Take the time, maybe five or six hours to personally write your profile. Do not copy and paste from your law firm bio. Put in information for each position you’ve held and what schools you’ve attended. Why you worked here, what you learned, why you left etc.
Your title next to your name should describe what you do, not list your title. “Patent Lawyer” is much better than “Partner.” Get all of your contact info in – email, phone, cell phone, website, blog, Twitter, Facebook etc. Help people who are looking for you. Seek out recommendations, not endorsements, even from peers and mentors.
Feedly and Flipboard enable you to share blog posts and news on LinkedIn with an accompanying comment from you. By doing so, LinkedIn will learn about your interests and suggest to others with similar interests that they connect with you.
People will share, comment upon, and like items you share. Take the opportunity to engage those people, as appropriate with an inMail on LinkedIn.
Premium paid service can be a plus
I pay for the premium because I always have. When LinkedIn first started I could not believe how valuable it was. I wanted to support them. Now that they are billionaires, who knows if I should still pay.
The best answer is to try it and see what you think for a month or two. I like the tagging and some of the CRM (client relation management) features the premium service gives me.
If you have mastered all there is to the free LinkedIn, go for it. But most lawyers are only leveraging a fraction of what they can on LinkedIn.