Social Media Risks v. Rewards

    March 15, 2011

    Attorneys have long recognized the value of networking.  Show me a lawyer who invests time in creating new relationships, gets involved in his or her community, and actively seeks out potential clients, and I’ll show you an attorney who will be spending more time on the golf course in five years than with their head buried in corpus juris secundum.  Yet, most lawyers are hesitant to engage in the recent explosion of social media and online networking because they do not believe the rewards outweigh the risks.

    Trusted legal authorities such as recognize social media’s potential in the legal industry.  “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Martindale Hubbell Connected, and LegalOnRamp are just a few of the powerful social media technologies that can help your law firm or company develop and protect its brand and intellectual property; provide client service and deflect complaints; showcase and educate your professionals — and more.”  In the past, attorney networking traditionally occurred at bar association events, professional networking groups, and on the golf course.  Today, these traditional notions of networking are enhanced by an attorney’s ability to reach a broader audience through emerging social media technologies. Online networking sites provide attorneys with the ability to strengthen professional relationships through more frequent contact, connect with a wider range of potential referral sources, and afford attorneys the opportunity to educate the public and empower clients in their trusted area of law.

    Notwithstanding these benefits, attorneys often cite a cornucopia of concerns for avoiding social media marketing. Some are afraid of committing ethical violations. Others find social media undignified for lawyers.  And most attorneys are simply too busy to “tweet.”  In the coming months, this blog will highlight the unique benefits of social media for attorneys and address common social media concerns in an attempt to alleviate misconceptions about attorney’s use of social media.

    Thursday’s post will address one of the most common concerns: time management and the misconception that social media is too time consuming for a busy lawyer. Do you have a concern you would like addressed in this blog? Leave a comment. Better yet, tweet about it!

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