Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LinkedIn: Network by Joining Paralegal Groups

I’ve noticed that some of you have “dipped your toe in the pool”, so to speak, and started a LinkedIn profile, but that many of you haven’t taken advantage of one of LinkedIn’s most powerful networking tools: Groups.

By joining a LinkedIn Group of like-minded professionals, you can increase your networking opportunities, follow the group’s discussions, and even start discussions yourself – a great way to pose questions or seek opportunities.

How do you find LinkedIn Groups which you might like to join? Simply use the search feature, except instead of “People”, click on “Groups”. Start with a simple query like “paralegal” or “legal assistant”, and then if you’re looking for more specialized groups, search applicable terms, such as “virtual assistants” or “e-discovery”. You can even search for Groups which focus on your specialty areas of interest, such as “intellectual property” or “bankruptcy”.

Here are some suggested national paralegal LinkedIn Groups to consider joining, but don’t forget to investigate your state and local professional associations as well.

Legal Innovation
Legal IT Professionals
Legal Marketing
Litigation Support Professional Networking
Nals…the association for legal professionals
National Federation of Paralegal Associations
Paralegal Network
Paralegal Services

If you want to recommend a national LinkedIn Group for paralegals, please feel to comment.

Also, starting a LinkedIn Group is an excellent job search project for school paralegal programs, and a great way to make sure that all students are creating LinkedIn profiles and building their initial contacts by connecting with one another on LinkedIn. Student associations or groups could even have a meeting (with everyone contributing edible treats) where they review and critique each other's LinkedIn profiles.

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