The ABA Journal shared a list of 12 candidates for the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors as well as the candidate for President of the ABA.

I was struck that no where in the ABA Journal’s listing of the candidates did it include the personal social media accounts or blogs of the candidates. My cynical side wonders if the candidates even use Twitter and Facebook. Do they blog so as to express their passion and network with influencers with similar passions?

There was little I knew about these folks. I wondered how much other lawyers knew about the candidates. How were we going to find out about them – from them – if they didn’t use the Internet?

Today, we get to know people faster and in a more real way than ever before. It’s because of the Internet, and in particular social media (blogging, Twitter, Facebook).

We hear people’s voices in a real and authentic fashion. We feel people’s passion as they speak to us directly. We build trust with each other via immediate and personal online exchange. We even get to know people as people, outside of their professional lives.

I could look up each candidate and find out how they use social media. I fear it may only make me mad that these folks may not be doing what they can to connect with lawyers and the average people in this country. I fear it may make me mad that they are not serving as role models to American lawyers to jump on the Internet to learn, to network, engage people, build a name and advance causes important to you.

These folks are charged with advancing the causes of veteran’s legal challenges, access to legal services, innovation/technology in law practice management and human rights. To learn, connect and engage lawyers and the American people so as to truly advance these causes these candidates, more so than other lawyers, need to be using the same communication medium the rest of us use – social media and the Internet.

Current President of the ABA, Linda Klein, uses Twitter to engage lawyers (even yahoo’s like me) and the public. General counsel, in-house counsel, managing partners and lawyers everywhere use Facebook, Twitter and blogging to network, learn and evangelize causes important to them and their organizations. Nothing prevents ABA officials from using the Internet to connect and engage except fear.

I hope that the ABA Journal and the candidates will come back at me showing me and lawyers everywhere how they are indeed personally using social media. It wouldn’t be the first time I was told to kiss off by the ABA.

  • OrangeAlum

    I served on the BOG as the law student member at-large from 2015-16, actively tweeted during open BOG meetings & HOD meetings, and regularly shared and still share content on legal education, legal developments, bar policy, etc. But sadly, I was one of the few. It was good for me as it magnified my own voice on SM among those who were interested in the ABA’s doings, but other than that, no one really used social. Paulette Brown was pretty good at it, Linda Klein & Hilarie Bass are good, as well. Hopefully the next president elect, Bob Carlson, follows in their steps and ups his game some. The next crop is using more SM/web content for campaigning/communications, i.e.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      Just getting out and trying social media is important for anyone in a leadership position at the ABA. The ABA is viewed by many lawyers as being out of touch with them and by many as irrelevant to things we need to do as lawyers.

      Social media is the perfect medium for bar leaders to connect, yet it is the exception who does. Yet, for whatever reason, fear, politics or lack of real care, most bar leaders opt out of communicating.

      I don’t believe even Jack Rives, the executive director and coo of the ABA, uses Facebook or Twitter to engage and connect with ABA employees, committee members and lawyers at large.

      Hopefully folks like Anthony Ciolli, with his actions, can motivate other leaders to care and connect.