After not seeing much value in the Martindale-Hubbell – LinkedIn deal and after waiting (and not alone) to see more value come from social networking, I admit Lexis may be on to something. What many of us have been waiting to see is some definable business value to come from social networking. There is some value in building up your network, but leveraging those connections into a business proposition has much greater value.

owns the InterAction CRM software, having purchased Interface Software. They announced at the ILTA conference that the next release of InterAction (Version 5.6 SP1) will include LinkedIn functionality. Contacts within InterAction can include LinkedIn icons which will pull in the LinkedIn tools, focused on how you and those you know are connected to the contacts. This adds the power of social networks directly into a CRM application.

This new connection between InterAction and LinkedIn equals business value.

Some firms will be challenged by this value. Social Networks are not universally valued by firms, as they can threaten IT and data security. And they challenge the dogmatic hoarding of contacts by many lawyers.

Whatever a firm’s point-of-view, overlooking tools that bring value to your firm and clients is not good business.