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Lawyers can use social media to change people’s lives 


In the big scheme of things, lawyers blog and use social media for what can seem like fairly shallow reasons. Marketing, content marketing, content distribution, visibility, SEO and web traffic are the goals you most often hear about.

In an interview with Anna Hecht (@annaruthhecht) of InStyle, First Lady Michelle Obama (@FLOTUS) makes clear her use of social media, whether for education for girls worldwide, fitness, support for veterans or higher education, is to make change.

We want to do things that are actually going to change people’s lives, and the only way to do that is to constantly make those shifts so that the message is getting directly to the people we’re trying to reach.

As should also be the case with lawyers, Obama knows that you cannot reach people, especially young people, in the same ways you have in the past.

Nowadays, this generation isn’t watching the nightly news [or] reading newspapers… they are on their phones. So, we had to think of fun and creative ways to connect with them.

Through social media Obama feels she can reach people on personal level.

They can see that I am kind of silly sometimes, that I care, they can feel the passion. They don’t have to have it filtered through a source and young people, in particular, like that.

How could lawyers blog and use social media to change people’s lives?

  • Be yourself through social media such as Twitter and Facebook and possibly video. Lawyers are perceived as miles away from the average person. Getting out and mingling with people where they are (on social media) as a real person, you can make a difference — even if one lawyer at a time.
  • Share information on niche subjects which would be helpful to the average consumer or small business. There are hundreds of niches unfilled by blogging lawyers in states and towns across this country. Think of the questions people have and answer them on a blog or in social media. Large law? Maybe do it on a pro bono basis.
  • Answer questions that school children would have on simple legal matters and civil rights. Think back to civics class in grade school. Let grade schools know you are doing this. Maybe do it for high school and college age people. This is much more valuable coming from a local lawyer than the state bar.
  • Career game change is possible through blogging and social media if you are willing to focus on a niche and express yourself with passion and care through blogging and social media. Whether in big law or a solo you can do the type of work you want to do for the people you want to work for through social and earn an income not possible before. Do it for your kids, spouse and co-employees and the people you can serve and support along the way.
  • Teach others how to blog and use social for learning, networking and reputation building. Maybe a chamber, bar association, college or law school. Get others out making a difference.

Practicing law is not a right, it’s a privilege. At a time when the law is all but inaccessible to most people and our profession is looked at so poorly, social media represents an opportunity to change people’s lives.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Alex Tomey