How to master LinkedIn as an aspiring lawyer

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By Christianah Omobosola Babajide on

Building a personal brand? Christianah Babajide tells us how to utilise social media for this purpose

In today’s digital era, social media has become more than a platform for memes and cat videos; it has evolved into a powerful tool for young legal professionals to shape their careers. For aspiring lawyers, LinkedIn stands out as a pivotal platform offering vast opportunities for networking, personal branding, and career advancement. 

Let’s delve into how future lawyers can harness LinkedIn effectively while navigating its nuances.

Building a brand with purpose

LinkedIn serves as a canvas for showcasing your professional identity. You have the opportunity to create a profile that reflects your values, expertise, and aspirations.

Your profile allows you to summarise:

  • who you are;
  • which areas of law you’re interested in; and
  • what you’ve done in your legal journey thus far; so don’t be shy.

Upload a professional headshot, write an eye-catching summary, list your previous work experience as you would on a CV, and add your education including professional certificates like the LexisNexis and WestLaw research credentials.

Consider sharing articles, participating in discussions, or even starting a blog to establish yourself as a thought leader in your desired niche.

Strategic networking

Patience is paramount when working your way to that standard 500 connections on LinkedIn.

Here’s how to network online like a pro:

  • Reach out to individuals you admire or who can tell you about the culture of your desired firm. This could be an associate or a member of the graduate recruitment at the firm you’d like to work at.
  • Personalise connection requests with a genuine message, highlighting what you would like to know and the reasons why you’re drawn to working at that specific firm. Remember the golden rule of networking: people always want to help and connect with like-minded individuals, because at some point in their journey, someone has helped them too.
  • Joining relevant LinkedIn groups and engaging in meaningful conversations can also expand your network organically.
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Be selective

LinkedIn can sometimes feel overwhelming, with a constant stream of updates and pressure to curate the perfect profile and constantly share good news. There’s nothing worse than being rejected for a TC, going on LinkedIn and seeing a post from someone who has bagged themselves two magic-circle offers. Don’t let this knock your confidence; be selective and mindful about the content you consume online. You can manage LinkedIn by limiting how long you spend on the app or changing your mindset when browsing from “I’m a failure” to “I haven’t achieved this yet.”

Demonstrating expertise through content

Share your insights and expertise through thoughtfully curated content. Whether it’s commenting on industry trends, sharing case updates, or offering practical advice, consistent and informative contributions can elevate your profile and position you as a subject matter expert. Leverage LinkedIn’s publishing platform to showcase your writing skills and legal knowledge.

And finally…

Mastering LinkedIn is not just about accumulating connections; it’s about cultivating meaningful relationships, showcasing your expertise, and positioning yourself for success in the legal profession.

Christianah Babajide is a visiting lecturer at The City Law School, passionate about empowering law students to excel in their careers by mastering online networking skills. She can be found on LinkedIn and her Instagram handle is @christianahb_.

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