The internet is amazing. The same thing that ten years ago brought us an obnoxious site of dancing hamster .gifs now places everything, from free academic lectures to dioramas made of Peeps, in immediate access to anyone who can find a computer. What could be freer than that?
But the free range information consumption that is the internet is a double-edged sword. For anyone looking to enter a tight and competitive employment market, especially one that requires the applicant to project maturity and professionalism, the Internet is as much jolly good fun as it is Big Brother. Employers actively data-mine social networking sites and anywhere else on the internet in search of anything that might mark you off their short-list of interviewees. The internet doesn’t remember your grades or contributions to your community. It does remember that time you got drunk and had someone stick a gun to your head, though. Or that time you somehow ended up putting on make-up and dressing as Tinkerbell. And the Internet doesn’t care if you’re law student or a judge — if the dirt is out there, it’s out there for life.
And that’s really only a sliver of how social networking is changing the search for legal employment, the attorney-client relationship, and the entirety of the professional legal environment.
Fortunately, The LinkedInLawyer is following all these trends.
See also, Social Media Law Student.