March 2016


social media heart love

… but maybe it’s just me.

How do lawyers and social media go together? You’d think pretty well, but the mashup recipe is more complicated than that.

A recent survey explored lawyers’ views of that media so social, and there may be a few surprising findings. You can read the story related to the survey here.

(And what’s up with the lack of questions about blogging, which is probably the primary digital game-changer? In its defense, this survey appears to focus on social-media channels or tools, rather than content-generators like blogs. Maybe the next survey …?)

Here is one of the findings:

“Strategy. There’s a 12 percent gap between the two age groups when it comes to using social media as part of their marketing strategy—69 percent of over-30 lawyers say it’s in their strategy, compared to 57 percent of younger lawyers.”

Besides that, we see attorneys are also comfortable with Linkedin, which on the social media spectrum is a warm blanket and fuzzy slippers. (Not to be judgy or anything.)

Findings from a 2016 social media survey of lawyers (via Attorney at Work).

Findings from a 2016 social media survey of lawyers (via Attorney at Work).

And all of that definitely resonates with my own experience.

I have presented before to attorneys and law students on the topic of social media. I went in assuming young folks would yawn, knowing all this stuff. And I thought older attorneys would scoff or otherwise cast aspersions on the topic.

What I discovered, though—especially in relation to blogging—was quite the opposite.

Many of the younger people I spoke with spurned blogging, while the older folks had detailed questions to enhance their blogs’ reach.

I previously wrote about one such interaction here, and that has led me to adjust my thinking on the challenges faced by a younger generation of lawyers.

What I mean is, they have been bludgeoned for years with news stories making them fear that a single digital misstep can damn them for eternity to unemployment. As we know from other research, people who have slogged their way through economic downturns are understandably cautious about upsetting their financial apple-cart. And so we hear from large numbers of young legal professionals declining to blog or do much else online that is perceived as public.

Long term, I believe that’s an unfortunate result. For as we know, career strategy is just another term for differentiation—and blogging done well can differentiate you.

Do you hope to be a thought leader? Get out of your foxhole.

What do you find interesting in the survey results? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Findings from a 2016 social media survey of lawyers (via Attorney at Work).

Findings from a 2016 social media survey of lawyers (via Attorney at Work).

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picking up the pieces after a wrongful credit report-page0001

A law publication may be a lot of things, but a site for retail- or consumer-level legal information is typically not one of them.

March_2016 Arizona Attorney MagazineThis month, though, we are pleased that Arizona Attorney Magazine has been able to feature just such a story on its cover.

Our subject: picking up the pieces after a wrongful credit report. We felt like the article could be helpful both to lawyers (who may fall victim to such a financial malady) and to laypeople.

Adding to the good news, author David Degnan has written a piece whose tone, language and length all collaborate to yield a widely accessible essay.

You can read the piece online here. Please let me know what you think.

I’ll have more news soon about what else makes our March issue noteworthy and—dare I say it?—historic.

credit report history Scrabble pieces

Time-to-Listen clock gaugeI’m a fan of a few things, among them: legal-writing experts, and lawyers who listen.

When they’re combined, good things may happen.

That’s why I was pleased to hear from legal-writing teacher and writing coach Jennifer Romig, who pointed me (and thus you) toward an interesting event in Tucson later this week. On Thursday, March 10, you have the chance to attend a two-part session titled “Better Lawyering Through Better Listening.”

It is being held as part of the International Listening Association’s annual convention. (Yes, there’s an International Listening Association.)

More event detail is here.

International Listening Association ILA logoAnd Jennifer offers more background on what you may get out of the seminar here.

Meantime, I recommend to you a few opportunities to learn more about listening right in the pages of Arizona Attorney Magazine:

Here’s hoping you read, listen, and learn.

Does your workplace foster engagement, or the opposite? (employee motivation morale leadership dave-wheeler harvard business review

Does your workplace foster engagement, or the opposite? (illustration by Dave Wheeler, Harvard Business Review)

Easy lifting is my Friday mantra, and I wish the same for you. For an enjoyable read, I suggest Ashley Kasarjian’s blog post that could transform your workplace.

Ashley is an employment & labor attorney at Snell & Wilmer—and the chair of the Arizona Attorney Editorial Board. So she has great experience about what works and what doesn’t in regard to motivation and morale.

And you’ve got to be wowed by the way she pairs her advice with song choices. I love the smell of leadership in the morning!

Ashley Kasarjian

Ashley Kasarjian

(You might recall I wrote before about Ashley’s being honored with a 2015 Athena Award—so well deserved!)

After reading Ashley’s insightful post, please send me a note to say which morale-boosting tip is your favorite.

I admit it’s hard to separate the wisdom from whether you love the song that inspired it. So my favorite—Michael Jackson and making a change—might be musically driven as much as workplace driven!

Meantime, if you needed more evidence that de-suckifying your workplace may help your staffers’ morale, I have one word for you: Harvard!

That’s right, who isn’t impressed by words of wisdom that emanate from that Ivy League school on the Charles River? So head over to read a great piece on employee motivation and your company’s culture in the Harvard Business Review.

Here is one graphic from that article. I suspect we all have aspects we could improve in our organizations. Let me know what you’re doing in your law office. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Company process and employee motivation (frightening graphic by Harvard Business Review)

Company process and employee motivation (frightening graphic by Harvard Business Review)

Have a terrific—and lyrical—weekend.

State Bar of Arizona conservatorship program heads off identity theft: General Counsel John Furlong interviewed by 12 News.

State Bar of Arizona conservatorship program heads off identity theft: General Counsel John Furlong interviewed by 12 News.

Bankers boxes and old files never looked so good.

Last weekend, 12 News interviewed State Bar of Arizona General Counsel John Furlong about its conservatorship program, which safeguards client files when a lawyer cannot.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAs the story asks: Clients give their lawyers a lot of personal information, but what happens to all of that data once an attorney dies or is suspended?

As it turns out, in the best circumstance, that data and those files end up in a warehouse maintained by the Bar.

The story—including video—is here. Be sure to share it, especially with those who may benefit from the information.

Magna Carta Exhibit Reception Invite header

Eight hundred years is a long time, even across the Pond in Great Britain. That’s why they—and we—sit up and take notice when a remarkable document reaches 800 years old.

Officially, of course, Magna Carta is now 801 years old. But who’s going to quibble?

News arrived this week that a traveling banner exhibition commemorating the anniversary is headed to Arizona. Titled “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015,” its kickoff reception occurs this Friday, March 4. Sponsored by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the event will be held at the state Capitol building. All the detail is below.

(And be sure to read our own coverage of the document’s birthday in our recent November issue.)

Though it's unlikely to have happened this way, here is one artist's rendition of Magna Carta being signed at Runnymede.

Though it’s unlikely to have happened this way, here is one artist’s rendition of Magna Carta being signed at Runnymede.

According to the organizers:

The reception begins at 5:00 p.m., and will take place in the Arizona Capitol Museum Rotunda (1700 W. Washington). Michael Bailey, Chief Deputy Counsel for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, will offer brief remarks, and attendees will have the opportunity to preview the exhibit itself.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Developed by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress and by the Library of Congress and its Law Library, the exhibition focuses on Lincoln Cathedral’s 1215 manuscript of Magna Carta, which stands as one of only four surviving original exemplifications from that year.

The banner exhibit will be on display in the Capitol Museum from March 4-23, 2016. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

RSVP to Kileen Lindgren at klindgren@ij.org.

One place for all the practice tools a lawyer could need? That's what the New York State Bar Association has developed. LawHUB

One place for all the practice tools a lawyer could need? That’s what the New York State Bar Association has developed.

I just flew in from New York, and, boy, is my brain tired.

Previously, I wrote about a conference focused on criminal justice that I participated in last week. Hosted in the Big Apple, it brought together great people and some legal luminaries—like Judge Jed Rakoff, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

I plan to tell you more about the symposium soon. But while I was in that great city, I was thinking about a terrific product, recently launched, that benefits attorneys all across that state.

So today, let’s talk about a unique hub that gathers together tools and products that are most useful to practicing lawyers. If I were running the show, I’d aggregate all those tools in an easy-to-use app-like interface, one that remembers me, the individual user, whenever I’m logged on, and one that looks cool, operates fast, and thinks about what I need before I do. And I think I’d call it a lawhub. Or maybe a LawHUB.

New York State Bar Association NYSBA-Logo-darkWhich is precisely what the New York State Bar Association did this year, when it rolled out its innovative LawHUB. Smart folks there.

A benefit for members of the NYSBA (a voluntary bar), LawHUB is impressive, and it’s described by the bar like this:

“LawHUB is the first comprehensive tool for the legal profession that lets attorneys easily and efficiently streamline their practice into one customizable dashboard. Get access to highly curated content, the cloud-based platforms essential to your practice, and a vast network of peers all without leaving the LawHub.”

You can read more about it here, where the NYSBA put out the news. And here is the page where their members get started.

Interested in more? One of the deepest dives available to us nonmembers is on this informative About page.

And for real production values and a quick (and dramatic!) introduction, here is their launch video:

Let me know what you think. Long term, it’s possible the New York State Bar may be seeking to license this platform to other bars and associations. Would this kind of online structure assist you in your law practice?

And in the meantime, congratulations to the smart and innovative folks at the NYSBA!

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