Martindale-Hubbell Connected, launched March 31 with 3,000 beta users, just passed the 20,000 mark in registered, authenticated members. We are proud to say that the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) conference in Boston this week was integral in helping us achieve this milestone. It has been extremely gratifying to everyone on the Martindale-Hubbell team to witness the growth of the network and to hear stories from members about how the site is benefiting the legal community. Membership in Connected includes inside counsel representing more than half of the Fortune 500 as well as lawyers from 98 of the Am Law 100. Fourteen percent of our members are based outside of the U.S. and more than 575 user groups have been created within the network.
Anyone involved in the development of online networks can tell you that the “build it and they will come” adage might work in Hollywood movies but that kind of thinking won’t get you far in today’s online world. We’ve worked very hard to solicit and listen to the opinions of lawyers to help guide the development of Martindale-Hubbell Connected since well before it was launched. Literally hundreds of lawyers and legal professionals have shared their input and suggestions with us along the way and we’ve used that valuable feedback to shape and adapt the network as we’ve gone along.
While the network was originally restricted to lawyers only, we’ve heard time and again from lawyers that the people they need and want to connect with, even within the legal community, includes many roles and job titles beyond just other lawyers. Recently we began reaching out to a number of groups including law schools, law librarians as well as senior IT and marketing professionals within the legal community to invite them to join Connected. As with all prospective members, these “legal professionals” must be authenticated before they can join the network to ensure that users are who they say they are.
As my colleague, Mike Mintz put it in his September 30 blog post,
One of the prime differentiators of Martindale-Hubbell Connected from other professional and social networking networks is that we validate every user’s registration to provide a trusted community for our members. We find that by doing so the conversations are more genuine, lawyers and other legal professionals feel more comfortable participating, and the tone of the community remains professional…
If you are reading this blog there’s a good chance you work within the legal field or are well on your way to doing so. I invite you to join this community to connect, collaborate and enhance your own professional development.