Advice

How aspiring lawyers can make the most of Instagram

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Top tips courtesy of social media savvy solicitor Yasmin Khan-Gunns

Image via Unsplash

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.

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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:

1. Username

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.

2. Content

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.

5. Hashtags

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.

6. Networking

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.

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18 Comments

Anonymous

I think we’ve got enough @[name]_law Instagram accounts for now

(73)(1)

Anon

Who honestly has the time or the inclination to glamorise their practice with rose tinted glasses. There are plenty of ways to network and an established framework for entry into the profession without trying to be insta famous.

(47)(2)

Just Anonymous

By all means, mine Instagram for all the information you can find. Nothing wrong with that.

However, I would caution students against trying to develop a ‘legal Instagram’ account for public consumption. Put simply, I think it would probably be terrible for your mental health, and I doubt it would assist you in getting a Training Contract/Pupillage one iota.

Yes, it may feel wonderful – for a time – to have thousands of Instagram followers and to have legions of people commenting on every single post you make, saying ‘Wow, you’re so brave; you’re so amazing, etc etc.’ However, I do not think that receiving that sort of attention constantly is healthy for anyone.

(44)(1)

@imalegalinstagrammer

My legal insta account has brought me SO much value. The networking opportunities have been endless. It’s opened so many new and unique doors for me. I encourage, only if it’s done right and with the correct intentions.

(9)(20)

Anon

People are downvoting you but they are failing to see the satire.

(15)(1)

We see what you’re doing and it’s futile.

Having a legal Instagram will not assist you in getting a TC.

Unless you get luck and become a legal influencer who has 100k + followers, graduate recruitment is not going to be bothered about posts showing your revision tips and new office space in your bedroom that gets 20 likes.

There’s already too many “legally_[name]”, “[name]_does_law”, “[name]_legal_journey”.

Spend the time and effort building your CV through work experience, volunteering and building engagement with firms directly.

(40)(0)

Just do your job

I think Eve Cornwell has taught us all we need to know: instagram/YouTube are time consuming endeavours which do not blend well with being a trainee/NQ solicitor.

Are you really teaching anyone anything online? No. I think some of the meme accounts are funny precisely because they poke fun at solicitors.

Trying to give “earnest advice” doesn’t seem to have the same payoff if you immediately leave private practice for a product development job *in* a law firm. Then again, maybe not.

(35)(0)

Adam and

And look where that got her…

(11)(1)

J

The most recent twitter post sums it all up tbh

(10)(1)

Kirkland NQ

I’d prefer to keep the great unwashed at arms length. And also, when you live in a Chelsea Townhouse, have a model girlfriend, a legion of staff ready to satisfy your every whim and wish, and a new Lambo in the garage, what validation could Instagram possibly offer?

(9)(11)

no. no. no. (repeat x4)

No one cares about social media. It will not help you secure a job but it will make you loathed by your future colleagues if you secure one and then maintain your presence on it. Please do not listen to this individual.

Few firms still ask for CVs, but I’m crying at the thought of a Slaughters or Cleary partner flicking through the CV and noticing the insta handle at the top.

(35)(0)

MC Interview Panel

Please god no.

(19)(0)

Hackaforte

Instagram lawyers should expect to be paid in exposure…

(1)(1)

Dear god no

Dear aspiring lawyers, don‘t do this. I am the head of graduate recruitment at a top City firm. I have instructed my team to immediately blacklist applicants that admit to running lawfluencer accounts. I am not the only one.

Please have some respect for yourself.

(27)(0)

Influencer w/ 150k followers u mirin ?

Thx fresher, back to your revision now yea? The jealousy looks bad on you.

(1)(9)

The QC’s Only Fans Account

Don’t listen to what people say – look at what they do.

Do any adult children of judges, barristers or solicitors have ‘social savvy’, attention-seeking legal Instagram accounts?

Or are they too busy making money/getting on with their legal careers to care…?

(16)(0)

Anonymous

I hate Instagram, but I am trapped in an endless, meaningless, dopamine seeking cycle. Please do not encourage me. Working from home is difficult enough.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

K

(0)(0)

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