In-House Counsel Have Arrived

There is a certain art to knowing when to show up to a party.  Arriving right on time- that could be risky.  You don’t want to be the first one there, or you could seem over anxious.  Getting to the party late, you could miss out on the action and alienate your host.  Fashionably late- now that is what you are going for.  Law firms are having the same dilemma in deciding when to start using social media.  “None of our clients are using social media,” is a common concern voiced to me by lawyers. “I just can’t imagine in-house counsel spending time reading blogs,” is another I hear frequently.  Not too long ago law firms would have been justified in these concerns, but that time is past.  The party has started, in-house counsel have arrived at the social media party and they are looking for dance partners.

How can you know if in-house counsel are using social media?  Just ask them.  Greentarget has done that very thing in a recent survey with ALM Legal Intelligence, and Zeughauser Group.  The findings suggest not only that in-house counsel are using social media, but that blogs matter to them.

27% said blogs published by lawyers are among the “most important” factors in their hiring decision.

43% of in-house counsel turn to blogs as a primary source of news.

50% agree or somewhat agree that in the future, high-profile blogs authored by law firm lawyers will influence the process by which clients hire law firms.

This is a snapshot of where in-house counsel is right now, but much more powerful are the trends revealed by the 30-39 age group. “A lot of these younger counsel could be at very influential businesses in just a few years,” explained John Corey, President of Greentarget.  Or in other words, these are the future GC’s of major corporations and many of them are power users of social media.

Social Media Newtworking47% of this 30-39 age group used LinkedIN in the past 24 hours.

35% used Facebook for PROFESSIONAL reasons in the last 24 hours. (A whooping 68% used Facebook for personal reasons in the past 24 hours)

35% visited a blog in the past 24 hours, 54% in the past week

Although the younger attorneys surveyed were consuming far more social media than the older cohort, older attorneys (ages 40-49, and 50-59) are still using social media and blogs in significant if not surprising numbers.

25% in 40-49 age group cited social media websites (LinkedIN, Facebook and Twitter) as among their leading source of news and information.

24% in 50-59 age group cited social media as their leadings source of news and information.

“It’s a wake-up call to law firms,” John Corey, president of Greentarget explained on  The party has started, and those firms waiting until the very last minute to arrive risk missing out on all the action.

You can download the complete survey HERE

Or see other coverage of the survey:

Above the Law


This Friday at 12:00 PM EST John Corey, President of Greentarget, will be joining the Weekly Voir Dire Conference Call to discuss the survey in more depth and answer any questions people may have. To receive call-in information CLICK HERE.


8 Responses to “In-House Counsel Have Arrived”

  1. This post is spot on in all respects. I rely heavily on social media in tracking legal trends, issues and those who seem to know what is going on. I use Twitter and LinkedIn on an hourly basis. Most lawyers in my age group (50+) are perhaps not so tuned in – but that is changing fast. The younger age group mentioned is far, far ahead in using social meda as a generalor of clients and knowledge, and they are moving up the career ladder at business around the world.

    I already make quick decisions about firms and lawyers based on their websites, blogs and social media presence. Most of those decisions, these days at least, are not positive. Treating social media as only as a sales tool or for making a pitch does not get my attention. If you share information and grow your community, that’s what will attract me and IMHO other in-house counsel.


    • Thanks Richard, any chance I could get you to come along with me for my presentations?

      Just kidding, unfortunately most law firms don’t get social media- and they don’t understand how poorly it portrays their firm.

      I agree though, sharing information and growing your community is what its all about.

  2. Rich says:

    I work for one of the leading legal directories and know from speaking with many of my clients that encouraging and coaching partners/associates to blog is often a key priority within law firm marketing departments. Many say it’s not easy but realise it has to be done. Good article.!

  3. Rory Webber says:

    Great post Adrian.

    An interesting point in the report relates to in-house counsel ranking social media sites based on their perceived credibility as information sources.

    To directly quote the report;

    ‘New media platforms receiving the highest ranking by in-house counsel for their credibility as information sources include Martindale-Hubbell Connected, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and blogs.’

    • Rory,

      Thanks for your comment.

      While Martindale-Hubbell Connected was seen as the most credible source of information, the survey also showed it was also one of the least used sites by in-house counsel. Will look forward to seeing how you guys leverage that credibility for growth in the coming year.


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