I saw in my feeds yesterday that Arizona Attorney, Jill Wiley, had been named the new chair of the board of Meritas, a global alliance of independent law firms.

Word of Wiley’s appointment came from an Asian business publication, which by being an influential publication has its stories syndicated by Google News.

I subscribe to the word “Meritas” to see news about Meritas. Why?  Meritas is a network of almost 8,000 lawyers in 200 law firms in 90 countries and 245 markets. When you’re a publishing company like LexBlog, Meritas leaders and members are the folks with whom you’re looking to build relationships.

Seeing the announcment I wanted to give a “kudos” about Wiley’s appointment to Meritas, Wiley and her law firm, Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwell, Hanshaw & Villamana.

It’s easy to do via Twitter by including the Twitter handle of Wiley, her firm and Meritas in my Twitter shoutout. They’d each get an email and notice on Twitter about my tweet, it’s like a virtual handshake.

Problem was that neither Wiley nor her firm use Twitter. Forget failing to use an information and news medium that lawyers and their clients use, what a lost opportunity for leveraging Wiley’s role with Meritas.

  • Leaders in associatons need to stay relevant to membership. By sharing info helpful to law firm leaders as well as Meritas news, Wiley could establish trust and a growing relavence of Meritas across its membership.
  • Create a Twitter list of Meritas law firms and its lawyers usng Twitter. Mertias and its leaders could re-tweet the things these folks are proud of.
  • Create easy to use feeds monitoring the firm members’ names. Again, shout-out news about them.
  • Wiley and her firm’s clients see all this interaction with lawyers and law firms around the world. Members of other legal networks see the news and information shared, the interaction and the relationships built between Meritas lawyer/law firm members. Wow.

These ideas are just off the top of my head. I am sure there are other ways to use Twitter for busness relationships and growing network membership.

No time? Too complicated? Ethical issues? You’re really saying I am not going to move forward with innovation nor am I going to go out where the people are, where they communicate.

This stuff is pretty easy and takes minutes.

It’s not my point to dump on Wiley, her firm or Meritas. My point applies to any network or association leader.

By and large, such folks are absent from Twitter and are trying to grow membership and remain relevant to the members they have with the same methods used thirty years ago.

So many opportunities for leaders with Twitter.

  • Take the criticism a step further… lawyers who don’t put their email addresses on their websites, as if they’re too important or too busy to be easily & directly contacted.

    Worse still, lawyers who don’t even have websites. [But I’ve got a wooden nickel that says they still put their fax number on their business cards & all their pleadings.]