When you go to functions as a law student and meet lawyers, is it appropriate for you to then follow them up or connect with them?
I say yes, but you’ve got to do it right.
Transcript – Lawyers on LinkedIn – Connecting with Law Students
Hey there guys, it’s Chris Hargreaves from tipsforlawyers.com with another episode of Non-Billable. Where in three minutes or so I have a bit of a rant, I answer a question or I give you some advice that’s going to help you out in your legal career.
Today I wanted to answer a question and it was about LinkedIn and in particular about LinkedIn and law students. The question was this, “How do I as a law student go about making connections and developing relationships with lawyers on LinkedIn and is that appropriate?” The answer is a resounding yes. If you haven’t set up your LinkedIn profile then you should go to my video on LinkedIn. It’s also on the Non-Billable series though if you’re watching on YouTube there’ll be a link to it. If you’re not there’ll be a link to it somewhere in the Non-Billable series.
However, in terms of getting connected with lawyers it is absolutely appropriate, but the best way to do is no different to how you’re going to connect with anyone else. Don’t just collect a raft of business cards from people you barely know and send them all LinkedIn invites. That’s going to have effects: people aren’t going to know who you are and so they might ignore you, and if that happens enough LinkedIn actually puts you on the banned list. You won’t be able to send out invites for a while.
What should you do? You should get connected with them in person if that’s what you’re doing; going to networking events. You should see what groups they’re in. You can see what they post, you can see if they comment on things, and you can engage with them a little. Then once you’ve engaged with them a little, and I’m not saying it has to be a huge amount, but it should be something so that they recognize who you are. Send them a LinkedIn invite.
The next step is critical, send a personalized LinkedIn invite. You should be doing that all the time except for people who are a no-brainer. If you’re sending a LinkedIn invite to your mum or your brother then that’s fine. Don’t personalize that if you don’t feel like it. If you’re reaching out to people you don’t know really well, personalize the invite.
It’s incredibly easy. You just click the down arrow on LinkedIn and then you can personalize the invite rather than sending that generic invite saying, “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Much better to personalize it. Remind them how they know you, explain why you want to connect and that’s the way to do it.
What do you do with the connections? Well that’s something for another time, but that’s how you connect. It is appropriate. Go for it, connect with me if you want. Head over to LinkedIn, type in the search I’ll come up somewhere there. Chris Hargreaves, lawyer I’m sure I’ll pop up. Send me an invite. Tell me you listened to this and that you’d like to connect.