LinkedIn is a great tool for law students. Keep reading for some top tips!
Have a solid profile
It’s essential that you have a good profile on LinkedIn before messaging graduate recruiters or lawyers on the platform. A ‘solid’ profile is clearly subjective, but generally I’m referring to a professional profile picture, a short but clear bio, some evidence that you have commercial interests and a list of your academic achievements. If you have had LinkedIn for a while, think about making a post or writing an article which could add value to your connections. An example of adding value might be giving your connections a list of useful legal tech websites or sharing a piece you that found interesting in the Financial Times.
Develop a network
Follow law firms of interest and add lawyers that you have spoken to at law fairs or career dinners. Although these connections may seem unimportant right now, at university it will help in applications to say that you’ve learnt about firms through personal interaction rather than firm websites. Developing a network on LinkedIn only works if you stay in contact with connections over time. Don’t add someone and then never reach out to them again – feel free to comment on their content and ask sensible questions. It’s worth noting that you should aim to add people who you’ve met before, otherwise this could seem strange!
The private messaging part of LinkedIn is the greatest way to gain value from the platform. You could ask trainees about their seats, partners about where they see areas of potential growth in the legal sector and graduate recruiters about personal questions surrounding your application. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. However, there’s a fine balance between being ineffective on LinkedIn and asking too much that it gets annoying. Ask a question or two and sense the level of responsiveness that you’re receiving. If someone’s answers are lacking detail, it could mean that they are busy and there may be a better place for you to ask your questions, such as open days or law fairs.