Just over a week ago I had the privilege of participating on a business development panel discussion at the North American South Asian Bar Association‘s annual conference, which took place in Vancouver this year. My fellow panelists Sanjiv Kapur , Shirish Gupta (@shirish_gupta), Samia Kirmani, Aaron Templer (@aarontempler) and I discussed different approaches to business development and different attorney comfort levels with social media. The panel was an interesting cross-section of those who don’t use social media at all to those who rely on it extensively.
One of the things we all agreed on was that not every tool or approach is right for every individual, and that no one can be present on the entire spectrum of online and offline networking tools and channels that are out there. Try some things on for size, and then expand on the those that are the best personal fit. It’s a self-evident point, but one that bears repeating in an era when one can’t help but feeling left behind in the flurry of new tools and platforms launching every day.
Another one of the interesting take-aways for me and a theory I’ve become increasingly certain about is that Facebook is going to be the front line where a large number of issues around lawyers, law firms and social media play out for the simple reason that a significant and growing number of lawyers already have a “personal” facebook account in use. We did a show of hands at the event, and the majority of lawyers in the room had a facebook account. Even for those lawyers who are reticent about social media networking and marketing, if they already have a facebook account it is only a matter of time before colleagues and clients start finding them online and making “friend requests” at which point the questions around the blending of one’s personal and professional personae begin.
Aaron Templer and I had also pulled together some links to present at the panel that one or both of us have found useful in understanding social media in the legal context, but as the discussion was a lively one, time ran out on us before we had shared them. As promised at the panel here they are. Hopefully they’ll prove useful for those in attendance and anyone else who happens across this post.
Five things lawyers need to know about social media
LexTweet: Legal community members who use Twitter.
SecuritiesDocket.com has a directory of “big law” lawyers on twitter.
Law Memo: A good employment law blog (and good Twitter follow, too)
The Legal Beat: a portal/aggrevator of legal information and news
LinkedIn Groups sorted by the keyword “legal”
Twitter tracking tools rounded up in a nice blog post
Law schools’ social media best practices blog post
C-Level executives social media usage report from Forbes and Google
A great legal content portal – documents, presentations, more
FriendFeed for lawyers – a blog post by a lawyer for lawyers.
Social networking for lawyers – Socialmediatoday post.