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).

expert definitionHave you ever had difficulty finding just the right expert to help with your legal case or matter?

Through the years, I’ve heard that from many lawyers. What they need is brains, experience and communications skills, written and oral. That whole package is harder to come by than you might think.

In the spring, we’ll publish our annual Expert Witness Guide in Arizona Attorney Magazine. That guide covers a wealth of subject-matter areas and includes a huge swath of the legal experts prepared to help Arizona lawyers.

You should bookmark our 2012 Expert Witness Guide here.

While you’re at it, what is new with you in the world of experts? What article would you rip out and save on the topic if we ran it in the magazine?

Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

The opening to the 2012 Arizona Attorney Expert Witness Guide

The opening to the 2012 Arizona Attorney Expert Witness Guide

And here is another great piece to bookmark. It is extremely well done, by experts Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch. Though it lacks a link to Arizona’s own best expert guide (only kidding, Carole and Mark), it does cover extremely well the topic of Finding Experts and Verifying Their Credentials on the Web.”

Here is how they open their article:

“When you’re in need of an expert to serve as a witness in your case, to consult on a special matter, or perhaps even to serve as a speaker at your bar seminar, where do you look? Your first instinct may be to use a search engine, or to search a social networking site like LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+. But there are other, deeper places on the Web to find that one right expert you truly need.”

They follow that strong opening with an article you really need to read. Within it are many links that take you to material that could help your practice, today.

I was pleased to learn quite a bit in the article, which appears in the highly bookmarkable Attorney at Work. If that piece gives you any ideas of topics or niches we should cover in Arizona Attorney, be sure to drop me a note.

I am in Denver this week (my first time here; can you believe it?), where I’m attending a great communications conference. While here, I am pleased to be leading a panel on how to manage the avalanche of content that seems to overwhelm us (rest assured, our actual title is much nicer than that).

Whenever I travel for work, I try to find great ideas to steal learn from. And that’s what takes me to an award-winning blog site: Solo in Colo

I invite you to look it over. The website, created by the Colorado Bar Association (“Colo”) aims to give voice to the wealth of solo-lawyer knowledge and experience. (The Colorado and Denver Bars are also hosting this week’s national conference, so they’re talented and generous!)

I am used to my own avalanche of content that I must create, curate, rewrite and post. But even given the horrorshow that is my daily calendar, I am in awe of this site. It includes a breadth and depth of value that continues to amaze long after they launched it.

What do you think? Should the State Bar of Arizona take on such a task? Do Arizona’s lawyers—particularly its solos—have any wisdom to impart? (That’s a trick question. They do.)

In what I am sure is no coincidence, the Denver conference includes as a speaker Merrilyn Astin Tarlton, of the great website Attorney at Work. She will speak on (Re)Building Your Blog:

“Using the real-life example of Attorney at Work, Partner/Catalyst Merrilyn Astin Tarlton shows how to create and manage a multi-author blog. She will discuss building readership, creating interaction, creating presence, content development, daily blog management and more. Plan to take good notes so you can head home with a plan to launch or spruce up your own bar blog.”

Any site whose slogan is “One Really Good Idea Every Day” and that manages multiple contributors is worth stealing learning from. Here’s to great ideas!

I return from the Mile-High City Friday evening, laden down with a treasure trove of “borrowed” ideas (and a smile that comes from cooler weather). But I’d like to hear your take on SoloInColo and Attorney at Work, and what you think of getting more voices “out there.”

Thanks to the talented people at Attorney at Work, I share with you a terrific tool on this Change of Venue Friday: “A Field Guide for Mobile Lawyers”

A Field Guide for Mobile Lawyers

I’ve been interested in the topic, especially because we will feature mobile lawyering in an upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney. This guide helped me learn a thing or three.

Here is how Attorney at Work wittily describes the guide’s target readers:

“You can (and do) work anywhere—seat 32F, the B train, hotel bars, little league bleachers and wherever your feet (and your luggage) may land. With just a smartphone and a change of underwear, you’re off in a trice to tend to business in parts unknown. And even when you’re not on the road, you’re on. You are an ‘attorney at large.’”

Mobile lawyers may have brick-and-mortar offices too

Great photo of an Ottawa, Canada, mobile lawyer office (brink-and-mortar-and-shingle + online)

I’ve downloaded the guide myself, and I have to agree with their description of the contents: “advice on mobile technology and communications tools, favorite apps, planning tricks, avoiding travel booby-traps and much more.”

You may get the entire guide here. And as they say, it makes great airplane reading!

Have a great weekend.

Do you want One Really Good Idea Every Day? Who doesn’t?

That is the genius behind a blog from the folks at Attorney at Work. They have stumbled on the brainy notion that busy people may skip all kinds of content, even if it’s valuable. But if you promise to provide one genuinely good thing once a day—and then leave them the hell alone—people may sign on. Hence, their cheeky six-word motto.

And so I did. And I haven’t been sorry.

And it was yesterday, therefore, where I read an insightful post regarding the new Android app for the Fastcase legal research tool. You should read it.

Catherine Sanders Reach

The post was (very well) written by Catherine Sanders Reach, of the Chicago Bar Association. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from Catherine in November 2010, when she presented at a State Bar of Arizona Solo and Small-Firm Conference. At that time, she headed up the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center.

Besides the good writer, the app is also a product worth your attention.

Arizona-admitted lawyers have free access to the Fastcase library, as it is a State Bar member benefit. Given that, there is no reason at all for Android users to pause before giving this new web app a try.

Once you do, let me know what you think. Does it—and Fastcase generally—help to meet your research needs?