183

Employee & Alumni

Troutman Sanders

159

Alumni

Fish & Richardson

88

Alumni

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice

61

Current Employees

Dewey Ballantine (Dewey & LeBoeuf)

53

Alumni

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

52

Alumni

Cooley Godward Kronish

51

Alumni

Venable

51

Alumni

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

45

Alumni

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

45

Alumni

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

40

Alumni

Goodwin Procter

40

Employee & Alumni

Duane Morris

31

Alumni

Holland & Knight

21

IP Attorneys

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

17

Employee & Alumni

Mayer Brown

15

Derivatives Lawyers

Bryan Cave

10

Alumni

Jones Day

10

Washington Alumni Group

Hunton & Williams

9

Alumni

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

9

Alumni

Drinker Biddle & Reath

8

Alumni

McDermott Will & Emery

5

Current Employees

Sullivan & Cromwell

4

Employee & Alumni

Davis Polk & Wardwell

3

Alumni

Baker Botts

2

Current Employees

Baker & Hostetler

1

Current Employees

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

1

Alumni

Kirkland & Ellis

1

Current Employees

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis (K&L Gates)

1

Current Employees

Seyfarth Shaw

1

Alumni

Steptoe & Johnson

1

Current and Former Paralegals

LinkedIn Profiles For Each Law Firm

Well, these results got me thinking about the number of LinkedIn profiles that are also linked to these specific law firms. I decided to take a look at the LinkedIn Company data for each of these 35 firms, and jotted down some stats for each.

For this portion I looked at the following information:

1. Number of profiles linked to the firm (LinkedIn max is 500+) 2. Percentage of these profiles that had an "Attorney" title (associate, partner, counsel, etc.) 3. Median Age of the LinkedIn profile members 4. Percentage Male 5. Percentage Female

Here is the results:

Firm Name

Number of LinkedIn Members

"Attorney" Titles (%)

Median Age

Male (%)

Female (%)

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

500+

60

30

55

45

Heller Ehrman

500+

42

34

57

43

White & Case

500+

60

29

54

46

Baker & McKenzie

500+

57

29

52

58

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

500+

55

31

56

44

Troutman Sanders

454

67

33

59

41

Fish & Richardson

500+

49

32

60

40

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice

323

56

36

59

41

Dewey Ballantine (Dewey & LeBoeuf)

359

61

30

56

44

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

500+

60

32

57

43

Cooley Godward Kronish

500+

56

33

58

42

Venable

357

71

34

59

41

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

283

66

31

65

35

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

500+

62

34

55

45

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

470

58

28

59

41

Goodwin Procter

500+

62

31

50

50

Duane Morris

500+

60

37

60

40

Holland & Knight

500+

69

35

57

43

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

224

64

33

53

47

Mayer Brown

500+

64

32

58

42

Bryan Cave

500+

65

33

58

42

Jones Day

500+

62

32

54

46

Hunton & Williams

500+

50

33

53

47

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal

500+

57

34

57

43

Drinker Biddle & Reath

468

62

33

53

47

McDermott Will & Emery

500+

57

33

60

40

Sullivan & Cromwell

500+

53

29

55

45

Davis Polk & Wardwell

457

56

28

52

48

Baker Botts

500+

59

31

60

40

Baker & Hostetler

323

61

34

57

43

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

500+

62

30

54

46

Kirkland & Ellis

500+

56

30

58

42

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis (K&L Gates)

500+

61

34

57

43

Seyfarth Shaw

500+

60

35

50

50

Steptoe & Johnson

373

52

33

57

43

From these results I was able to calulate the following:

% 500+ Members

68%

Avg. % Atty Titles

59%

Median Age

32

Avg. % Male

56%

Avg. % Female

44%

Avg. "Group" Members

78

No Surprises.... Well, Maybe One

Of course, there are a lot of things that pop out of these results that are interesting, but not all that unexpected. Things like the average age being in the early 30's isn't surprising, or that a majority of those profiled are male (just look around your firm.)

The one thing that did surprise me, was the large percentage of those profiled that had "Attorney" titles. I would have thought that there would be more "administrative" profiles (IT, Library, KM, Marketing, Competitive Intelligence, etc.) So, it would seem from this initial overview, that there are a lot of attorneys that are actually creating LinkedIn accounts. Granted, this doesn't say whether or not they actually used the LinkedIn account after they created it, but nonetheless, it does show that there is an interest in using this sort of Online Social Network.

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4 comments:

Toby Brown said...

"Median age = 32" is also a telling sign. New associates are deep into social networking - Partners are not. This brings to mind my bastardized Napoleon quote, "Old ideas don't die. You just kill the people who have them." ;-)

Greg Lambert said...

Nice Quote Toby... you should have your own demotivational calendar!

I have a feeling that this is a trend that the "old people" just won't be able to kill off. I wasn't surprised that the median age was 32, since it is a "new idea", but I was surprised at the number of attorneys and other employees that were using LinkedIn. And, it is apparent that they are doing a lot of things outside the confines of the Marketing Departments.

Julie Colgan said...

My firm's Marketing Dept is the group leading the charge re: LinkedIn. Prior to their push, the majority of profiles were admin, with a few attorneys. Many more attorneys on there now however.

Re: usage, I rarely see anyone from my firm "use" LinkedIn (besides myself - and even at that I'd say I'm a marginal user at best).

I think if our Marketing folks could come up with guidance on "how to USE LinkedIn" rather than just "how to JOIN LinkedIn" that would go a long way to squeezing measurable value out of it. Until then, I fear it will be no more than another MH-ish profile page.

Allison said...

Any chance you've updated your research since your original post?
Thanks!

 

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