Seeing The LinkedIn Feed Through A Law Student’s Lens

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Do you ever come across advice like “Write about something which you observe daily?

I do.

So, here it is, something which I see daily – a sneak-peek into the LinkedIn feed through a law student’s lens.

Looking back at 2020, it was because of the lockdown blues that some people pursued their long-lost passion and joined LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional platform to share opportunities, jobs, and connect professionals worldwide. I joined it to expand my professional network, which was non-existent till 3rd year (which people say is the mid-life crisis of law school). Throughout I questioned whether it was too late or too soon.

LinkedIn boasted of options like jobs, networks, and people with stern professional photos. After a good pep talk, I searched with the keyword “lawyer” and therefore started the LinkedIn journey, a conventional one, finding jobs, sharing, resharing, and posting. Until I joined LinkedIn, I only knew about internships, litigation, and placements. But it was so much more.

After spending a considerably good time on mindless scrolling, I finally came across a good opportunity and shared it with “my network” of totally unknown people and, there it was – LinkedIn flashing that I have shared something for the first time. I totally did not worry about likes and views (It’s a lie. I did).

Fun tip: for getting more likes, try posting “Don’t post for likes”.

Whether Ripley would believe it or not, LinkedIn proved to be a blessing in disguise during the harrowing times. It became a quick learning space in the presence of some of the most accomplished lawyers, who started their mentoring channels, discussed the provisions of the Bare Act, or the seniors who recalled their own experiences and assured that the road ahead wouldn’t be easy but worth exploring.

However, on social media, professional platforms, or life in general, there is no escaping from unwanted opinions like “This is not Instagram, please don’t post it on such professional networks”. Strangely, these will be the posts you will find the maximum likes and comments on.

I agreed with the idea of being professional. But on the other hand, how could one deny that these posts drive away from the Monday blues? (Also, photography is a job, right?)

Perhaps, another reason to go to New York?

The Other (Murkier) Side Of LinkedIn

LinkedIn, with all its merits, can become a bit daunting sometimes. While looking for a perfect legal internship, my feed now boasted of some great opinion shares, celebrating work anniversaries and X starting a new job at some fancy place Y.

While people were getting laid off in the pandemic, there were notifications of people getting new jobs, and you could only remember that rejection mail (or no response) that came to your dream role.  It wasn’t easy. While it was important to celebrate the success, overcoming and owning the failures became necessary. It was important to remind ourselves that success doesn’t come easy and learning knows no wins or losses. 

LinkedIn slowly became the new Instagram where people dreaded being left out in their respective careers. On those terms, LinkedIn is not all that different from social apps, like people sliding into your DMs just as earnestly and easily.

Even academia wasn’t behind. So weren’t employers. You are not a recruiter if you haven’t put a post saying “Comment interested with your email IDs”, and then never returning back. Most of the time it worked as well since students were desperately looking to enhance their CVs in the pandemic.

Initially, there were genuinely informative webinars, but soon it became a bandwagon. Every other self-styled employer (read students), student-run organizations were charging for the webinars, and in return not promising knowledge but only certificates.

When there was nothing new left in the webinar business, there was a sudden plethora of invites and calls for blogs from every other organization or journal. Students again, with the herd mentality, started sending their well-researched and potential articles for name’s sake publications, which now lie in some old drives.

What is a law student’s CV if it’s not crowded/decorated with endless certificates, webinars, a continuous timeline of internships (you ought not to have a gap!)? These perhaps appeals the most to so-called recruiters, instead of talent and sparkling rage to learn. These are the unsaid criteria for securing an internship.

Some Good Which Came Out

While LinkedIn had its own pros and cons, one thing which is undeniable is that it surely changed my outlook towards the law profession. The credit goes to those legal professionals who have been posting about mental health amidst the rising competition and anxiety in the pandemic. 

Revolution isn’t just a fantasy or limited to history, it can happen on LinkedIn too. Talking about it, so many students called out the toxic workplace environment and sexual harassment they faced virtually. From being overburdened with work and paying for the internships, to creepy and unprofessional behaviour – it all came to light.

It reinstated my belief that there is no place for a predator, be it in professional or personal space.  A big shout out to you all!

Another thing that people called out were unpaid internships. And this did not go unheard. Several students raised their voices against the toxic norms of “hustle and bustle culture”, and demanded to be paid in exchange for their work. Sometimes, even a little nudge goes a long way.

As a consequence, not only did students, but law professionals too came in support of the students and started giving paid work and learning opportunities to the students. Though it didn’t solve the problem completely, sustained conversations on these are important. And this was a start.

My Takeaways

The hope with which the legal fraternity promoted free mentoring sessions, CV-building, and continued with their untiring pro-bono initiatives to help people amidst a deadly second outbreak of Covid-19 reminded me that we are in this together.

Engagement on LinkedIn opened a wide array of discussions from workplace inclusivity to talking about innovations. Law has always been considered a conformist profession but now as we move forward, it’s so much more than that, of entrepreneurship, freelancing, etc.

I started believing in Robert Frost’s Road Less Travelled when lawyers wrote about quitting their high-paying Tier-1 law firms for the sake of following unconventional paths.

Every like, comment, share, view, or even post is a source of constant motivation and reminder of your contribution. (Please don’t post plagiarized content)

As I’m writing this today, I’m glad that LinkedIn helped me get the opportunity to write unconventional stories. I got different opportunities and saw that there exists a legal career that is beyond the courtroom. Thank you, LinkedIn, for liking, celebrating, loving, supporting the professional journeys with insightful takeaways, and keeping my curiosity intact.

To read our other blog posts, visit here.

To share a story, or a write-up, email umang.poddar@lawctopus.com.

Disclaimer: We try to ensure that the information we post on Lawctopus is accurate. However, despite our best efforts, some of the content may contain errors. You can trust us, but please conduct your own checks too.

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