Adrian Tan, Philip Teoh, Vivek Kathpalia, Walter Silvester

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in the hands of legal practitioners, allowing them to connect with existing clients and increase their profile among potential ones, but few use it frequently, or effectively. Lawyers who are prolific on LinkedIn say that it is important to be active, accessible, and authentic.


ADRIAN TAN, partner, TSMP Law Corporation

Lawyers are leaders in the community. They have a duty to speak out on issues which concern how people are treated, and what people can do to secure their rights. If lawyers do not speak on legal issues, then non-lawyers will rush in to fill the vacuum, often with misinformation.

The most effective way for lawyers to speak out is through social media, such as LinkedIn. Lawyers will be able to address current affairs in a timely fashion. For example, during the pandemic, business owners and employees were concerned about vaccine mandates. Lawyers stepped up to discuss regulations and rights from a legal perspective, using social media.

Social media’s added advantage is that readers can comment on what lawyers say, and follow up with questions, to develop the conversation. This level of engagement is valuable, as it encourages lawyers to serve the public by addressing specific queries or situations promptly. It improves the image of the legal profession as being responsive and helpful in an immediate and practical way.

PHILIP TEOH, partner and head of the shipping, insurance, litigation and arbitration practice group, Azmi & Associates

I have been in legal practice in Singapore and Malaysia for the past 32 years. You can see how I am using LinkedIn to profile myself and my practice. It is especially important in my core areas of shipping, international trade, oil and gas and international arbitration. My LinkedIn network is 24,000-strong and I post frequently. I started in May 2015 and have benefited in engaging with members of my network. It has led me to new clients and speaking engagements, including overseas conferences.

Why is it important for lawyers to be active on social networks like LinkedIn? It used to be that websites and blogs were the calling cards of lawyers. Email marketing was another form of outreach. But these forms of engagement were pretty hit-and-miss; the outreach was static and often elicited rare feedback. Law as a profession or industry was late in catching up with society, in terms of taking advantage of the instantaneous online engagement offered by social media such as Facebook and the like. These social media-built communities lend themselves to continuous engagement and feedback.

LinkedIn is a great resource for jobseekers and employers. I have friends who have found good positions through LinkedIn. The lawyer who posts on LinkedIn is able to show more than his job description, but also his or her approaches to common industry issues, how he handles his roles differently. The ideal post will educate and bring a new aspect to a common subject. Through the posts, the lawyer is also able to demonstrate his speciality and highlight his or her take on common issues. The LinkedIn posts allow the lawyer’s personality to be revealed, which a static website cannot do. It also allows for active engagement and outreach to others on LinkedIn. There are no geographical boundaries on social media. I have found making connections globally easy on LinkedIn. This helps me in my international practice areas like shipping, international trade and international arbitration.

I have learnt from posting and reading posts on LinkedIn that educating and engaging posts work best. LinkedIn reacts to how we post. If our posts educate and provide value to a discussion of a current topic, it will attract responses. Likewise, when we respond to another person’s posts, we engage. That way we build a network. After a while, it is not the whole numerical number of our network size that matters, but the meaningful connections that we make. These engagements lead to opportunities, and that way the network grows.

VIVEK KATHPALIA, Singapore managing director & CEO, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

LinkedIn has to a large extent democratised the professional networking space. This is true for lawyers as well. It provides an immediate platform to publish, comment and discuss a host of issues. The more one shares interesting and engaging content, especially original content, the more reach it is likely to generate. All of this assists a lawyer to build her or his individual brand and visible expertise. In my opinion, a good lawyer is one who has the technical expertise and the ability to network. Networking is also an art and LinkedIn gives access to all.

With a growing following and/or connections on LinkedIn, you tend to get noticed, engagements on your content increases, and your overall profile can get a boost. It’s also a great platform to show your visible expertise in niche areas.

Some tips to grow your following:

  •  Share as much original content as possible
  • Join interest groups and be an active participant
  • Let the human side also be visible when sharing or commenting
  • Short analytical content gets more eyeballs
  • Don’t simply promote yourself

WALTER SILVESTER, managing director, Silvester Legal

I wouldn’t say it is important to be active on social media networks. Rather, I believe it is important to have an online presence. This can mean a good website, presence on LinkedIn and the like. The online space is growing. While dinners and hand-shakes were the norms 20 years ago, increasingly, people are going online to meet people. They go online to find food, entertainment, accountants, doctors, and lawyers.

If you have the time and the inclination, being active online increases your visibility. This means you are more likely to be found when people go online looking for someone like you.

There is no secret sauce to growing LinkedIn engagement and following. My view:

  • Post good content
  • Post regularly
  • Post for your target audience
  • Engage with people who react to your posts. Much like everything else, it is about providing value on a regular basis. There are content creators who have a different approach and seek engagement with controversial, popular posts. As lawyers, I think we have to be a bit more measured about the content that we put out.

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