Myth: Everyone in the professional world has a LinkedIn profile.
Fact: 37 percent of AmLaw 100 Managing Partners do not have a profile on LinkedIn.
We didn’t expect universal participation, but we were surprised to see that some of the most successful individuals in the legal field are no shows when it comes to LinkedIn. While Twitter and other social media channels are still considered the Badlands to large swaths of Big Law practitioners, having a LinkedIn profile is practically standard, and often strongly encouraged by large firms.
Several months ago we came up with 10 Easy Tips to Help Lawyers Improve their LinkedIn Profile. This may sound presumptuous, but we’d say that many, if not most of these Managing Partners should take a moment to review our advice. While we applaud the partners who took the time to create a profile (or had someone do it for them) we have to say that almost none of their profiles were even close to AllStar status.
Of the Managing Partners with profiles, 19 do not have a photo on their profile. We cannot stress the importance of visuals enough! A picture helps someone who is looking to connect with you verify that they have the right person, not someone else with the same name. It is worth noting that the Managing Partners who had uploaded photos chose well; their photos were sharp, professional and recent.
About 30 profiles did not have headlines or summaries, which should state job titles and casually provide some description of what the work entails. Many partners also didn’t take advantage of the section for background or work experience. This portion is not for mere resume regurgitation, or a dry list of former titles, but actually showing their career trajectory.
And naturally, a LinkedIn profile is useless if it’s not linked to the profiles of colleagues, friends and classmates. Managing partners obviously know a lot of people in the real world, but on LinkedIn only 19 of the 134 had more than 500 connections. Most AmLaw 100 firms by themselves have more than 500 lawyers! That’s not to mention contacts in other fields, law school buddies, college friends and even colleagues at other firms.
Most Managing Partners are also missing another huge opportunity: they don’t post articles on their profiles. Only one MP ever has: Andrew Humphrey of Faegre Baker Daniels authored and posted an article on LinkedIn Pulse titled “The Case for the Private Practice of Law,” on Aug. 18, 2014. To date, it’s been viewed 485 times. Writing and commenting on articles via LinkedIn helps establish authority and build reputations. Successful posts are absorbed into LinkedIn pulse, where they are viewable by a broader audience of people far removed from your field.
We get that most of these managing partners got where they are today without social media, but today is a very different place and they should migrate to the places their colleagues, clients and prospects live. A Managing Partner’s profile ought to represent the firm favorably and completing the different fields is an easy way to show the ability to get stuff done.