Sunday, December 21, 2008

Networking Websites

A number of social networking sites hope they have lawyer appeal, including:

CasemakerX—A free social networking and research tool that allows law students to search primary federal and state law.

Facebook—The Hot Spot, it claims 90 million users. Though it began as a personal social network, its business application has grown.

LawLink—A no-cost lawyer-to-lawyer network with about 4,000 members, including the Santa Clara County (Calif.) Bar Association.

Legal OnRamp—an invitation-only site for some; in-house counsel can join without restriction, but law firm attorneys must be invited. The site stresses collaboration by sharing opinions, research, work product and other information. For such premium services as a “private ramp” accessible only to certain people and the ability to automate legal processes, members pay from $30,000-$100,000 per year.

LinkedIn—Boasted 25 million members as of July and claims 1 million new members join every month. For upgraded services, such as the ability to contact other members through the site, fees begin at $19.95 per month.

Martindale-Hubbell Connected—To launch in early 2009. Members will be able to determine whether the lawyers they’re researching are connected through their personal LinkedIn relationships. Membership will be free for attorneys who advertise in Martindale-Hubbell.

Merrill Lextranet 5.6—Merrill adds social networking. Membership is free to corporations using its case management programs. (Info only—must buy software and services to access )

MySpace—The Granddaddy, with more than 100 million members. Though some professionals use MySpace for business connections, many consider it youth-dominated and more of a personal site.