New on LLRX.com is an article by Debbie Ginsberg and Meg Kribble called Social Networks for Law Librarians and Law Libraries, or How We Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Friending. Great title, and a great article to go with it!
I enjoyed their discussion of how law librarians are using social networks to connect with communities and each other. My personal interest is how law firms are using social networks, so I found this little tidbit interesting:
Lawyers are also active in social networks. MySpace includes several profiles of law firms promoting their services. Many law firms, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Baker & McKenzie, have formed Facebook networks which feature hundreds of members. Such networks could be used not only for members of the law firm itself, but also to keep law firm alumni informed about firm activities and to maintain connections with former attorneys.
I had a look, and found a number of Facebook sites for Skadden Arps (you will need a Facebook account to view these pages I believe):
- Skadden Alumni
- Skadden, LA – Summer Associates
- Skadden DC – Summer
- Skadden Summer Students 07
- Skadden Trainees 2008
I find it interesting that some of these groups are open for anyone to join. Not sure why. They only have a few members each and are not very active, but that probably describes a good number of groups on Facebook.
A similar search for Baker & McKenzie Facebook groups:
- Baker and Ex-bakers
- Baker & McKenzie Trainees 08-09
- ex Baker & McKenzie
- Baker and McKenzie vac scheme
- Baker & McKenzie Future Trainees – Sept 07
- Baker & McKenzie Summer Interns July 2007
- Baker & McKenzie Summer Clerks 06/07
- Baker & McKenzie Intake 2
- Baker & McKenzie APSAM 2007
- Baker & McKenzie 2007 Summers, Unite!
- Baker & McKenzie Summer Intern August 2007
Except for the last couple, the groups seem to have or had a larger number of members and a fair bit of activity. Membership for most groups is appropriately closed. Some seem to have sprung up organically from the interns or summer associates involved.
In both cases I think the firms’ thinking is correct, that if the law students are on Facebook, that is the place to get them connecting one with another before and during their summers. If they have a large turn-over of associates who do not stay, then keeping them connected with an alumni site on Facebook is a good idea. But, keeping a group active on Facebook is no easy task. One has to send out periodic messages, and create real-world events, to keep them engaged and coming back. Easier said than done. Especially if these same people end up in an office together and get used to the law firm email culture.
I am sure there are other law firm groups springing up, if not by design then organically by firm members starting up groups. Any others I should know about?
Also posted over at my personal blog conniecrosby.blogspot.com.