With the advent of social media in the realm of the legal profession, it is becoming increasingly convenient for attorneys to expand their network without ever leaving their desktop. The ability to connect with industry professionals from across the country, even across the globe, is just a ‘follow’ or ‘friend request’ away. While the opportunities for these online connections abound, one has to wonder when you take the next step and move the conversation from online to offline. In a Facebook-to-Facebook world, where do actual face-to-face connections come into play? The answer, ironically enough, comes in the form of yet another online social networking site: Meetup.com.
With 7.2 million members and roughly 6 million monthly visitors, the aptly titled networking site places emphasis on organizing and mobilizing local community groups to come together for regularly scheduled events. Boasting 250,000 monthly meetups and a mission statement as gregarious as their members (“Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference”), this platform offers attorneys the perfect venue for parlaying initial online interaction with like-minded peers into real-world connections. If you’re looking to put the ‘social’ back in social media, check out our roundup below of Meetup groups aimed at attorneys and legal professionals. If you find yourself joining one of these groups, or perhaps even decide to start your own, let us know your experience! And if you’d rather test the waters before jumping in, you are welcome to attend our own upcoming Sociable Lawyer Meetup and see what the fuss is about, first-hand.
About: “Everyone who would like to meet attorneys for consultation or future business is welcome! Who should join? Attorneys, court reporters, paralegals, and everyone else who works in legal industry. Who should attend? Everyone who has a legal matter on his or her mind. Everyone who is starting a business. Everyone who is considering real estate purchase. Everyone who has something to copyright or patent.”
Members: 327 ‘Legal Professionals’
What Members Are Saying: “This is one of a very few meetups in NYC dedicated to legal industry. There is something for everyone in our field: people in supporting services get to network with each other and attorneys; attorneys get to network with each other and meet lay people who are looking for attorneys. To me, it is a win/ win situation Everyone in legal field is welcome: paralegals, legal secretaries, court reporters, etc.!” – Ella Arolovich
About: “This is a group for stay-at-home mom and part-time working mom attorneys who would like to sharpen their legal skills while serving the public good by doing pro bono work. If you feel like you need a life apart from crying babies and you are beginning to feel like your mind is turning to mush, then this is the group for you! We hope that through this group you will find a community of like-minded women and hopefully have a built-in network of “free” babysitters for when you have to prepare pro bono legal documents or go to court (i.e. we would help watch eachother’s [sic] children). The type of work we do is open to discussion– we may do a group or individual project in one or several areas of the law depending on what the group would like to do!”
Members: 52 ‘Pro Bono Attorney Moms’
What Members Are Saying: “I am excited about this group. I am hoping that it will eventually become a place where moms can get some continuing education in addition to various volunteer opportunities.” – Kira Elert
About: “The objective of The Gutsy Lawyer Meetup Group is to provide an informal forum where pioneering lawyers can meet each other, relax, network, and share and seek advice about issues of common interest. Members are encouraged to suggest topics they might like to address at subsequent meetups and/or to arrange a brief presentation on popular topics.”
Members: 53 ‘Gutsy Lawyers’
What Members Are Saying: “Love the concept and the vision of the group. It’s the only one of its kind on Meetup and that alone has “Gutsy” written all over it.” – Meetup Group Member
About: “Legal Networking Group (LNG) is created to bring together people who are currently working as attorneys, legal assistants, law clerks, legal support stuff, paralegals, freelance paralegals, law students, paralegal students, or thinking to enter the legal field to share their knowledge, resources, and experiences, to help each other generate better results for their businesses, improve professionalism, gain recognition in the legal profession, network and socialize! We hope that this group of professionals will be probing, helping and educating each other, asking questions and making suggestions, working together to solve issues and grow. Let’s get together and have fun!”
Members: 13 Group Members
What Members Are Saying: “I enjoyed meeting several of the members, and I look forward meeting more at the upcoming events. I know that this group has many resources to offer its members, and I am very glad that I joined.” – Rudy Luevano
About: “Welcome to the Sociable Lawyer Meetup Group – the premiere meetup group for solo and small firm lawyers who are passionate about incorporating the latest social media strategies into their practice. ‘Sociable Lawyers’ are interested in using social media to expand their network, connecting and collaborating with other lawyers, engaging in online conversations and attending meetup events with other Sociable Lawyers. Our meetup group is unique in that we offer multiple platforms for interaction with other like minded lawyers.”
Members: 72 ‘Sociable Lawyers’
What Members Are Saying: “We had a great time, meeting up with attorneys from CT, NJ, NYC & learning about the RocketLawyer [sic] solutions to deliver clients to us. ” – Jill
Did you like this post? Please share it with other sociable lawyers like you.
Also, we are always looking for readers to contribute interesting posts to our blog. Guest blog entries can cover any range of topics relevant to new media and legal technology. If you would like to submit a blog post for The Sociable Lawyer Blog, please contact us and let us know.