Top tips courtesy of social media savvy solicitor Yasmin Khan-Gunns
I started my legal Instagram account in January 2020, but I wish I had started it sooner.
Instagram provides aspiring lawyers with endless opportunities to network, keep up to date with the law and find out about legal jobs, vacation schemes and training contract opportunities. Not only can you follow the law firms that you are interested in, but you can also directly engage with them by commenting on their posts, stories or through DMs.
There are numerous pages on Instagram dedicated to providing you with career information and support, including recruitment and CV writing pages to help you find a legal job and pages that provide you with bitesize insights into each and every area of law, from planning and education law to maritime and tax law.
You will come across a number of accounts on Instagram run by trainee solicitors and lawyers; their pages contain the answers to frequently asked career questions, including ‘how to draft a personal statement’, ‘what is commercial awareness’, ‘how to prepare for training contract assessment days’ and ‘common interview questions’.
In addition to all of the above, Instagram gives you access to a whole new community, from legal professionals from around the world to universities and charities. You should follow other aspiring lawyers and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for support and collaboration; you could even participate in group Instagram ‘lives’, create legal reels and record IGTV content.
Finally, running an active legal Instagram account will equip you with a number of skills that will further your legal career, including drafting, content creation, social media, business development, marketing and communication skills.
So, for all of the above reasons, I would highly recommend that you make a legal Instagram account. If you decide to, keep the following tips in mind:
Pick your username carefully, and include your full name within it. You never know how long you will have this account and so keep the future in mind. Think about the key words people will use to find someone with your expertise.
The content on your page should be professional, but not boring. Social media is all about creating an online personality. Yes, you can post selfies, pictures of your dog, use colour and emojis and take pictures of your morning coffees. That said, and presuming that your account is open to the public, you need to think about how a future employer might view your posts, stories, captions and comments. Remember not to post anything sensitive or confidential.
3. CV booster
Don’t be afraid to put your username or QR code on your CV.
4. Follow firms
Follow the law firms that you are interested in working for. Engage with their content. You will learn a lot about the firm, the work that they do and their employees, which will help you in an interview. Many City law firms also have dedicated career pages.
Follow relevant hashtags, such as #commercialawareness #lawfirm #lawstudent #llblaw and #aspiringlawyer. Follow the areas of law that you are interested in too, such as #familylaw #commerciallaw #criminallaw, #corporatelaw and so forth.
Connect with other aspiring lawyers. Network. Build connections. Consider participating in Instagram lives or collaborations. You will soon start to feel part of a community.
7. Follow lawyers
Follow Instagram lawyers to get an insight into what we do. If you are interested in family law, follow me. I can also recommend the following accounts: @wp.employment, @inhousepotter, @theinjurysolicitor, @citycriminallawyer and @whatthelawyer. There are lots of us on Instagram.
8. Slide into the DMs!
DM the lawyers that you follow. Whether you need career guidance, clarity on the law, an insight into a law firm that you would like to work for, a mentor or work experience, there is no harm in asking. After all, people use Instagram to develop their networks, share insight and engage with each other.
9. Enjoy it
Have fun with it. Share your highs and lows. Share your successes and failures. Make friends and professional relationships. If you support others through their legal journey, they will support you.
If you engage with your followers and those who follow you, you will notice that doors will start opening and opportunities will present themselves.
Yasmin Khan-Gunns is a family law associate at BLM. You can follow her on Instagram at @londonfamilysolicitor.