Being adept at practicing law is not enough to advance your career. To gain new clients, you need to master the art of networking for lawyers. You also need a lawyer community to gather information, stay on top of industry trends, and connect with a support group.
There’s no shortage of networks and communities for legal practitioners. We’ve rounded up the options that should be on top of your list.
Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a bar association that welcomes members from all over the world. They support legal practitioners by providing training, information, and opportunities for networking and pursuing advocacies. The association has 60 chapters and local networks worldwide.
ACC offers membership to organizations and individuals who actively practice law. Eligible members may work for organizations in the private or public sector, but they can’t be engaged in regulatory, enforcement or policymaking functions.
Fees depend on the type of membership:
- Individual member – $399 per year
- Retired member – $195 per year for retired professionals (dues waived for the first year)
- Corporate member – Discounted fees for law departments with nine or more lawyers. A premium package is available for departments with more than 70 attorneys.
The association’s members are made up of legal operations professionals from corporate legal departments, in-house counsel, and contract attorneys.
International Bar Association (IBA)
Established in 1947, the International Bar Association (IBA) has grown to become a premier association for legal practitioners. They bring together more than 80,000 lawyers and 190 bar associations from 170+ countries.
IBA used to admit only legal societies and associations, but now they also welcome individual lawyers and law firms into the fold.
Here are IBA’s membership fees:
- Individual member – £270 per year
- Corporate member – £1,250 for up to 20 lawyers; £1,750 for 21 to 50 lawyers; £2,500 for 51 to 100 lawyers; and £5,000 for more than 100 lawyers
IBA not only provides resources to the legal community but also plays a part in international law reforms and the overall development of the legal profession.
LawyerSmack offers a private community with more than a hundred forum channels that cover a wide range of legal topics, including criminal, finance, and intellectual property. Attorneys can also take part in non-legal discussions, such as gaming, fashion, and pop culture.
Members gain exclusive access to curated industry news, dozens of referrals every month, conferences, and local meetups.
Each member pays an annual fee of $365.
The Lawyerist Community
The Lawyerist offers a community where small firm lawyers can explore innovative ways to practice law. They bring together legal practitioners who are open to discussing new ideas that feed the growth of their law firms and keep their practice client-centered.
Lawyerist insiders gain access to the following:
- A private Facebook group where attorneys and Lawyerist coaches swap tips
- Seventeen library resources, including downloadable worksheets and templates to assist lawyers with brand identity, KPIs, tech audits, and more
- A scorecard to assess a firm’s strengths and weaknesses
Admission to the Lawyerist community is free.
Nextlaw Referral Network
Nextlaw Referral Network is a global legal referral network that connects top legal talent with clients. Their intuitive platform does a great job of extending the business reach of law firms. It’s equipped with a proprietary algorithm that pulls up the best firm to meet a client’s specific needs.
Nextlaw Referral Network offers membership for free.
International Lawyers’ Association (ILA)
International Lawyers’ Association (ILA) is an association made up of lawyers, judges, and academics from all over the world. They aim to inspire law practitioners to engage in productive discussions and bring ideas to life.
ILA provides members with access to discounted professional development courses, events, and seminars.
They charge £25 for membership and £15 for its renewal. Applicants may opt to pay the life membership fee of £250.
International Association of Lawyers (UIA)
Established in 1927, Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) is a global organization with two million-member lawyers from 110 countries. Membership is open to all types of lawyers, both general practitioners and specialists.
The association provides training sessions, seminars, and other events that encourage professional development and foster connections.
UIA’s membership fee depends on a number of factors, including age, professional status, and country of practice.
Lawyer Slack channels
An online collaboration hub that allows people to work together seamlessly, Slack has become a favored platform for legal professionals who’d like to connect with each other. The platform is designed to allow users to interact as efficiently as they would in a face-to-face set-up.
A quick Google search brings up a number of Slack communities for legal professionals, including Learned Counsel, LawWorks Mastermind, and Lawyer2Lawyer.
Opening an account on Slack is free, but some groups may require an admission fee.
LinkedIn and Facebook groups
Social media channels abound with groups and forums that allow legal professionals to nurture connections and share information. Facebook and LinkedIn are particularly ideal for lawyers.
You can join Facebook groups like Clio Co-Counsel, LegalTech, and Savvy Lawyers. LinkedIn offers groups like eDiscovery Networking Group, Women in eDiscovery, and eDiscovery Networking Group. With so many options available, you’re bound to find a community that matches your needs.
Social media communities are free to join.
A platform for forums that cover all kinds of topics, Reddit has become a popular site for legal discussions. You’ll find law-related subreddits like r/LawFirm and r/law. These forums are great for informal discussions. Licensed attorneys can also formally apply to gain access to the subreddits.
You can join the forums for free.
Beyond having the necessary knowledge and skills, you also need to be connected with the right people and lawyer communities to advance your legal career. Fortunately, you’ll find many different types of groups and associations to join. You can also go online for a lawyer chatroom to engage in lively and productive discussions.
In this modern world, advancing your career in law also requires having the right tech tools. We invite you to explore how AXDRAFT’s all-in-one contract management platform can take routine tasks off your hands. This way, you’ll have more bandwidth for nurturing professional relationships and keeping abreast of developments in the legal industry.
Here are the questions people commonly ask about networking for lawyers.
Legal networking involves interacting with people to build professional contacts and relationships. You may gain connections via formal associations, online groups, or casual interactions. The people you meet could end up hiring you, providing vital information, or bringing referrals your way. Some can even become your friends.
Crucial for your successful career in law, legal networking opens the door to new opportunities for your practice or firm. You’ll have better chances of bringing in new business or winning over clients. You can also acquire knowledge and gain access to information as you nurture relationships.
Lawyers understand that any opportunity to interact with people is a form of networking. Avenues for networking include intimate meetups over lunch or dinner, large gatherings at conferences or seminars, bar association activities, non-profit and educational programs, and online interactions.
A law firm association is a membership organization or professional services network made up of independent law firms. It helps its members provide better services to clients by bringing more resources their way.