by Laxmi Stebbins Wordham
It's hard to believe it's
been one year since we launched Martindale-Hubbell Connected, now the
premier online professional network for the legal profession. The phenomenal
growth of the network over the past 12 months stands as a testament to
incredibly hard work by the motivated and talented team at Martindale and, of
course, to the collaborative input and active participation of thousands of
legal professionals who've helped us to shape the network along the way.
I thought it appropriate
today to share some background on why we created Connected and how its creation
fits into the broader transformation of Martindale-Hubbell.
Through research and
conversations with clients going back as early as 2007, it became clear to us
that competing priorities and work commitments were making it more difficult
than ever for legal professionals to engage in the kind of face-to-face
networking that has always served them as a critical means of business and
professional development. The economic downturn only exacerbated the problem.
At roughly the same time,
research conducted by our friends at Leader Networks showed that attorneys
were turning to online networking in record numbers and that there was strong
demand for an online professional network designed specifically for their
profession. Lawyers, we found out, wanted a focused, legal-only network that
was distinct and different from what was available via broader, social
networking sites. Through discussions with literally hundreds of lawyers, we
began to see the possibilities inherent in leveraging the Martindale-Hubbell
Legal Network as the backbone of just such a community.
Our vision was to reinvent
the company's flagship product, Martindale.com, taking it from static
directory to a dynamic, vibrant online community where legal professionals
could connect, communicate and collaborate. This online community, Martindale-Hubbell Connected, would provide members
the ability to leverage the existing Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network of more
than one million lawyers (representing 50 million+ possible connections) to
uncover new relationships and trusted referrals, share information and
insights, and efficiently collaborate in a virtual community. The system would
also access court records to suggest connections with other lawyers a Connected
member had teamed with or faced in court. Further, we teamed with LinkedIn to
enable Connected members to identify and leverage their LinkedIn relationships
from within Connected.
We also wanted to provide
Connected members with authoritative information both created and collected by
LexisNexis such as statistics, counsel-created research, competitor profiles,
marketing trends, ratings, polls, and more - giving them information they
couldn't get anywhere else.
Read the rest of the post on the Martindale-Connected Blog