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How to make the most of LinkedIn as a law student

updated on 12 September 2023

Reading time: five minutes

LinkedIn might sometimes seem like Instagram’s boring older sibling, but as most professionals and employers have accounts on the platform, it’s a great place for you to engage with other users and follow the latest legal developments. It’s also a gateway of information, opportunities and online networking.

From those of you who haven’t updated your profile since secondary school, to those who are active on the site every day, here are my tips on how you can get the most out of LinkedIn.

1. Update your profile and keep it updated

The first step to being active on LinkedIn is to make sure that your profile is up to date and reflects you as best it can. It’s the first glimpse of you that other users (including recruiters) will have, so it’s important that it demonstrates who you are and what you do well.

In the ‘current position’ and ‘headline’ sections it’s fine to put ‘aspiring solicitor’ or ‘third-year law student’ (or something similar) to denote your position and career aspirations, if you don’t already have a law-related job.

Add your current or previous universities under ‘education’, and make sure that you have a professional-looking profile picture. Please note: a drunken photo of you on a night out doesn’t constitute a professional profile picture! LinkedIn also offers the chance for users to add a cover photo to further represent your personal brand. If you don’t have any suitable photos of yourself for this, a good option is to use a stock image or create your own on the free image editing site CanvaHere’s a useful article with some good ideas for LinkedIn cover photos.

The ‘summary’ section of your profile is an excellent place to explain:

  • who you are;
  • what you do;
  • what skills you have; and
  • why you want to become a lawyer.

It doesn’t need to be a personal statement or essay, but a few key points about yourself and your interests. Most users will only see the first three lines or so of your summary when they visit your profile, but LinkedIn Recruiter will show the entire summary by default. Take a look at this article for more information about what to put in your summary.

2. Follow firms and companies

Once your profile is up to scratch, the next step is to find some firms and companies to follow. Follow law firms and chambers that you’re considering applying to for regular updates on their work and their latest news.

There might not be much content relating to graduate recruitment, but there’ll be plenty of information on deals they’re working on, awards they’ve been nominated for and what they want you to know. This all helps build a broader picture of what the firm does and could provide topics for conversation at networking events or even at an interview. We always say that adding future employers and law-related content to your feed means that you’ll be able to organically consume the information in your daily scroll. You never know – something you see on LinkedIn could one day be a talking point at a networking event or interview.

LinkedIn will also recommend similar companies for you to follow in case you’re interested in finding out about some new firms.

For those seeking an immediate vacancy such as a paralegal or legal assistant role, you can also see job listings on company profiles and keep an eye out for opportunities posted by employers.

3. Make useful connections and engage with them

If you’re anything like me, you might have started off with plenty of LinkedIn connections from secondary school and previous part-time jobs. Although it’s great to keep up with what they’re all doing on LinkedIn, it’s imperative that you use the site to build a network of useful and relevant contacts: people you’ve met or worked with in a legal capacity, and even graduate recruiters at law firms.

You can start by adding your course mates and fellow university students but, in reality, there are many places where you’ll meet new, interesting people that you can later connect with on LinkedIn. Why not take note of the names of people you speak to at law fairs or company presentations? Or connect with people you’ve encountered during work experience or vacation scheme placements, for example.

It’s worth pointing out that not everybody is on LinkedIn, or keen to connect with people they don’t know well, but you can always add a personalised invitation – for example, you might say: ‘Hi X, it was great to meet you at x event, and I’d like to stay in touch’. The worst outcome is that they just ignore your connection invite!

Graduate recruiters are often inundated with connection requests on LinkedIn and they’ll all have different approaches to the platform, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t hear anything back from them, but it’s certainly worth a try. The good thing is that now, more than ever, the power of social networking is understood – so it’s likely people in the legal profession will be open to connecting.

4. Post interesting and thought-provoking content

I’m connected with many students on LinkedIn and I really enjoy seeing them sharing interesting articles, inviting discussion on relevant topics and even sharing their experiences at law firm open days, events and vacation schemes. Tag the firms in your posts and recruiters and people from the firm will be sure to remember your name.

If you write for a student newspaper or if you have a blog, these are great things to post about on LinkedIn, even if they don’t necessarily relate to your chosen career. If you’re really keen to share your thoughts with the world, you can write and publish articles within LinkedIn itself with LinkedIn’s native publishing tool.

5. Join relevant and interesting groups

LinkedIn groups are a fantastic way to be part of an online community and interact with people who have similar interests to you.

There are sure to be groups on LinkedIn that match your career aspirations and give you the chance to chat to other aspiring lawyers. And if you can’t find one that suits you – then create one! You could use it to share your experiences and ideas, and to start discussions on the subjects you want to talk about.

If you’d like to learn more about networking (both in person and online), take a look at our guide to networking Feature. And don’t forget to follow LawCareers.Net on LinkedIn for the latest legal jobs, advice and opportunities to get into law.

Bethany Wren (she/her) is head of content & events at LawCareers.Net.