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Eleven reasons why in-house lawyers value online legal professional networks

A survey conducted a year ago on behalf of LexisNexis, hosts of Connected, gathered responses from more than 449 in-house attorneys (See my post of Oct. 12, 2008: background details on the poll; and June 9, 2009: some questions about data on social networks used by corporate counsel.). One question asked “What are the top advantages of participating in an online legal professional network?” Here are the choices on the survey and the percentages of those who selected them.

  1. Access to info I couldn’t get elsewhere (46%)
  2. Easier exchange of information/experiences (45)
  3. More quickly identify, evaluate and select counsel (29)
  4. Facilitates finding the ‘right’ attorney directly (26)
  5. Accelerate the speed of collaboration (21)
  6. Creates a formal and exclusive forum (19)
  7. Ability to increase my visibility among peers (18)
  8. Lower costs of traditional networking (18)
  9. Increase speed of selection/decision-making (16)
  10. Improves the reliability of information (13)
  11. Ability to link to other attorneys and expand my (13)

The answers sharply divide between the benefits of information exchange (the first two choices are double the frequency of the third, and the category includes 10) and the benefits of finding external counsel to retain (choices 3, 4, and 9). The publisher of the leading directory of law firms would want to know about that second function. Three choices circle around knowledge collaboration (choices 5, 8, and 11). The one-off advantages are reputational enhancement (choice 7) and gated community (choice 6) (See my post of Sept. 22, 2008: social networks such as LinkedIn, with 7 references.).

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