It would be fair to say that the majority of my working life has been identifying people for one reason or another. Though these searches have a number of sources and objectives, Linkedin has always been a constant and, at times, reliable source for original information.
Whilst a number of individuals choose (or perhaps are induced) to copy and paste a company profile, and some choose to post no information; those who properly engage with the platform use it to provide their own voice in terms of their previous work experience, career, aspirations, hobbies etc.
It is valuable in terms of identifying skills and work history (perhaps someone was involved in a notable case not reported elsewhere) and indeed providing any context at all where other sources are lacking. Many firms reserve profiles on their websites for those in the firm deemed to be of sufficient rank to merit one. Consequently, many Solicitors, Associates (sometimes even Senior Associates!) do not have an accurate public profile through which suitability for a position can be gauged. As such, they are at risk of missing out on opportunities due to a lack of accessible information.
Perhaps the most relevant fact to always bear in mind whilst researching is the fallibility inherently present in all sources including LinkedIn. Accordingly, a well constructed, in-depth and, most importantly, accurate Linkedin profile is an invaluable source of information for recruiters, and may help land your dream job!
A recruiter might even determine how employable you are right after looking at the information on your LinkedIn profile, before even bringing you in for an interview!