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

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).

Here's hoping you don't hear your own Linkedin humblebrags and self-praise emerge from actors' mouths.

Here’s hoping you don’t hear your own Linkedin humblebrags and self-praise emerge from actors’ mouths.

I’ll admit I like Linkedin well enough, and that I use it a good bit. I post items there, and read others’ items even more. I track down friends and colleagues, and I cheer them when they have a promotion.

And yet Linkedin manages to make my eyes roll skyward at least once a week, usually due to someone’s chest-thumping.

Today, I share three videos that demonstrate I am not alone in my occasional irritation.

What the videos include are actors reading actual posts and updates from Linkedin users. It’s horrifying, and hilarious. As the creators say, “We’ve cherry-picked real quotations from the website’s millions of profile summaries and invited actors to read them out loud.”
Here are parts 1, 2, and 3. I’m guessing you can’t watch just one.

The producers are Joseph & Joseph Productions, and their own Youtube page is here.

All the featured profiles, and more, can be found on Tumblr.

Have a terrific—and hopefully not Narcissistic—weekend.

Facebook knows its members may die or become incapacitated ... and is now offering solutions.

Facebook knows its members may die or become incapacitated … and is now offering solutions.

The other day I was informed by Linkedin of a friend’s “work anniversary.” That was jarring, as I know she died last spring.

Even more unfortunate, that kind of social media interaction happens quite a bit—and there’s rarely a systemic change that would reduce its occurrence.

For example, for a few years around 2010, Facebook would invite me to “connect with someone you might know.” Fair enough. The selection of options was good, including a lawyer friend whom I had known for years, and even written about in Arizona Attorney Magazine. Sadly, though, she had died the previous year. I tried to alert people whom I thought were closer friends, but they had no leads on who might have access to her social media accounts.

Those were simply more opportunities for social media to remind me of sad times—and to highlight the need for post-death decisions about social media accounts.

That’s why I was glad to see a story that attorney Michael Tucker shared. The article by Geoffrey Fowler is titled “Facebook Heir? Time to Choose Who Manages Your Account When You Die,” and it is a welcome read. It opens:

“You can finally decide what happens to your Facebook account when you die. In a change of heart, the world’s most popular social network will begin allowing its members to designate someone—what they call a ‘legacy contact’—to manage parts of their accounts posthumously. Members can also choose to have their presence deleted entirely.”

Is making this change to your Facebook account something you’ll consider?

chicago bar association cba logo

When I find myself in a city other than Phoenix, I like to look around at what the area’s legal community has to offer. My stomping grounds this week are in Illinois, specifically Chicago. So let me point you to some law-practice-helpful content from two great bar associations.

First, I recommend some content related to law practice management technology (say that three times fast), available on the website of the Chicago Bar Association.

The lawyer-friendly material includes some how-to videos by the talented Catherine Sanders Reach. Now THERE are some ideas worth borrowing! (Follow Catherine here.)

Here, for example, is a video on editing or removing Linkedin endorsements:

And over at the Illinois Bar Journal (published by the state bar), I recommend a few things.

Illinois State Bar Journal 2014First, their magazine includes a series of short articles the comprise “Law Pulse.” In it, the author is able to cover a variety of compelling and timely legal topics, all without straining your patience with massive length or endless footnoting.

Good examples of their form are here and here.

Like most bar journals, the Journal focuses on state laws and cases. But in the magazine’s feature story area is an article that may catch your attention, no matter what state you’re in. Titled “The Ratings Game,” it examines the world of Avvo: “Sites like Avvo that rate lawyers and encourage consumer reviews are evoking reaction positive and negative in the legal community—and posing interesting ethical challenges.”

The article includes a useful sidebar that explains how Avvo says its formula works.

Illinois State Bar Association ISBA logoMany of you may belong to multiple bars. If so, I’d love to hear from you about what content from varying bar publications you’ve found helpful to your practice. Maybe we can borrow some ideas from fellow bar magazines!

We all have heard the message more than once that social media is becoming essential for lawyers and law practice. But do we believe it?

How many lawyers (show of hands) participate in social media beyond some Facebook convos with their high school buddies? How many think that social media may be of some utility in certain other practice areas, but certainly not in theirs?

The April issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine will have some content regarding social media—in regard to employment issues for your clients and in regard to why you should be blogging yourself. But then I looked over at LinkedIn.

You know LinkedIn, that most buttoned-down and business-oriented of all the social media—the place where even the most traditional lawyer should feel at home. This ain’t Tumblr (which I like too; follow me here). And on LinkedIn, I specifically looked at the State Bar of Arizona’s page.

Yes, the State Bar has a LinkedIn page, where there is the occasional great Q&A string. But so far, not many Arizona lawyers have availed themselves of the community offered. Have you?

My inquiry about lawyers and social media is fueled not just by the only-moderate response to the Bar’s LinkedIn group. In addition, online last night I spotted an event that tells me we better get going on this social media thing. (And yes, I saw the event on Twitter.)

Up northwest at the Seattle University School of Law, a social media panel is occurring today, Wednesday, perhaps while you’re reading this blog. The teaser for the “Social Media Panel” is a simple one: “Want To Know How Social Media Can Really Benefit Today’s Law Student and Lawyer? Attend This Event And Learn How LinkedIn Can Work For You!”

More information is here.

Kevin O'Keefe

The session will open with a one-hour session on maximizing the use of LinkedIn for career searches.

Hold up: One HOUR? I’ve never had any training on LinkedIn, and I suspect it has far more functionality than I could imagine. I am beginning to wish I were in Seattle.

Then the law students’ day continues with this: “A panel of local attorneys and entrepreneurs will discuss strategic ways to use social media in the legal profession and the impact of social media on the legal community.”

That panel will include Kevin O’Keefe, CEO and Publisher of LexBlog, Inc.

In case you don’t know, Kevin O’Keefe is the author of the great blog “Real Lawyers Have Blogs” (guess how he feels). It’s housed on his LexBlog Network (he’s the CEO). More about Kevin is here. And you can follow him on Twitter (@kevinokeefe).

So here we have a law school providing its students instruction and guidance on social media. Assuming the event is jammed, students are voting with their butts and their time on what direction they see law practice heading: the way of social media.

Would such a seminar be helpful to Arizona lawyers and law students? I think so. But what do you think? Shall we (or I) begin to explore the possibility?

Here’s how you can tell me: Start a new conversation on the Bar’s LinkedIn group. Or send me a tweet (@azatty). Or even post a comment below.

Inquiring—and social—minds want to know.