As part of our blog series on building a personal brand as a legal professional, we spoke with Colin Levy, Director of Legal and Evangelist at Malbek about building his personal brand on LinkedIn and his blog, and how his online presence has helped him build his network, land job opportunities, and become a better GC.

Finding inspiration where tech meets the law

Initially, Colin began to build his brand on LinkedIn – the primary reason being that he was looking for his first legal role and wanted to build up his presence for potential employers. As he was looking for an in-house role, he made sure to tailor his profile and skills to match what he knew employers were looking for.

After he landed his first role, he began to see a gap between legal and tech, and realized that he couldn’t possibly be the only legal professional who was frustrated with the status quo. Eventually, he began a blog to share his insights so that others could learn from his experiences.

“I love to write so I started to summarize things to learn what I was hearing from others, who like me, were unsatisfied with doing things the way that they had always been done. These summaries led me to building out a blog. My goal was to inspire and inform others about legal tech, and that continues to be my goal today. The underlying theme of my work is that tech and law should be working together in unison”

As he continued to create content and receive feedback, he began to think more consciously about what he wanted to be known for and how he could express that through building his presence online. 

“I started to consider how I could humanize the practice of law by being my authentic self – our struggles and frustrations in work are not ours alone to bear, and I wanted to share that idea with others.”

Balancing the personal and professional

In his current role, Colin has to balance being company evangelist and GC while continuing to build his personal brand online. 

“My job is a fun balance because I’m able to do both more traditional in-house lawyer work while building and supporting the legal tech community by speaking about the intersection of law and tech. I get to help other GCs figure out how they can get involved in the community. What I do with Malbek really supports this branding work. It’s great to have a job which supports my passion and vice versa.“

Many GCs and legal professionals approach the subject of personal brand building with apprehension, likely because they imagine potential conflicts between their employees and what they say online. However, Colin thinks this is a non-issue as long as you frame your opinions and insights in the right terms and with the right context.

“Lawyers sometimes think that because they’re lawyers that they can’t post on social media. It doesn’t affect your fiduciary duties as a lawyer – you can describe situations you’ve been in and lessons learned in general terms. If you engage in positive content creation work, there shouldn’t be a conflict with your role as a GC or lawyer.”

The real risk for lawyers is not building their presence online, as you’ll miss out on valuable connections and job opportunities. 

“When it came to finding my current role, it helped immensely that I was someone who was established and well-connected in the space. My brand really helped open that door as well as plenty of other doors as well.” 

Broadening your perspective through community

Besides increasing your profile among your peers and potential employers, building your brand has the additional benefit of exposing you to a diversity of perspectives from people who interact with lawyers, but who aren’t lawyers themselves. These types of insights will make you better at your role as a GC, allowing you to address some of the common bottlenecks and frustrations that keep legal teams from being as efficient as possible. 

“Through making connections with my online presence, I’ve learned a lot about two key areas – 1) How lawyers and technology have evolved both together and apart and their ongoing evolution and 2) How lawyers working with technology have begun to re-imagine how they work and what work they do. This can lead to interesting lessons that can be learned. For example, someone with a coding background now working in the legal space is able to see things from a completely different perspective, and their insight on how legal operates allows others to see a larger picture they hadn’t been able to see before.“

You can gain new insights by connecting with other GCs who come from non-traditional backgrounds. 

“People who haven’t gone through the traditional lawyer route are often the most interesting people to speak to in my experience. Their journeys continue to teach me a lot about not just what it means to be in law in today’s world, but about what it simply means to be a human finding their way in a very complex and amorphous environment.”

Easy steps to start start building your brand today

Taking the first steps toward putting your voice online doesn’t have to be complicated –  simply start by asking yourself what you want to be known for, and go from there. What do you want to be an expert in? What do you find interesting? And where can you lend a unique perspective to issues that concern GCs or just tech in general?

“It all starts with understanding yourself. What are your passions? Who are you and what makes you who you are? Focus on those things first and foremost, along with your experiences and relationships. For example I’ve been open that I’m gay and have a husband – that is one inherent part of who I am and what defines me. People are drawn to authenticity.”

Are you a GC who’s interested in building your brand? One great way to get started is by speaking at industry events. If you’re interested in speaking at one of our events, get in touch with a member of the TechGC team. Not a TechGC member but want to join our exclusive community of top GCs? Request a membership invite here.

About Colin

Colin S. Levy embraces technology and challenging the status quo. He his extensive legal career has focused on where business, technology, and the law intersect. Colin is Director of Legal and Evangelist for Malbek, a leading Contract Lifecycle Management company. He is frequently asked to be a guest on podcasts and to contribute to numerous articles on technology and the law including those published by Above the Law,, Bloomberg Law News, Artificial Lawyer, Prism Legal, and many others. Colin will soon be launching a new website devoted to telling the stories of fellow legal tech adventurers. Colin is a passionate advocate for legal technology and is devoted to educating and inspiring others. He is devoted to helping the legal profession and the legal industry be positioned to thrive in today’s evolving world and beyond.