We see an inflation of vertical social networks, of course. Functionality wise lawyrs has the features you have come to expect: lawyers can create a profile, can add each other as contacts and send each other messages, can form or join existing groups, you can search for lawyers from a specific region, etc. and there is a dashboard aggregating stuff currently going on within your network.
Lawyers also can add publications to their profile. All publications are aggregated in a section and can be searched or browsed by tag.
And there is a brilliant digg-styled section for submitting and voting upon lawyr related news.
More features (e.g. an ‘emplayers’ section for integrating jobs and profiles from law firms in a playful way) will be incrementally added.
Hannes Diedrich has successfully built a community in the past – he developed sozeug.net, a marketplace for handmade products which was purchased by spreadshirt about a year ago and was morphed with DaWanda earlier this year. His partner is a lawyer himself and they already have a partnership with LLM Guide, which will give them a head start at attracting an initial user base.
We prefer our growth to be slow and organic and want to attract a balanced set of lawyers, judges, scientists and law-students from around the world.
I think besides the mundane motivations for joining a social network (self promotion and chat) an interesting reason to join might be the potential serendipity. Primarily self-promotional networks like Xing will throw a ton of self-promotional contacts at you. Lawyrs might shine in generating less likely and hence even more valueable connections.
If you are interested you can sign up for an invite here, invites are sent out pretty fast. Alternatively you also can leave a comment here and we will try to get you in.
(This article originally was written for blognation Germany. Since blognation is gone I have reposted it here)