Facebook for Lawyers – Legal OnRamp

The Bar Talk piece in the May 2008 edition of The American Lawyer is focused on Legal OnRamp. To toot my own horn, Brian Baxter, the author of the piece threw in a few quotes from me:

“Social networking costs are minimal-it’s not like sponsoring a table at an awards dinner or printing brochures-so your return on investment is astronomic,” says Douglas Cornelius, a senior real estate associate with Goodwin Procter in Boston. Cornelius says he favors Legal OnRamp over other business networking sites like LinkedIn and LawLink because it’s interactive and offers access to potential clients through its in-house contacts. Cornelius’s one gripe with the site so far is that it has too many Silicon Valley types.

The second half of my gripe (which did not make it into the story) was that there were few real estate and real estate investment management in-house contacts in Legal OnRamp. After all that is my client base.

As I have written about Metcalfe’s Law before, the power of a social network tool or communications tool is increased as more people use the tool. If my client base and peers are not using the tool, it is a less effective tool.

But wearing my knowledge management/enterprise 2.0 hat, Legal OnRamp is a tremendous tool. Even if your clients are not the “Silicon Valley types.”

Since the time of my interview by Brian Baxter, I have seen more and more real estate counsel come into Legal OnRamp. It is becoming more and more useful to me. I would bet that it will become more and more useful to my clients and potential clients.

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