Social Media for Law Firms
and Lawyers
Presented to PSALA Tech Section, January 28, 2014
Our
goals
today?
Gain understanding
of why social media
is important
Understand
types of mediums
and benefits
of each
Learn what might
work for you
See who is using
effectively
Understand ethical
considerations
So, WHY is
social media
important?
• Showcases Practice
Expertise
• Client Engagement
• Competitive Intelligence
• Increases SEO
• Cost Effective
Not

Dinosaur
2013 American Bar Association Legal
Technology Survey Report:
• 59 percent of lawyers said that their
firms have a social ...
• Among lawyers individually, 81
percent say that they use social
networks for professional
purposes, up from 78 percent i...
…..social media has
proven it’s no fad, it’s a
necessity
Still not convinced?
2013 In-House Counsel New Media
Engagement Survey:
• 73% say the use Social Media
• They are using Facebook mainly for
per...
• They are reading industry news on
blogs.
• They are turning to these sources with
the same frequency as traditional
medi...
Top social mediums for law firms and
lawyers (in order of importance):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

LinkedIn
Blogs
Twitter
YouTube
Face...
Which are
right for
your firm?
Social Media as your firm
or via lawyers? Or both?
Strategies for both
scenarios
#1 whether Law
Firm or Attorney:
At very minimum for all law firms
and attorneys - LinkedIn:
•
•
•
•
•
•

Law Firm Company Page
Connected to lawyers and st...
Who’s Doing it Well - LinkedIn:
• Perkins Coie: Perkins Coie
• Ryan Swanson: Ryan Swanson
Blogs – First Thing
• Niche Niche Niche
• Lawyer Commitment
Who’s Doing it Well - Blogs:
• Foster Pepper: Native Legal
Update
• Davis Wright Tremaine: Startup
Law Blog
Twitter – First Thing
• Firm Account or Attorney?
• Commitment
Who’s Doing it Well - Twitter:
• Bill Marler, Marler Clark
• K&L Gates, Firm Account
YouTube – First Thing
• Attorney Selection
• Tight Messaging
Who’s Doing it Well -YouTube:
K&L Gates
K&L Gates
Facebook – First Thing
• Last Thing
• Reuse other content
• Personal look
Who’s Doing it Well - Facebook:
• Stoel Rives: Stoel Rives
Ethical Considerations
The ABA 20/20 Commission
considered amendments in 2012 to
the Model Rules of Professional
Conduct t...
Ethical Considerations
Thus, the current rules apply to all
lawyer conduct. Read them. Follow
them.
Ethical Considerations
Do use the confirmation principle.
Confirmation is a “technique for
preventing unintended actions b...
Ethical Considerations
Don’t lie. Don’t fudge.
Ethical Considerations
Don’t give legal advice to anyone
on a social networking site.
Instead, provide only legal
informat...
Ethical Considerations
Don’t reveal confidential
information on social media sites.
Ethical Considerations
Don’t post anything on social
media during trial or pending
verdict.
Ethical Considerations
Don’t communicate with judges and
jurors. Don’t send them invitations
to connect.
Opportunity
knocks!
Social Media for Law Firms
and Lawyers
Presented to PSALA Tech Section, January 28, 2014
Social media for law firms and lawyers
Social media for law firms and lawyers
Social media for law firms and lawyers
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  • Tell you a bit about myself… 25+ years in corporate marketing for area companies including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Windermere Real Estate, Evergreen Hospital, and specific to legal: Director of Marketing for Williams Kastner for 3 years and most recently, for Foster Pepper for 7 years. Launched my own marketing and communications consulting practice in 2012 and serve the legal, healthcare and nonprofit sectors. My specialty in social media in the legal environment comes from my time at FP… have always been an avid studier of trends and expert opinions and so was an early adopter of social media for FP. At the time of my departure in April 2012 the firm had nearly 2500 Twitter followers, among the highest of any firm nationwide. The firm’s LinkedIn company page was populated with information of 20+ practices, and we launched 4 successful practice niche blogs. We had also developed a firm Facebook page. I had very specific strategy in mind for these activities, and believe that all firms must have one if they intend to reap any benefit from the time spent. As we move through this presentation I will talk more about that strategy.
  • That’s Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka kicking a winning overtime field goal against the Houston Texans in September - Go Hawks! As for our goals today,
  • Whether a law firm or individual lawyer, the benefits are significant
  • And even as important, in this technology age, being active on social media sends the message, especially for more senior lawyers, that they’re in touch and can adapt. Extremely important as clients get younger
  • Your competition is there, and so are your clients.
  • While there’s several social mediums to choose from, not all are right for law firms.
  • Here’s where the strategy must be developed BEFORE launching
  •  Vine, Instagram
  •  Excellent way to show attorney’s expertise and give a better sense of who they are.
  • Strategies include liking client Facebook pages, linking to them and others when posting, show firm’s personality
  • Before posting anything on asocial media site, confirm that the post is accurate, ethical and professionally appropriate. In otherwords, before hitting “post” or “send,” slow down, proofread, and fact check. While confirmation willslow your workflow, it could save your professional reputation.
  • Expertise, degree, education, areas of practice, etc
  • Distinguishing between “advice” and “information” is sometimes difficult, but here’s a start: a postcontains “advice” if it applies law to a real issue relevant to an identifiable recipient; in contrast, apost contains “information” if it describes the law in general terms or if it applies the law only tohypothetical issues and persons.
  • The scope of what is “confidentialinformation” is significantly broader than most lawyers realize. Indeed, under the Model Rules,information is “confidential” if it in any way “relat[es] to the representation of a client.”[27] Therefore,post information about clients and cases on social media only when there is “no reasonablelikelihood” that a recipient will be able to “ascertain the identity of the client or the situationinvolved.”[28] Better yet, don’t post information about clients and cases on social media.[29]
  • Social media for law firms and lawyers

    1. 1. Social Media for Law Firms and Lawyers Presented to PSALA Tech Section, January 28, 2014
    2. 2. Our goals today?
    3. 3. Gain understanding of why social media is important
    4. 4. Understand types of mediums and benefits of each
    5. 5. Learn what might work for you
    6. 6. See who is using effectively
    7. 7. Understand ethical considerations
    8. 8. So, WHY is social media important?
    9. 9. • Showcases Practice Expertise • Client Engagement • Competitive Intelligence • Increases SEO • Cost Effective
    10. 10. Not Dinosaur
    11. 11. 2013 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report: • 59 percent of lawyers said that their firms have a social network presence, compared with 55 percent in 2012, 42 percent in 2011 and 17 percent in 2010. Source: American Bar Association
    12. 12. • Among lawyers individually, 81 percent say that they use social networks for professional purposes, up from 78 percent in 2012, 65 percent in 2011 and 56 percent in 2010.
    13. 13. …..social media has proven it’s no fad, it’s a necessity
    14. 14. Still not convinced?
    15. 15. 2013 In-House Counsel New Media Engagement Survey: • 73% say the use Social Media • They are using Facebook mainly for personal use. • They are using LinkedIn to strengthen professional contacts. Source: http://insidecounselsurvey.com
    16. 16. • They are reading industry news on blogs. • They are turning to these sources with the same frequency as traditional media outlets. • Older colleagues are using Social Media weekly, and keeping pace with the younger generation.
    17. 17. Top social mediums for law firms and lawyers (in order of importance): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. LinkedIn Blogs Twitter YouTube Facebook
    18. 18. Which are right for your firm?
    19. 19. Social Media as your firm or via lawyers? Or both?
    20. 20. Strategies for both scenarios
    21. 21. #1 whether Law Firm or Attorney:
    22. 22. At very minimum for all law firms and attorneys - LinkedIn: • • • • • • Law Firm Company Page Connected to lawyers and staff Completed Lawyer Profiles Unique URLs Color Headshot Client Connections and follows
    23. 23. Who’s Doing it Well - LinkedIn: • Perkins Coie: Perkins Coie • Ryan Swanson: Ryan Swanson
    24. 24. Blogs – First Thing • Niche Niche Niche • Lawyer Commitment
    25. 25. Who’s Doing it Well - Blogs: • Foster Pepper: Native Legal Update • Davis Wright Tremaine: Startup Law Blog
    26. 26. Twitter – First Thing • Firm Account or Attorney? • Commitment
    27. 27. Who’s Doing it Well - Twitter: • Bill Marler, Marler Clark • K&L Gates, Firm Account
    28. 28. YouTube – First Thing • Attorney Selection • Tight Messaging
    29. 29. Who’s Doing it Well -YouTube: K&L Gates K&L Gates
    30. 30. Facebook – First Thing • Last Thing • Reuse other content • Personal look
    31. 31. Who’s Doing it Well - Facebook: • Stoel Rives: Stoel Rives
    32. 32. Ethical Considerations The ABA 20/20 Commission considered amendments in 2012 to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to address specific lawyer social networking issues, but ultimately recommended no sweeping rule changes in this area.
    33. 33. Ethical Considerations Thus, the current rules apply to all lawyer conduct. Read them. Follow them.
    34. 34. Ethical Considerations Do use the confirmation principle. Confirmation is a “technique for preventing unintended actions by requiring verification of the actions before they are performed.”
    35. 35. Ethical Considerations Don’t lie. Don’t fudge.
    36. 36. Ethical Considerations Don’t give legal advice to anyone on a social networking site. Instead, provide only legal information.
    37. 37. Ethical Considerations Don’t reveal confidential information on social media sites.
    38. 38. Ethical Considerations Don’t post anything on social media during trial or pending verdict.
    39. 39. Ethical Considerations Don’t communicate with judges and jurors. Don’t send them invitations to connect.
    40. 40. Opportunity knocks!
    41. 41. Social Media for Law Firms and Lawyers Presented to PSALA Tech Section, January 28, 2014
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