Conversation with many lawyers about law practice inevitably leads to dialogue about the value of social media. In that regard, things are shifting. We used to never hesitate to call the profession a very very very “late adopter.” But more attorneys have dipped their toe in to test the waters.
However, even those lawyers who may have established a LinkedIn page for themselves (daring much?) shiver in fear at the suggestion of engaging via Twitter.
Perhaps it’s the less-than-serious name and surrounding nomenclature that turns them off, or the fact that many cannot say their complete name in fewer than 140 characters, but attorneys too rarely share the Twitter love.
Here’s hoping the summer and the United States Supreme Court can change that.
Unlike other breaking news, Supreme Court opinions are issued on a relatively predictable schedule. As such, I can count on my Twitter feed to light up like Broadway as news of an opinion emerges. Via Hootsuite or directly via Twitter, I can quickly scan the posts of journalists and lawyers I’ve come to trust about these things.
Constitutional law communicated via digital means may not be something the Founding Fathers anticipated, but I’m confident they’d be down with it. I mean, if published today, Common Sense would have a digital edition, and The Federalist Papers would have a paper-free app.
The stream of SCOTUS news got me wondering: How are you tracking breaking updates from the Court?
Reading the daily newspaper? Reading websites of partisan groups? Watching TV news?
Please tell me you’re not watching TV news.
Don’t get me wrong: Many of those media are perfectly fine. But if you like how they cover news, check to see if they have a Twitter handle. If they do, follow it. (And if they don’t, seriously reassess your choices.)
Remember, you can use Twitter solely as a one-way news stream. Though I recommend you be an active participant with those you follow (and who may follow you), it is not required. Silent reading and consuming of news is perfectly OK. That way, at least you’ll be benefiting from some of Twitter’s functionality.
(And yes, you may even follow my own Twitter feed here.)
If you have not clicked through Twitter links before, you may be pleased to discover this: That what begins as a pithy 140-character tweet may blossom into some wonderful long-form coverage. Don’t buy into the stereotype that complex ideas cannot be synthesized, and that Twitter is analysis-lite.
Don’t be that guy. Get on Twitter.
Once there, search around for media sources you trust, or lawyers whose insight you appreciate. Click Follow. You might even organize them into Lists to encapsulate all your interests (“Supreme Court coverage,” “Mad Men,” “Law Practice Management,” “Recipes”).
The Supreme Court and I will be there waiting for you. And we may even retweet your own insight out to the world. Because we’re all share-y that way.Follow @azatty