Though unorthodox for a traditional profession like the law, remote work is becoming a more realistic option for lawyers all over the country. With the help of tools like legal practice management software and options to practice law in multiple states, lawyers everywhere are tackling the challenges of remote work.
But one obstacle that remains is networking. Remote lawyers need to put extra work into maintaining professional connections and building an online presence, both of which are made easier with online forums designed specifically for legal professionals.
What Is an Online Forum?
An online forum is an internet space dedicated to conversation using questions, answers, responses, and prompts. Typically, online forums are asynchronous — users post a question, then other users respond at their leisure.
Posts in forums are archived and arranged into categories like post date, popularity, and more. Discussions can last for hours, days, months, or possibly years, as long as users continue to contribute.
Why Should Lawyers Use Online Forums?
After the rapid shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of industries saw the value of allowing employees to work from home – including law firms. More and more lawyers are working remotely, but that could come at the cost of networking.
Networking doesn’t have to mean interactions that take place over coffee, lunch, cocktails, golf excursions, or big events. In the strictest sense, networking is any meeting between people, whether in a group or one on one, online or in-person, which can be done using online forums.
Online forums dedicated to lawyers and the legal industry are an effective way to facilitate networking opportunities when in-person meetings aren’t an option. Getting involved in online forums help lawyers discuss industry topics with experts and thought leaders, stay current on trends and technology, and learn valuable tips from other lawyers.
Top 8 Online Forums for Lawyers
Curious about online forums? Here are the best options for lawyers and legal professionals to engage with other legal professionals and build a network as a remote attorney:
Quora is a broad forum that covers a variety of topics in question-and-answer formats, including the legal industry. You can easily search for questions or topics that are trending in the legal industry and contribute expert answers to boost your credibility. The more answers you provide, and the more other users engage with you, the closer you can get to becoming a thought leader in the space.
2. Bar Association Forums
Bar association forums are always a benefit to lawyers, remote or otherwise. There are plenty of options to choose from, including local bar associations or forums dedicated to your practice area. Best of all, you’ll be engaging with other knowledgeable legal professionals to connect and network.
3. Social Media Groups
Social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn have dedicated groups that bring together users based on interests or industries, such as the legal industry. These two platforms are among the best for getting into a private or public group and enhancing your online presence. Keep in mind that you are representing yourself as a lawyer in these groups, so use a professional social media account, not your personal one.
4. Thomson Reuters Legal Community
The Thomson Reuters Legal Community is an exclusive option for customers of Thomson Reuters that brings together a virtual community of lawyers to network and engage in group settings. You can connect with lawyers from all different practice areas, both locally and nationally, and gain valuable insights from industry experts.
5. The Lawyerist Community
The Lawyerist is an online community dedicated to small firm lawyers to provide coaching, podcasts, books, guides, and other insights. The company has its own online lawyer forum – The Lawyerist Community – on Facebook to discuss law firm best practices, trends, and ideas.
Reddit has some of the best online forums for a range of different topics, from broad subjects like sports to niche communities dedicated to obscure literature. There’s also a legal forum, r/LawFirm, that’s an informal community for lawyers to discuss running a law firm and the legal industry as a whole. There’s also a lawyer subreddit that you can join if you’re licensed.
Slack is a top-rated collaboration platform that offers individual channels for groups of users. There are several communities dedicated to the law, including LawyerSmack, which is comprised of private attorneys.
8. Law School Alumni Forums
Some law schools have online forums for alumni to stay connected with faculty and colleagues. While not every school offers an online forum for networking, if yours does, you can build vital industry contacts and further your practice. You’ll also get updates on news, trends, and in-person network events by participating in the forum.
Outlook on Online Forums
Remote and hybrid working models are the “new normal,” even for lawyers. Now that law firms and lawyers have seen the benefits in productivity, work-life balance, and enhanced communication afforded by remote work, there’s no going back.
Still, lawyer networking is essential for lawyers to grow their practice, no matter if it’s online or in-person. Along with joining forums to engage in discussions with other industry professionals, you can enhance your remote work with law practice management software. The right law firm software empowers lawyers to manage their practice from anywhere.
From your laptop to your phone — PracticePanther’s all-in-one law practice management software keeps your online payments, client communications, legal document management, and client intake forms safe and secure in the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere.
Start Networking Remotely
Networking is a big part of successful client acquisition for lawyers. Though it takes a little more work to keep up with networking as a lawyer working remotely, online lawyer forums can keep you connected to other industry professionals. And because you can engage with lawyers all over the country, you can find even more opportunities online than in person at networking events.
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