By Diarra McCullen • May 31, 2017•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector, Other Career Issues, Law School, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job, Other Law School Issues, Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life, •Mentoring and Networking, Women and Law in the Media, Other Issues, Features, Myths & Truths, First Women, Superwomen JDs and What You Can Learn From Them
Diarra Joi Clemons McCullen, J.D. SAG-AFTRA received her Juris Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree from New York Law School, Undergraduate Degree (B.A.) from George Mason University and High School Diploma from an all-girls Catholic high school named St. Scholastica Academy in Evanston, IL. She has worked in Finance for Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Oppenheimer & Co. to name a few. She was also a Judicial Law Clerk while in law school.
She is currently a Legal Journalist for Ms. JD, Novelist of the novel memoir series, "Roses are Blue" and Vantage marketing and advervitising blogger. She is a military wife, enjoys painting, reading, writing and exploring new cultures. Thank you for reading!
LinkedIn, FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter are all synonymous with building a social media icon or brand in todays fast changing Internet society. People look to the Internet everyday to learn about media outlets cycling real time news stories, legal decisions, memoranda, and stories of growth as shown in LinkedIn. People often can while away the hours each day browsing the Internet for local news stories or filler information for their legal research especially in law school or law firms. While Lexis Nexis and WestLaw are primary legal research tools, they can’t be used to grow business brands as of yet. This makes JDs and Attorneys turn to social media to get the word out about their activities and business drive through the years after graduating from law school.
Social media is a MUST for every fledgling JD after graduation. If people can’t see your growth, connections will soon falter in the legal community. This is not something that any JD or Attorney wants to happen in their lifetime. Start early to build a brand for yourself, even while in law school if possible. While in law school and after law school, stay involved in legal groups and activities. Stay connected to your peers from law school. You never know when you may need assistance or they may need assistance from you, if you would like to help.
LinkedIn in particular has even started sending out announcements on job changes to the entire network of individuals when they change roles or job positions to allow their peers to congratulate them on their success. This may come as a privilege to some while others may choose to turn it off because of competition in the marketplace. LinkedIn is a primary source of making business connections in the legal community and beyond with other like-minded individuals who can offer jobs, recruit or offer words of inspiration by writing their own article pieces. I personally think for a young or old J.D. or Attorney, LinkedIn is the #1 social media site you should be affiliated with to grow your business and brand. Employers and business owners connect with people who take the site seriously when they are recruiting for a future star for development. Before switching primarily to a legal journalist position, I worked at several top prestigious banks and the government, which I posted on my LinkedIn with zeal. I was always contacted by finance recruiters through this site with new positions that they were interested in me taking on for them. LinkedIn is a great way to network in all respects whether you’re looking for a job or browsing to see what your colleagues and associates have been doing after law school.
Another key social media outlet is Twitter which is also a great outlet for JDs and Attorneys to build their brand by writing their opinion in a “voice like” open forum. People can follow you and read your opinions that are written in a few characters per blurb of conversation. It makes it interesting for a wordsmith to write in this social media outlet because the words of expression have to be short each time you “tweet.” “Tweeting” is the Twitter social media verb that means you posted information on your personal timeline. Celebrities, politicians and even the President (or his staff) have Twitter accounts in this day and age. You should too! Start building a brand now. Nothing is stopping you. Major companies post decisions about their business in real time to let their growing fan base know what the company is launching in the near future. According to an online news source named “The Guardian,” Twitter boasted advertising revenue sales of $548 million in their first quarter. This is big business for startup companies. Twitter was founded on March 21, 2006. Now Twitter even has share applications which can upload information and pictures from FaceBook and Instagram at the same time of the posting. The merge of these three power house social media outlets makes it more fun for Lawyers and JDs alike to update their brand with new developments in their careers at any time.
Moving onto Facebook, which boasts $8.03 billion in revenue in the first quarter according to “TC” online news source, this is another major social media advertising outlet to join at all costs. The theory behind FaceBook is every connection you make with someone instantly becomes your friend. Then with the profile picture you see a face to this new friend you’ve connected with on FaceBook. Old and new friends can chat with each other through an online forum or phone connected FaceBook Instant Messenger system as well. I use instant messenger to speak to some of my international friends from my travel overseas and entertainment assignments. You can also have video conferencing on FaceBook with friends in real time. While this may deter some FaceBook members from signing up on other video conferencing services such as Skype, this is not FaceBook’s primary goal. FaceBook is mainly used to keep lasting friendships intact from people who can’t physically see each other on a daily basis via pictures and words written by each other on the site. FaceBook was one of the first social media sites I signed up with in my early twenties to keep in touch with my family. Then my network grew as I met other friends I wanted to share personal information with on a daily basis. I used LinkedIn to stay in touch with business associates and I keep it strictly professional, as most people should. Then I added Twitter and Instagram as they slowly became popular while I was living in New York City.
Instagram is a picture upload and sharing online service. It primarily caters to young people who like to constantly upload pictures of their life, travels and experiences. But, feel free as an Attorney or JD to join the site and take pictures to your heart is content. Personally, I don’t get a chance to post on my Instagram as much as I would like to since I’m now a journalist by trade. But, occasionally, I’ll post my latest food creations in the kitchen, my jewelry business or foodie adventures in the city with friends. Instagram has several picture filters, photo adjustments and saturation levels that can be adjusted with each picture you take with your camera phone. It is used with camera phones as people go about their day to day activities. When I first started using Instagram, I was amazed at the clarity of the pictures and they way I could manipulate the image to my personal taste. It’s an artistic online service. Everyone isn’t going to like your image. But, the people who do will press a button and “like” the picture. They may even insert a comment or two! It’s fun. Try it to let off steam from the work day,
While you may not be as technically savvy as the next person, just using these sites explained above will have you well on your way to building your own brand as a JD and Attorney. People love to see the interests of people they admire whether they are in the public eye or not. Steer clear from not being original when you try out social media. You may be building a lasting legacy for yourself for years to come!
Stay tuned. ~ Written By Diarra Joi Clemons McCullen, J.D. SAG-AFTRA
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