By Kevin O'Keefe

Lawyers ignoring the power of social to connect with people

Social media to connect

The power of social media to connect people was on full display Thursday.

Facebook brought us the Republican debate along with Fox. Facebook users’ questions were be played live by video and read by moderators. Facebook ran pages sharing live debate updates with comments from users.

Americans is probably a better descriptor than “users.” We’re talking real people, average folks, connecting with reporters, politicians and each other in real time.

Later I read that Facebook has launched “Pages Messaging” offering new ways for people and business to connect.

Pages Messaging will allow Americans to message businesses via business ads and business pages on Facebook. No dodging support questions and complaints. Businesses will be publicly rated as to the nature of their responses.

Amazing to think that an online social network started in a dorm room ten years ago is connecting so many people this way. Heck, I thought it amazing to see Facebook’s logo on the screen throughout the debate.

Yet we have our legal profession dodging social media basically in en mass. The vast majority of lawyers are unwilling to be real and authentic and engage with people on line.

Some lawyers say they have no time to give of themselves. Some say Facebook is just for personal use, not a place to engage and speak as a lawyer – God forbid. Some lawyers are even stuck on unfounded ethics’ concerns limiting their online communications.

Lawyers have so much to gain from engaging and connecting with people. Our reputation is close to the bottom of all professions. Lawyers are struggling to get enough work. People do not think of contacting of lawyer when they have a need. With lawyers not out there where other people are, people don’t see lawyers.

Lawyers refusing to communicate where everyone else is communicating. Pretty crazy when you think about it.

This afternoon I saw San Diego immigration lawyer, Jacob Sapochnick using Facebook video live having a real time conversation, including answering questions, with people around the world. He referred a person with a detailed question to call his office.

Sapochnick isn’t waiting to see how Facebook live video will be received or how it will be judged ethically. He’s out helping and engaging people who are looking for legal information. As a result, he’s going to run laps around his competition.

So much to be gained by lawyers connecting with people online. A terrible waste that not more lawyers are doing so.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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