Registration is now open for LexBlog’s upcoming free webinar on law firm online technology. Join us to learn what you must do (or not do) to be perceived as a credible, with-the-times firm with minimal cyber risk.

About the Event

If you’ve ever worked with a law firm partner who responded to your email with a handwritten note circulated via intra-office mail, you know law firms can be some of the last to fully understand and adopt technology best practices.

At LexBlog, we want you to steer clear of common pitfalls as you utilize online technology.

Join us as we clarify everything from the basics such as risky website user passwords to more complex choices like software-use fit.

We’ll do our best to provide these insights in laymen’s terms and help you understand what issues you need to prioritize so your clients and potential clients recognize you as having your technology act together.

We recommend this webinar for any legal professional involved in making decisions and policies around use of online technology including (but not limited to):

  • Marketing technology professionals
  • Chief technology officers
  • Chief information officers
  • Chief knowledge officers
  • Directors of communication
  • Attorneys involved in the law firm technology policies

DATE: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. PDT (Not in PDT? Convert this to your zone here.)

Register here.

There’s blogging, and then there’s blogging well. And really, an argument can be made that anything but the latter really isn’t blogging at all. After all, what is blogging—is it simply the act of producing content to an online publication that displays it all on one page in reverse-chronological order? Or, is there something more to it?

If it’s the former, big law firms have blogging for a long time. At LexBlog, we’ve been working with members of the vaunted AmLaw 200, in addition to firms of all sizes, for more than a decade, as lawyers have for a long time used the power of the written word to build credibility—long before platforms like Blogger and WordPress and Typepad were but a glint in some kid’s eye. But still, as law firms began moving that written word to those platforms, the challenge was—and still remains—fitting it to the medium upon which they are writing, and the challenge is no more prevalent than among the nation’s top firms.

In reviewing all the posts that come across the LexBlog Network on a daily basis, which generates the majority (or close to it) of its content from a number of these biglaw firms, the problem is clear: they’re taking the legalese-ridden white-paper style alerts and copying them over to what they’re calling blogs, with many of them being reactionary analysis of litigation, regulation or legislation.

That, though, is changing. I’ve seen it changing day by day, month by month and year by year here on our own network, and the improvement in quality is evident in this year’s iteration of the top “best law blog” rankings around—those being the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100.

Now, it’s worth noting that biglaw has long been represented in these rankings. Lowering the Bar for example, a legal humor blog from Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Kevin Underhill is in the Blawg 100 Hall of Fame. Jeff Richardson, an attorney at Adams & Reese, authors iPhone, J.D., which is now a staple in these rankings. Then there’s Dewey B Strategic from Jean O’Grady, Director of Research Services and Libraries at DLA Piper. And that isn’t to discount the biglaw blogs in these rankings from the professionals working at these firms in a non-legal way, which includes Heather Morses’s The Legal Watercooler and the über-popular 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, where one of the “3 geeks” is Norton Rose Fulbright Internet Marketing Manager Lisa Salazar Fulbright.

But if you open up those links, it isn’t evident the blogs have any tie to those firms, which is likely by design. And there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s just that the blogs aren’t from the firm—they weren’t created by them and they have no stake in the content produced there.

Those, however, aren’t the only Blawg 100 publications from AmLaw 200 firms. There’s actually seven AmLaw 200 firm-branded blogs in the Blawg 100, and what’s most interesting is that five of them are new to the rankings this year. The other two joined just the year before last.

Yeah, biglaw is getting the hang of this.

As I tell lawyers and law firms all the time, particularly those at these large firms, the bar to clear to distinguish yourself as a legal blogger—and a legal blogger from a large firm—is not that high. But still, you have to have at least one of the key components to blogging well, if not a handful of them.

CFPB MonitorTake for example Ballard Spahr’s CFPB Monitor. What in past lives, or from other firms, would be a blog devoted to financial regulation as a whole, their offering takes aim at a niché—an age-old trick of bloggers. They exclusively cover the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and boy do they cover it. If there’s any news even loosely tied to the CFPB, they’re on it, and they explain it in a way that anyone could read. It may be devoted to those professionals who need to stay apprised of activity surrounding the bureau, but anyone who wants to read it can. It may not be super colorful, nor passionately opinionated—but it does what it does and does it well.

Now, if you’re looking for color among this bunch, there’s Foley Hoag’s Trademark & Copyright Law, which covers interesting branding and trademark-related issues. Though some have—and continue to try to—do this without actually, you know, displaying artwork around those marks, Foley Hoag certainly doesn’t, which is evident from just quickly scrolling the front page. Did you think you’d ever seen biglaw discussing porn star images in dating profiles? It isn’t the stuff of legal alerts, and it looks a lot like the trademark-related blogs you see from non-AmLaw 200 firms in these rankings, Winthrop & Weinstine’s DuetsBlog (long overdue on getting in here) and Stites & Harbison’s Trademarkology, which made the 2014 Blawg 100 despite launching just a year ago.

Those two biglaw blogs I’ve described, while strong and filling an audience’s need, don’t necessarily display the relationship-building quality you see from blogs authored by solo attorneys—though that’s just the nature of biglaw group blogs, it’s hard to do. Still, that isn’t to say it can’t be done from, say, a partner at an AmLaw 200 firm.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 1.54.57 PMTake a look at what Richard Cohen is doing on Fox Rothschild’s Employment Discrimination Report. In addition to keeping readers entertainingly apprised of trends and issues associated with workplace discrimination, he engages readers on a nearly everyday basis. Comments and questions from his audience—comprised of fellow attorneys, HR professionals and other execs—turn into posts themselves. It’s a tactic you traditionally see from small and solos, but that it isn’t to say it can’t work for everyone—because it is here.

I don’t want to go on too long, because I think you can see the point. And that isn’t to say anything of Venable’s All About Advertising Law, which proactively covers that industry in a way that keeps things entertaining; Seyfarth Shaw’s California Peculiarities Employment Law Blog blending niché-oriented writing with colorful accessible language on a number of workplace trends; the excellent work of Stinson Leonard Street’s Liz Kramer on Arbitration Nation; and then there’s job K&L Gates has done with understandable case analysis on Electronic Discovery Law.

That, naturally, isn’t the near the end of the list of large firms doing quality blogging—but what you see in the rankings is a trend that should continue. Next year, I’d imagine there will be some holdovers from this group, and further headway from the rest of the AmLaw 200. These firms have long known they can draw on their top-tier talent they have in their firm to build credibility through the written word—but now they’re starting starting to realize that if people can’t read it, or not enough people want to read it, they’re limiting their return. So now, they’re blogging.

We get asked all the time about what it takes to get into the ABA Blawg 100. I’m sure at least a couple of LexBlog’s account managers have been asked that question in the last couple days. Part of it’s simple, you have to work hard. That’s what all of the blog authors who made it do. But on the most basic level, and this shouldn’t be surprising, you actually have to blog—and there’s more to blogging than just putting words on a page.

Large law firms who aren’t blogging are conspicuous by their absence. This per law firm marketing strategist, Adrian Dayton (@adriandayton).

Rather than blogging declining with the growth of over social media, blogging is growing faster than ever among the Am Law 100.

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Why the popularity of blogs among large law firms? Per Dayton:

  • Blog posts are the fuel that feeds the social media engine. It is law firms’ blog posts that are shared widely across other social media.
  • There is no more powerful tool for search engine optimization (SEO) than the continuous creation of blog content. When clients and prospective clients search online as to an issue that your lawyers could address, is your my firm coming up in the Google search? If the answer is no, it may be time to start blogging.
  • Blogs generate high quality work for large law firms. Dayton recently spoke to a firm which has brought in more than 20 high quality engagements through its blogs.

Who are the 20 holdouts among the top 100 firms who are not blogging?

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It’s only a matter of time before all of the top 100 firms use blogs. I’d be surprised if there’s more than couple firms not blogging by the end of next year.

Blogs have proven to be a natural for large law. Blogs enable law firms to share their intellectual capital for business development. Large law has that intellect by virtue of the lawyers the firms attract from leading law schools and judicial clerkships.

Blogs also feel like a natural extension of traditional business development for lawyers in large law who have developed business through writing and speaking.

I can remember almost 10 years ago LexBlog working with its first large law firms. Much has changed. The wild thing is that we are just scratching the surface in blogging among the top 100 law firms.

In addition to the aforementioned post and above graphs from Dayton, please see LexBlog’s State of the Am Law 200 Blogosphere.

Lawyer characteritics of futureJordan Furlong (@jordan_law21), a strategic legal consultant and author, asked his law blog readers to prioritize 10 characteristics of a modern law firm.

The top four choices?

  1. EQ: Your high emotional intelligence fosters great relationships, especially with clients.
  2. Connections: Strong and productive relationships with clients in your chosen field.
  3. Moral fibre: You’re renowned for strength of character and high levels of integrity.
  4. Legal knowledge: Good old-fashioned know-how, the black-letter kind.
  5. Innovation: A talent for enthusiasm and improving upon current practices.

Solid characteristics for lawyers, now and forever. Just change the skill for know how and I’ll take them as the top three in any business professional. Doctor, scientist, engineer, accountant, nurse, or CEO.

I’ll confess I didn’t pay close attention to the survey results when Jordan posted them. It was not until this morning when Scott Greenfield (@scottgreenfield) questioned both Furlong’s take on the survey and his views on the most important characteristics of modern law firm.

From Furlong:

I can’t help but observe that if I had asked for the top five features of a traditional law practice in the halcyon bygone days of the profession, I would have wound up with a very similar list. This isn’t to say that Law21 readers are reactionary conservatives, which I’m pretty sure you’re not. More likely, it represents a yearning for the future profession to return to the fundamental bedrock values that we perceive underlay the successful law practices of our parents’ and even grandparents’ generations.

I can understand that desire, and I approve of it to a certain degree: there’s an emerging consensus that whatever lawyers and law firms have morphed into from the 1980s to the present day, more has been lost than gained in the transformation. But however much we may wish for a return to the old days (and they weren’t wholly fabulous, let’s keep in mind), they’re not coming back. We can’t simply revisit the past to build the future: the architecture of legal practice has to adapt.

We can’t go back to relationships, integrity, know-how, and enthusiasm? Things my grandparents, parents, lawyer mentors from 17 years practicing, and business mentors from 14 years as a business person taught me.

“We can’t simply revisit the past to build the future: the architecture of legal practice has to adapt.” What does that mean?

Relationships, know-how, and enthusiasm are all scored zero (lesser importance) by Furlong in their importance for success in the future of law. Pricing strategies and “solutions r us” trump relationships and legal know how — by far.

I don’t want to be disagreeable here and Furlong is a pretty good guy, but this makes absolutely no sense. It feels like total bunk. It is ill advised to be teaching a law student, new grad, or law firm to stray from core fundamentals if they are going to be successful in tomorrow’s world.

Tell a managing partner that relationships and a reputation (earned through know-how) are “secondary characteristics” that can be developed after pricing strategies and financial facility.

Relationships and reputation are the leading way lawyers and law firms get work. Too bad only about 5 to 7% of lawyers are good at bringing in work this way. At the same time number crunchers (not to demean their value) are readily available.

Has Furlong had his back to the wall as a corporate board member being sued by a federal agency, an insurance company suing you for defamation, fighting a strong law firm to get your files out (life blood for your family), or suing a government agency for disclosure of records to prove the claims you’ve made in the press?

Or had to fight for the life-time resources for a severely brain damaged child against a medical institution worth billions who holds nothing back in trying to defend a doctor whose negligence is ultimately found to be the cause of this child’s injury and a young parents’ loss?

If so, I don’t think he’d so lightly dismiss the value of a relationship with a lawyer or say this as to the importance of legal know-how.

Legal knowledge is now widespread and easily accessible, and its price keeps dropping. I can outsource this asset, retrieve it when and from whom I need it, and build up other resources instead.

I fell in love with the use of the net as a practicing lawyer back in 1996 because of its power to build relationships and a reputation. I also loved the network I could grow to build my my legal know how.

It’s empowering lawyers to use the Internet, and what we’re now calling social media, to do the things my grandparents, parents, and mentors thought me that gets me out of bed each morning.

Maybe, going on age 58, I’m over the hill and don’t know what I’m talking about. But the importance of relationships, know-how, and integrity my Dad imparted in me thirty and forty years ago are still serving me well.

My gut tells they’ll be serving lawyers well in 2053 when we have self driving flying cars.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Brent Moore.

20130809-210544.jpgJulia Love (@SFjlove), covering the business of law for The Recorder, reports that law blogs are really coming of age.

With my company, LexBlog, being in the business of empowering lawyers to network through the net via blogs and other social media for ten years, I’d love to say “Baloney, law blogs came of age years ago. Heck, the majority of the 200 largest firms in the country use blogs for professional and business development.”

But Love makes a good point, that with big law challenged, law firms and their attorneys are drawing on blogs to boost their revenues and profiles.

As Kent Zimmerman (@kentzimmermann), a consultant to leading law firm chairs and chief marketing officers, told Love,

Lawyers have been blogging in large numbers for about a decade, but firms have made a more concerted effort to get their lawyers on the blogosphere in recent years. To land the high-value work they crave, firms need to be seen as thought leaders in the field—and blogging can help.

I explained to Love that leading legal bloggers can be hot commodities in the lateral marketplace. Another reason lawyers in large law firms are drawn to blogs.

In addition to the almost 70% of the Am Law 200 blogs that are on the LexBlog Network, Love shares that Orrick, Allen Matkins, Duane Morris, Shearman & Sterling have also turned to blogs to boost revenues.

There’s little question that blogging among large law is still in its infancy. Niche areas of the law remain wide open for lawyers and law firms. Those areas in which blogging is vibrant represent an opportunity for lawyers to join the discussion among thought leaders. After all, you don’t cease networking when there’s competition.

I’m right there with Zimmerman that with the challenges large law is facing, blogging is going to be even more important to increase revenue by landing high-value work. It’s also critically important for individual lawyers in some firms who find themselves in an uncertain environment.

In the economic downturn of 2008, LexBlog saw a tremendous growth in law blogs. Despite marketing budgets being cut at many firms, individual lawyers and law firms viewed blogging as a way to nurture relationships and enhance their reputation.

Those who acted landed and continue to land quality work. I expect the same, and much more in the years ahead.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Children of Darklight.

20130626-223027.jpg From Christopher Bucholtz (@bucholtz), a speaker, writer and consultant on topics surrounding buyer-seller relationships:

There’s a big difference between running the Facebook page for your dorm’s broom hockey team and coordinating the use of multiple social media channels to communicate with customers, potential customers and peers in a way that furthers the goals of a business.

Bucholtz’ piece on why your social media manager needs to know your business raises six key points for law firms in hiring social media professionals. 1) Youth, alone doesn’t signal success.

Those who understand social networking best tend to be young. They grew up with it like a native language — they didn’t have to strain to get a grip on unfamiliar tools. However, expertise at social networking doesn’t translate into expertise at social CRM. That role requires a deep understanding of a business’ processes and goals. It requires skills that go far beyond social networking savvy

2) People hiring for the position need to have an understanding of how social media will be used to build relationships and communicate as a business.

Choosing [social media managers] isn’t easy, if only because businesses have never had to hire them before. That puts managers who are in the dark about social media into the position of trying to choose the right people to manage something they themselves know little about. In many cases, it results in a default behavior: They hire young people, assuming that having grown up with social media, they’re the ones who know how to use it.

Truthfully, they do, sort of. They know how to use social media to enhance and connect in their own lives. Do they know how to use it to build customer relationships and communicate effectively as a business? Usually, the answer is no.

3) You don’t hand social media over to a junior level person.

Why would you turn over control of the channel that reaches the largest number of potential customers to the lowest-paid person in your organization?

The answer is obvious. It’s because some businesses still don’t appreciate the power of social media as a catalyst for success — or failure. Those that do choose their people more carefully and fashion their roles to be collaborative with other key roles in sales, marketing and support.

What this means is that you shouldn’t simply be on the hunt for a digital native to manage your social media initiatives. If you’re serious about making social media and social CRM pay, the person you choose to manage it must have some savvy about the business, its goals, and the way it operates. That person must possess an understanding of who your customer audience is and know the right messages to reach that audience.

That person must have the knowledge to track the success of social media efforts by monitoring the right metrics. On top of that, the social media manager needs to have the skills to work with leaders in other parts of the business to make sure they understand the value of social media and how to use the data it provides to help their efforts.

4. When in doubt, hire knowledge of the legal profession and your business first, social media knowledge second.

An experienced manager brings some abilities that young employees may not: an understanding of how to phrase things in social media that sets the right tone; an instinctive feel for data that should go into customer records or into lead-scoring measurements; an assertiveness that makes it possible to come back at managers disdainful of social CRM with business arguments that keep progress moving.

5. Look within your law firm.

They may already be inside your organization. Don’t assume that a valued employee can’t be spared from a traditional marketing or sales support position if that person could be the ideal candidate for the critical social CRM role.

6. If going outside your law firm, the right person or firm needs to know social media, the law, and your business. The person will also need the leadership skills to be an evangelist to make sure that not only marketing, but all areas of the firm understand how critical social is to everyone’s success.

Two or three years ago the idea of a social media manager in a law firm was unheard of. Today law firms are hiring social media professionals. But I’d question whether firms are hiring professionals who meet the criteria Bucholtz suggests.

Social media managers in law firms tend to be young, they tend to be in junior positions, they tend not to be directly influencing the firm’s leadership, and they lack a clear understanding of the firm’s business objectives. I am not sure they have been provided the firm’s strategic business plan that is guiding the firm’s leadership.

There are of course exceptions, I am just sharing what I see in general. The landscape in hiring for social media in the law will change as firm leaders come to understand how critical social media is to their firm’s success. It’ll just take time. In the interim, I’d keep Bucholtz’ six points in mind. They’ll serve you well.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Dita Margarita.

AmLaw 100 Report profits per partner

The American Lawyer is over a month into its annual tradition of releasing Am Law 100/200 law firm financial results through the publication’s AmLaw Daily email newsletter.

Green Target, a strategic communications firm,  has been compiling individual firm results as they are released to keep their clients and partners informed on industry reporting. John Corey (@jecorey), President and founding partner of Green Target, has been sharing the compiled results with me each of the last few weeks. Here is this week’s financial reporting summary (pdf) from Green Target.

Corey is seeing a downward trend in gross revenues and profits per partner as results continue to be released.

As more firms report their financials — 106 have had their results published through [March 22]  — we’re seeing the average gross revenue and profits per equity partner (PPEP) trend downward. Both are at 4 percent today whereas a few weeks ago they were in the 7 percent range. The biggest firms tend to report early and we saw many strong reports coming out of the Am Law 50 in particular. While a number of firms have reported robust profits YOY, a number of factors have played into that such as reduction in equity partner head counts and contingency victories, among other factors. A major area of focus, however, continues to be on demand and revenue growth. As the industry navigates what continues to be a flat-demand environment, firms are aggressively implementing strategies to grow the top line through laterals with portable books of business, mergers and other growth plays.

In addition to these financial summaries, Green Target will soon be releasing its 2013 In-House New Media Engagement Survey with findings as to how blogging and other social media use by lawyers influence in-house counsel and Corporate America’s selection of legal counsel. LexBlog participated in the preparation of the survey so I’ll have a copy to share with you as soon as its ready.

Image courtesy of Flickr by W. E. Jackson.

Social Media for Lawyers is FoolproofThat sure appears to be the message Adrian Dayton was sending in a recent column in the National Law Journal entitled ‘Social media? Nothing to be afraid of.’

From Dayton:

  • Take Twitter, one of the most basic of sites. You follow people and things that interest you, and you share or “tweet” about people or things that you find of value.
  • LinkedIn is similarly foolproof: Sign up at LinkedIn.com, follow the prompts and start connecting.
  • Blogging is the easiest tool of all. You can start a blog in five minutes: Simply go to WordPress.com, Blogspot.com or some other blogging service, click on “start a new blog” and follow the prompts. Once you’ve created your blog, writing a new post is as easy as writing a document using Microsoft Word. Actually, it is easier — as easy as filling in a search term on Google and pressing “search” (except this time you are going to hit “publish”).(emphasis added)

As to a strategy to make sure you realize a return on your investment of time and expense, to protect your firm’s brand, and to stay out of harms way ethically and liability-wise?

Aren’t there strategies and tactics and etiquette to learn? Sure, but mostly these come down to common sense. The most important part is signing up and starting to explore.

Social media is nothing to be afraid of per Dayton.

There are things to be afraid of in this world — things you may never understand, like how to fix a carburetor, deliver a baby or mill wheat — but social media aren’t among them.

There was a bit more to the article than that, but that was the gist of the message on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blogging. Sign up and explore.

I’m the first to challenge lawyers and law firms to consider using social media to enhance their reputation and grow their word of mouth reputation. A willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes can be beneficial in learning what social media is all about and how it can be used for professional and business development.

But rather than winging it, law firms may want to consider, among other things, the following:

  • Education on what social media is really all about? Why are some law firms realizing significant client development gains through social media while other firms are struggling?
  • Developing design and content protocols that prevent the firm and its lawyers from being embarrassed.
  • Developing a strategy that allows the firm to realize its goals.
  • Ethical, liability, and practical concerns, such as time commitment.
  • Which social media are the most appropriate for them.
  • A social media policy or, at least, the consideration of social media implications in existing policies.

When I’ve spoken to Dayton in person, he’s a nice enough guy. Very personable. He appears well intentioned in helping lawyers and law firms when it comes to social media.

I’m not sure what Dayton advises law firms, I’ve not heard him speak to groups, and obviously not heard him consult law firms. My guess is his message is a little less naive than the message sent here. He may advise that firms consider some of the above items I mention. Dayton may have even written on it.

But sending a message out like this in the National Law Journal does more to set back the use of social media by lawyers and law firms than to advance it. It’s a message that will rightfully scare the hell out of law firm elders and their law firm business development and marketing professionals.

Imagine a senior partner telling others in the firm “You find people, you tweet — nothing to it. Twitter’s foolproof, let’s all start Tweeting.” Or “I’m starting a blog on Blogspot, blogging is the easiest of all social media, it’s as easy as filling in a search term on Google. Let’s all explore.”

The National Law Journal reports legal information of importance to attorneys as well as covers legislative issues and legal news for the business community. Rather than ‘Lawyers Weekly’ focus on smaller firms, which I read as a practicing lawyer, the National Law Journal, which I also read as a practicing lawyer, primarily targets large law and their clients.

Telling large law that social media is foolproof and that you can set up a blog in five minutes because it’s as easy to publish a blog post as it is fill in a search term on Google is a misguided message to the American lawyer.

It’s a message that ought be avoided by Dayton and the National Law Journal. Lawyers deserve better.

Had I not chosen the road I have and was still practicing law and someone came to our law firm partner’s meeting talking about social media and how our firm might use it for professional and business development I would have been one of the real skeptics.

Even though I see the power of blogging and other forms of social media for lawyers and law firms and want to be enthusiastic as all get out, I need to be empathetic with how many of you are feeling.

You’re an excellent lawyer. You are role a model and mentor for young lawyers looking to do well by themselves and the legal profession. You have built your practice and book of business by improving your skills as a lawyer, doing high quality work, and delivering outstanding service to your clients.

Your best work and best clients have come through relationships and your word of mouth of reputation. Those are the core concepts of business development for lawyers and law firms. Why bother with social media?

Rather than looking at the Internet and social media as something new, just look at the Internet, of which social media plays an integral role, as an accelerator of relationships and your word of mouth reputation.

If there were a way to accelerate the growth of your law firm’s business and revenue in a tasteful and eloquent manner, don’t you as a law firm leader have the fiduciary and financial obligation to at least discuss it? Wouldn’t the firm want to consider how it could empower its team members (partners and associates) to leverage this accelerator to grow business — especially if some of your teammates wanted to do so?

Social media is nothing new. View it as a buzz word that’s hot if you will. All we’re talking about is relationships and word of mouth.

Lawyers nurture and build relationships by networking — or engaging their target audience. That, and of course, doing high quality work, is how lawyers built a book of business 100 years ago as well as today.

‘Social media’ didn’t change that anymore than the advent of the car and the telephone did in years past. Like those two, the Internet, including social media, accelerated word of mouth and relationships.

You as a law firm leader leave a very wide wake. Your behavior and speech impact your lawyers and other law firm personnel in a big way. You impact how clients, prospective clients, business associates, and recruits (new grads or lateral hires) feel about the firm.

  • Do you make feel people empowered?
  • Are people excited and proud to wear the uniform of your law firm?
  • Are we open to new ideas?
  • Do we recognize that we’re all different in how we build our careers, some lawyers will do this, others that?
  • Do we foster an environment of curiosity and learning?
  • Are we competitive with other law firms?
  • Are we conducting business itself, not just the law, in the way our innovative and growing clients are?

You might never personally use social media for professional and business development. If I were still practicing today, and not fell into what I do, I probably wouldn’t. My focus was being a good trial lawyer.

When I practiced I had weekly meetings with my firm’s associates to listen to their concerns, hear what they were excited about, and appreciate what was going on in their lives outside of the office. I felt I had an obligation to help them. I knew they were the future of our law firm.

I would hope that whatever caused me to have those weekly meetings would have meant I would have had an open mind on social media. I don’t know if it would have.

I suggest you care about social media, if not yourself, for others and for how you, personally, and as a law firm, are perceived.