How are in-house counsel employing social media? By listening—according to Bev Cline, in a recent article in Lexpert. “Generally, in-house counsel view social media as a tool for obtaining information, a useful conduit for updating knowledge in their sector and profession,” she says, quoting a recent survey that found that 74 percent of in-house counsel who responded used social media for observation only.
LinkedIn seems to be the platform where in-housers are whetting their social media appetites. Cline reports that over 3,000 LinkedIn members have “in-house counsel” in their career title and 33,000 have “general counsel.” Comparatively, there are 470,000 LinkedIn members with the word “lawyer” as career title.
Legal consultant Jordan Furlong told Cline that besides the obvious benefit of growing your professional network, the site’s industry and professional groups can “act as a proxy for sitting in on roundtable discussions.” Other in-house counsel interviewed by Cline noted that they use LinkedIn as a cross-reference when being referred a lawyer or other professional in person.
Additionally, Susan Hackett, CEO of Legal Executive Leadership, notes that companies’ counsel are working alongside executives “whose job it is to make decisions based on what’s trending on Twitter or what big data is suggesting is the movement of the marketplace,” which is bound to “rub off on the in-house lawyer and her willingness to use this important business tool.”