Linkedin has become the go-to directory for services– and can help your legal practice in two major ways:

At the very least, a LinkedIn profile has become the modern equivalent of your online resume. This platform allows potential clients, current clients, and colleagues to easily validate your credentials and areas of practice.

New Business
When used correctly, LinkedIn can also be leveraged as a tool to identify and connect with new clients that you otherwise would not have been able to reach in-person.

It’s free, it’s growing, and your next client is already searching for you on it.  Even if you don’t think you have enough time to use LinkedIn to it’s full potential (such as through joining groups and sharing updates), step 1 begins with building a profile- and here are 5 simple steps to do just that:

1. Use a Photo
Prove you’re a real human.  Upload a photo of yourself- whether it’s your company mug shot or a higher quality personal photo.  Avoid vacation images or any photo that includes another person in the frame.

2. Customize Your URL
Make your URL more accessible and personal. When you first sign up, change your default LinkedIn URL to a customized address that includes your name: “”.  This will make your profile more searchable, personal, and easier to include on a business card or resume.

3. Personalize Your Headline
Communicate your value, not your job title.  Your LinkedIn headline is the description directly below your name on your profile page.  Many lawyer headlines are simply set as their job title, something like: “Partner at ABC Law Firm”.  Instead, revise your headline to communicate specifically what your area of law is and what industry or niche you bring value to, such as: “IP and Licensing Attorney Specialized in Growing Manufacturing and Technology Start-ups.” Your potential clients are going to be more interested in seeing your specific value front and center, rather than “Partner at ABC Law Firm”.

4. Include Your Contact Info
Invite others to start a conversation.  Include your preferred method of contact such as your business email or business phone in your profile section.

5. Don’t Copy and Paste Your Attorney Bio
Be concise.  Include a thoughtful summary of your skills, current position, experience, and overall value- a high level description of your differentiated services.

Gone are the days where ½ page ads in the Yellow Pages lead to new legal clients.  Online networking with LinkedIn is steadily becoming a necessary way to expand your network and client base.