Law Firms Recruiting Through Social Media?

It’s a law student’s dream – or maybe a nightmare. Law firm recruiters scouring social media networks to find an appropriate candidate for their firm.

The current recruitment process does little to reveal the personality, collegiality, drive and habits of applicants. It does nothing to demonstrate their business connections, an important quality for “finders,” or political involvement, for firms that engage in lobbying and government relations.

The majority of law students do spend hours on social media platforms, usually behind walled gardens that they think are impermeable, so why wouldn’t law firms go where they are? We’ve already seen Edward Prutschi discuss how his firm used Twitter during articling recruitment, which helped them find Joel Welch.

Earlier today Michael Fitzgibbons of Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP in Toronto pointed to this Globe article, showing an increasing trend by employers to use social media for recruitment. But is this just commentary about management-side employment practices, or could law firms be using it too? What about BLG, the largest law firm in Canada? (Hi Halla!)

The firm does have a Facebook group for employees, and another one for law students and lawyers to connect.

But the telling sign is a tweet from last Friday by the firm,

The Toronto office of BLG is looking for a Financial Services Associate with 3 to 4 years experience http://bit.ly/2RJO9I #law #job #career

Borden Ladner Gervais

It appears as if Bay St. firms are not only using Twitter for recruiting, but they’re using shortened urls and hash tags properly too! Kudos.

For our part, law students are trying to meet the law firms half way.

Enter the brainchild of Steven Pulver – a 1L at UWO – the first-ever Chief Technology Officer for our Student Legal Society. Pulver is working on ObiterTweet, an upcoming platform to help law students and law firms interact.

Or as he says,

Twitter, Meet Law School.

Law firms, meet Twitter at Law School too. Send him an email if you’re interested in participating.

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Comments

  1. You don’t have to be big (Bay Street) to be significant. Bereskin & Parr, an IP boutique, has more than 290 followers and we believe is the only firm to tweet in Canada’s two official languages. We are on 22 lists also. We have been tweeting since May 6th, and tweeting regularly for job openings. One going up today in fact. Here is one from October:

    @bereskinparr
    Toronto Contract Legal Job Openings: Patent Clerk, Legal Assistant, IP System Administrative Assistant & Marketing Coordinator #law
    8:36 AM Oct 21st from HootSuite

    Its a shame there isn’t more of a focus on boutiques or smaller edgier firms by the social media media.

    Of note, we have some great professionals from the firm retweeting our posts, people such as @MegLG with 1100 followers, and @TOpatentlawyer with 1363. These people, not the law firms, are the real story. Any Canadian lawyer with more than 1000 vetted followers is just rocking social media – and we applaud you.

    Very excited about initiatives like Obertweet and congrats and kudos to Steven Pulver!

  2. Andre:

    You are very right. I believe many of the technologies we have today (including social media) are more affordable and easier to use in the past, so that small firms and solo lawyers can leverage them to compete with practices in big law firms. I think we focus on the bigger firms because those are the stories we hear more frequently, and they stand out because the bigger firms have had to overcome their inherently conservative thinking to jump into the new technologies.

    Thank you for sharing your experience at Bereskin & Parr! A great use of Twitter–I will keep an eye out for your tweets.

  3. Andre, I also agree that we need to look at all the firms, not just the big ones.
    But the reason why their adoption is so much more compelling is that they are often the most cautious and last to adopt innovative measures.
    B&P does a great job using Twitter too. To be honest, I only noticed the BLG tweet because I checked out their feed for that content after Michael’s post.
    I also agree that there are some great individual lawyers that are using Twitter effectively. I’m just a little reluctant to make it a number game, especially if us students start jumping into the mix.
    There are a lot more of us using social media (perhaps anonymously) than there are any of you.
    Stay tuned for updates with ObiterTweet in the coming weeks.