A new survey reveals that almost 50 percent of attorneys are members of online social networks and over 40 percent of attorneys believe professional networking has the potential to change the business and practice of law over the next five years.
The 2008 Networks for Counsel Survey was conducted by Leader Networks and sponsored by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell. You can download the results from the Leader Networks' site.
Of lawyers aged 25-35, 67% are members of a social networking site, while only 36% of lawyers aged 46 and older are members. Forty percent of lawyers want to join a social networking site just for lawyers. (This number is close to the same percentage of lawyers who are already members of an online social network.
The curious piece of the survey is that 48% of the survey respondents thought Martindale-Hubbell should sponsor a lawyer specific social networking site. (Of course, they were the sponsor of the survey.) Second up was 28% who thought it should be the American Bar Association. Only 1% thought it should be Legal OnRamp. But Legal OnRamp is a social networking site for lawyers. Perhaps the Martindale-Hubbell brand is still viable.
The survey was pointed out by Laxmi Stebbins Wordham on The Official Blog of Martindale-Hubbell: Martindale-Hubbell, LinkedIn and Online Networking. I also came across Carolyn Elefant's take on this survey at the Legal Blog Watch: Survey Confirms That Social Networking Gains Traction With Lawyers.