Looking to become a Lawyer? Don’t forget about your online persona

Written by Lexie on September 13, 2021

Image of a gavel and university mortar hat next to a laptop computer

Becoming a lawyer and practicing law is no easy feat. After gaining admission to law school, students have to battle it out for positions at top law firms after graduation. As firms look to differentiate candidates, they are turning to a candidates’ online persona like never before. So, are law students overlooking a critical step during their career search?

A first impression is made earlier than you think

All the hard work that a law student does to prepare for their job applications and interviews is to make a great impression – to showcase their skills and attributes that align with what the company or firm is looking for. But more often than not, their first impression is drawn from the online persona they reflect with their posts and profiles, not just from their well-curated materials.

While companies and firms may differ in how they incorporate social media reviews into their hiring process, the underlying fact is that individuals search others before meeting them more than 50% of the time and corporate companies are searching for candidates 90% of the time. Whether this is through a Google search, browsing social media accounts, or using a sophisticated social media background tool, hiring decisions now include some degree of social media scanning.

Given the need to uphold both their reputation and that of their firm, our research has found that Law students are subjected to greater scrutiny online than other graduate school professionals. In the course of building our service, senior recruiters at leading law firms have shared with us examples of how candidates have been declined at the final stages due to content found on their social media. Additionally, when borderline content has been found, it results in an awkward discussion with the candidate and the firm; and an unsettling start to a new career.

Online persona Tips: eliminate the risks and enhance the positives

Improving your online persona to best reflect your professional presence is two-fold. First, an individual should review their online footprint and remove posts, videos, and texts, which could damage or harm their reputation. Many law students have been online for 10 or more years, amassing thousands of pieces of content over several social media accounts. Learn about some of the common trends we’ve seen in working with thousands of professionals. It’s unlikely that an individual remembers everything they’ve previously posted so an audit is an essential part of anyone's career process.

Beyond just the hiring process, law firms understand that the content posted online reflects on the firm. Jacob Rooksby, dean of Gonzaga University School of Law spoke with Bloomberg Tax saying, “The most common concern is making sure that personal social media accounts remain personal, and don’t appear to bear the imprimatur of the firm. Everyone must realize that postings to ‘public’ accounts can reflect on the firm and its clients, even when profile pages indicate ‘all views are my own; retweets do not imply endorsement.”1 Law firms have a reputation to maintain and the negative impacts are costs they prefer to avoid.

After removing potentially harmful, old content, the next step is to position yourself in a positive light, enhancing your professional image on LinkedIn. This includes updating your profile to showcase your skills and experiences as well as engaging in sharing content or networking with others.

A law student’s time is limited – we can help!

Given the demands and nature of law school and career planning, finding time to review and clean up social media accounts and create a stand-out profile on LinkedIn can feel daunting. yourself.online makes this process easy and seamless – saving students time and alleviating any concern that past social media content will potentially damage their reputation and ensuring they stand out among applicants.

Law Students - Are you ready to get started?

Join the thousands of professionals who’ve cleaned up their social media and get started with your free Social Media scan and Persona Score.

Law Schools - Contact us to learn more about how yourself.online can help your students.

For law schools, we offer bulk pricing, on-boarding support, and webinars to support your students with managing their online persona. Learn more here or email partnerships@yourself.online for a demo.

References:

  1. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/drafting-and-implementing-social-media-policies-for-law-firms/?