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February 17, 2015


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Ralph Clifford

Another way that it "works" for law professors: I have been selected to recommend funding or publication on several legal research projects. The organizations that asked me to do so found me through LinkedIn.


Thank you for your acknowledgement that LinkedIn can be helpful for students seeking employment. As a career services officer, we coach students on proactive use of social media, LinkedIn in particular, to help them develop their professional brand and build their professional network. Each year, I have several student secure either summer or post-graduate employment through connections they first made via LinkedIn. Having faculty reinforce the message of CSOs as related to LinkedIn can only be helpful as we stress to students the importance of leveraging every available resource in this competitive marketplace.


My favourite LinkedIn story is a trade secret matter. A client had been in abortive negotiations with BigCorp which claimed to want to license or adopt their technology - all covered by comprehensive non-disclosure and non-use agreements. The negotiations were a little off - absurd demands blocking the deal. Nonetheless, BigCorp did insist on quite a lot of technical due diligence.

A few months after the deal fell apart BigCorp announced at a trade-fair its competing product, with identical specs to the clients. Cue the legal row - BigCorp's MegaFirm counsel denied everything, saying claims of misuse were "outrageous and defamatory." However, the position fell apart when the names on the business cards gathered at the technical due diligence were run through LinkedIn, and it turned out that they included someone who described himself as head of the team to develop the competing products and various of his minions. Upon sending the LinkedIn pages utter silence from MegaFirm ensued and the competing product died.


It's the easiest way to stay informed on the whereabouts of former students. That's about it's usefulness, it seems to me.

Bridget Crawford

I agree with Michael Risch that LinkedIn is helpful for networking by current and former students. To me, LinkedIn also functions a bit like an old-school Rolodex in the digital age -- I want to get in touch with someone, but I don't have their info already programmed into my phone. LinkedIn usually works.

Kevin Jon Heller

The loathing I feel for LinkedIn almost defies words. The amount of spam I get from them -- invitation to connect after invitation to connect -- is remarkable, and their customer service is nonexistent. Every time I try to complain, they tell me I cannot stop invites from arriving as long as I have an account. Fair enough -- but I haven't had an account for years...

Orin Kerr

Ask Dan Solove, who writes occasional blog posts for LinkedIn and presently has 890,110 followers. (Seriously, that's not a typo.)

Michael Risch

A nice outlier. I did say it could by used for marketing/sharing, and now I know where all his SSRN downloads come from!

Bridget - interesting. I usually use Google for that.

Michael Lewyn

Former students have used it to get in touch with me; I think they feel more comfortable using it than Facebook.

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