Attitudes remain split as more than a third consider it a ‘necessary evil’

Law firm managing partners are overwhelmingly embracing social media, specifically the professional social network LinkedIn, according to a newly released report. The 2014 Managing Partner Social Media Survey – Part 1 said that more than 90 percent of managing partners have LinkedIn accounts. However, while 39 percent felt social media is a “new and exciting way to interact with others,” 35.6 percent saw the innovation as a “necessary evil” but said that they would “learn to adapt.” 

“This survey provides a definitive benchmark for managing partners to compare where they stand on social media with respect to their peers,” said Terry M. Isner, President of Marketing and Business Development at Jaffe, which co-published the report in conjunction with The Managing Partner Forum. “The data supports that, while many have come around to creating a presence on social media, few are actively involved. The next step is for managing partners to up their game and begin using networks like LinkedIn for relationship-building and thought-leadership purposes.”

The survey concentrated on LinkedIn because of its reputation as the most widely accepted social network among business professionals. More than 100 managing partners were surveyed via an online form that asked fundamental questions regarding their perceptions of and behaviors on social media. Results were broken down by age, which, at times, revealed a generational schism among managing partners but also illuminated similarities.

 “The data reflects that, while younger managing partners see value in sites like LinkedIn at a higher rate than their elder counterparts, the more seasoned counsel regularly access social media, which is contrary to what some would anticipate,” said John Remsen, Jr., President and CEO of The Managing Partner Forum. “In fact, more than a quarter of the 60-plus crowd found social media to be an exciting tool, and more than 80 percent of this demographic access LinkedIn at least once a week.”  

Highlights of the report include:

  • While 39 percent of respondents overall had a favorable view of social media, this number was 75 percent for managing partners under 40.
  • All managing partners under 50 reported having a LinkedIn account, compared to 86 percent of those 50 and over.
  • The vast majority of managing partners set up their LinkedIn accounts on their own.
  • On average, most managing partners access LinkedIn once a week.
  • Of the few managing partners who reported not being on LinkedIn, the majority cited an inability to see the benefits of the network.
  • Most managing partners belong to four to five LinkedIn Groups.
  • However, 40 percent of managing partners are mainly observers in the Groups to which they belong.

To read the full report, visit The second part of the survey, which will be released in October, will provide perspectives on firmwide social media usage and policies.

About Jaffe 
Jaffe is the legal industry’s full-service marketing and public relations agency. Devoted solely to law firms, legal vendors and legal associations, the agency is a recipient of a Ragan and PR Daily 2013 Ace Agency Award and a 2014 and 2013 Legal Marketing Association Your Honor Award and was named by the National Law Journal as the industry’s Best Social Media Consultant in 2012 and 2013 and a Top Social Media, PR and Business Development Consultant in 2014. Jaffe prides itself on its exceptional client service and its comprehensive service offerings, including media relationslegal marketing and business developmentcreative servicescontent marketingsearch engine optimization, and rankings assistance. With experienced consultants throughout the country and in Canada, the agency operates through a unique virtual office environment. For further information, visit:

About The Managing Partner Forum
The Managing Partner Forum is the nation’s richest source of information and the most highly acclaimed conference series for leaders of today’s most successful law firms. In addition to its robust website, MPF publishes a weekly e-newsletter and podcast series on issues important to leading your law firm in today’s competitive marketplace.

Each spring, MPF presents The MPF Leadership Conference. Since 2002, more than 900 law firm leaders from 725 law firms have participated in this incredibly valuable and highly interactive conference, designed especially for managing partners.

The Managing Partner Forum’s mission is clear: to help law firm managing partners be the most effective leaders they can be.

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