For being tweeterific, Yvonne McGhee will receive Gary Vaynerchuk's great new book.

For being tweeterific, Yvonne McGhee will receive Gary Vaynerchuk’s great new book.

A few weeks ago, I made a promise to a roomful of lawyers. Today, I’m (finally) making good on that promise.

Standing on a Chicago dais, I was privileged to present to about 400 folks at the ABA Bar Leadership Institute. My topic was strategic communication. (Here is a PDF of my PowerPoint.)

Yvonne C. McGhee, Executive Director of The Virginia Bar Association (and quite a tweeter!)

Yvonne C. McGhee, Executive Director of The Virginia Bar Association (and quite a tweeter!)

I opened my presentation by making the following promise: The best tweet/tweeter from that morning session, as determined solely by me, would be deemed the winner of a great new book by Gary Vaynerchuk. The book is titled #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness. (And you can buy it yourself in multiple places, including here.)

My thinking was that those who were great tweeters—and thus great communicators—might make the best use of Gary’s great tips and insights.

So without further ado, I offer you, as the winner: Yvonne McGhee, executive director of the Virginia Bar Association. In person or online, Yvonne is a consummate communicator.

Below you can see her winning tweet, which shared in my amusement at Facebook’s new emoji called the “ha-ha.”

Congratulations, Yvonne. Send me your snail-mail address and the book will be speeding your way!

Here, by the way, are the new Facebook emoji:

Spot the ha-ha in the new Facebook emoji.

Spot the ha-ha in the new Facebook emoji.

To show how difficult my selection process was, I share also a few other tweets that made me chuckle or even LOL. First, a hilarious comment by Elizabeth Derrico of the New York State Bar Association regarding the likely result of my urging Snapchat use by bar leaders:

Next, Robin Lynn Haynes, Washington State Bar Association President-Elect, gets my props for sharing my love for English majors:

Institutionally, the Albany County Bar shared its love of dogs and then shared their own. Dogs are always among the best tweets:

Finally, Vermont Bar Counsel Michael Kennedy recognized the love my presentation had for Beyonce. Hat tip to you, Michael:

Thank you to the many, many attendees who participated in the tweetup in Chicago. You’re the best!

A proclamation by Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey declares that March 2016 is Women's History Month.

A proclamation by Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey declares that March 2016 is Women’s History Month.

Sharing some news from the Governor’s Office you may have missed, a proclamation of March as Women’s History Month. The proclamation posted above bears careful study, as it praises the achievements of attorneys and jurists Sandra Day O’Connor and Lorna Lockwood. Here is the Governor’s announcement:

In honor of National Women’s History Month, Governor Doug Ducey has signed a proclamation honoring the brilliant and courageous women who shaped Arizona’s history. His office also released a video that celebrates just some of the many Arizona women who have torn down barriers throughout the decades.

“In Arizona, women aren’t just a part our history,” said Governor Ducey. “They’ve led it. These women have been Supreme Court Justices, Governors, Congresswomen and more. This month, we commemorate the achievements of Arizona women as we look forward to the next generation of female leaders in our state.”

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (ret.) and Gov. Doug Ducey, September 2015.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (ret.) and Gov. Doug Ducey, September 2015.

Oh, Twitter, right back atcha with that #love!

Oh, Twitter, right back atcha with that #love!

Some of you may find the following fact unastonishing: Today is the 10-year anniversary of Twitter.

Happy birthday, Twitter. I’m happy you’re here!

That most agile of social media channels has had some growing pains in the past year, and I am rooting for it to emerge stronger than ever.

The reason I’m a fan has everything to do with reader engagement—and the ability to learn news as it’s happening, rather than when a news conglomerate decides to drip-drip-drip out information.

Yes, in fact, Twitter does have a signature.

Yes, in fact, Twitter does have a signature.

Here at Arizona Attorney Magazine, Twitter was a game-changer. It has allowed us to know what was happening in real time. And it allowed us to share news as it broke. Pre-Twitter, unless you were the Associated Press, a TV channel, or a major daily newspaper, you were pretty much sidelined from breaking news, even in your own beat. But sweet sweet Twitter changed all that.

It’s helped in other ways. This past Friday, I presented to hundreds of legal leaders at the American Bar Association’s Bar Leadership Institute. I also invited continued dialogue on Twitter, and promised a gift of a terrific book to the best tweeter from the session. (More on that later.) No surprise, engagement spiked.

Because the digital world is all-knowable and all-knowing, I was able to look up my very first tweet, way back on August 12, 2009 (you can see it below). I was relieved that I did NOT launch my Twitter brief with a mention about my lunch. Instead, my inaugural tweet happens to combine a few of my fondest interests: lawyers and legal affairs, human rights, and historic preservation. A social-media trifecta!

my first tweet 08-2009-page0001

My first tweet: 140 characters pack a punch.

That was almost 25,000 tweets ago, and I am looking forward to all the conversations to come.

Feel free to follow me here; I’m pretty sure we’ll have a blast together!

Comedians at Law logo

Get ready for your briefs to get in a bunch: Comedians at Law are coming to town again.

Next Wednesday, March 23, you have the opportunity to laugh along with—or at, I suppose—a group of on-stage attorneys.

Comedians at Law will appear that evening at StandUpLive in downtown Phoenix. I’ve seen members of this crew before, and yuks both legal and illegal are guaranteed. (That’s all to the good, I assure you.)

If the promise of legal humor is not enough (say it ain’t so!), how does a promo code make you feel? That’s right, merely use the promo code LAWYER to get $5 off.

No joke.

Matt Ritter

Matt Ritter

The headliner, it appears, is Matt Ritter:

“Matt Ritter recently traded big law for the big stage. He graduated from the University Pennsylvania Law School and worked as a corporate lawyer at both Kirkland and Ellis and Mayer Brown before leaving the law to pursue a career in entertainment.”

Years ago, I worked at Mayer Brown—before I was a lawyer (don’t ask)—so I have to suspect that Matt’s comedy comes from a very deep-seated pain; I know mine does. (Let it out, Matt!)

Also appearing that evening will be a few local legal favorites: Matt Storrs, Nancy Stanley, and Bob Howard.

I’ve covered these legal comedians before, here and here, for instance. And Matt Storrs has been tearing up the downtown Phoenix comedy scene via his work on The Storrs Objection and the Phoenix Educational Programming (P.E.P.) Rally, co-hosted by the irrepressible Hattie Jean Hayes.

Matt also appears pretty regularly on the stage of Space 55, a theatre whose board I’m pleased to serve on.

Matt Storrs

Matt Storrs (who really can afford a better picture!)

Meanwhile, Nancy Stanley’s day job is within the hallowed halls of a prominent Arizona law school (an assistant DEAN, for god’s sake). So, just like Matt Ritter, cue the deep-seated pain. If you see Nancy, before or after her set, buy her a drink, wouldja?

Nancy Stanley

Nancy Stanley

I hope to be there next Wednesday, laughing along with the comics. Remember: Buy your tickets here, promo code LAWYER.

This Saturday, an annual Prison Education Conference will be held at ASU in Tempe.

This Saturday, an annual Prison Education Conference will be held at ASU in Tempe.

This coming Saturday is the fifth annual conference focused on the power of education—including arts education—to better the lives of people who are incarcerated.

Judge Lilia Alvarez, a keynote speaker at the 2016 Prison Education Conference

Judge Lilia Alvarez, a keynote speaker at the 2016 Prison Education Conference

The Prison Education Conference occurs on Saturday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be staged at the Tempe campus of Arizona State University, in the Memorial Union Turquoise Room (MU 220).

More detail about the event, which is open to the public, is here.

You can register for the free event here.

As announced by organizers:

Keynote speakers Judge Lilia Alvarez and attorney Kirstin Eidenbach will discuss how best to deter juveniles from entering the system.

Judge Alvarez is the presiding judge for the Guadalupe Municipal Court and also leads a “teen court” in Guadalupe. Kirstin Eidenbach is an admired attorney who focuses on prisoners’ rights issues.

Attorney Kirstin Eidenbach, a keynote speaker at the 2016 Prison Education Conference

Attorney Kirstin Eidenbach, a keynote speaker at the 2016 Prison Education Conference

Michelle Ribeiro, recently retired from the New Mexico Corrections Department, will speak on the creation of the Pen Project—a class that allows maximum security and other incarcerated writers to receive feedback from ASU interns. Sheldon Thompson, a Pen Project participant who, on his release, was accepted on scholarship to the Institute of American Indian Arts, will speak of his educational experiences (both in and out of prison) and also share some of his creative work.

Click here to watch a video of Michelle Ribeiro’s remarks at last year’s conference.

Michelle Ribeiro speaks at ASU in 2015.

Michelle Ribeiro speaks at ASU in 2015.

And you can read a class description of the Pen Project class here.

For a terrific roundup of last year’s conference, go here.

The conference is hosted by the Prison Education Awareness Club (PEAC) and the Department of English.

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).

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

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