Social Media for Law Firms

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Social Media Networking for Attorneys

General Disclaimer:
The information on these pages is provided as a public service. Information contained in these pages is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice. The use of the information provided in these pages should not be taken as establishing any contractual or other form of attorney-client relationship between anyone or any law firm and the reader or user of this information. A result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

PLEASE NOTE: While we would like to hear from you, please understand that merely contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. We cannot become your lawyers or represent you in any way unless (1) we know that doing so would not create a conflict of interest with any of the clients we represent, and (2) satisfactory arrangements have been made with us for representation. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you unless we have agreed that we will be your lawyers and represent your interests and you have received a letter from us to that effect (called an “engagement letter”).

This content is designed for general information only. The information presented shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

If you have questions regarding social media in South Carolina you should seek the advice of a lawyer. Wall Templeton can be reached at 843-329-9500.

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Social Media for Law Firms

  1. 1. Social Media – What is it and how do I use it?
  2. 2. Disclaimer • • General Disclaimer: The information on these pages is provided as a public service. Information contained in these pages is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice. The use of the information provided in these pages should not be taken as establishing any contractual or other form of attorney-client relationship between anyone or any law firm and the reader or user of this information. A result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. • PLEASE NOTE: While we would like to hear from you, please understand that merely contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. We cannot become your lawyers or represent you in any way unless (1) we know that doing so would not create a conflict of interest with any of the clients we represent, and (2) satisfactory arrangements have been made with us for representation. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you unless we have agreed that we will be your lawyers and represent your interests and you have received a letter from us to that effect (called an “engagement letter”). • This content is designed for general information only. The information presented shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. • If you have questions regarding the contents of this information you should seek the advice of a lawyer. Wall Templeton can be reached at 843-329-9500.
  3. 3. Social Media – What is it? • Social media is a way of disseminating media through online social interactions. It’s a marking tool. • Social media is another way to share your expertise with the world and increase the firm’s visibility to clients. • Typical Media disseminated by Lawyers – – – – – – Briefs News Articles Legal Opinions Practice Area Updates Audio Questions -- Legal Memos -- Firm Photos -- Firm Logo -- Current Status --Slide shows --Answers
  4. 4. Social Media – Why is it important? • Social networks are a way to develop referrals – From other lawyers – From other industry professionals
  5. 5. A Basic Social Media Marketing Strategy • First Phase – Use the Firm Website News Section for content and possibly as a blog –L - Publication arm for information –L - Additional online resume • Other Considerations –a Profile – Facebook – JD Supra
  6. 6. Firm Website as a blog September 14, 2009 The South Carolina Supreme Court Court Issues New Newman Opinion on CGL Coverage for Contractors The South Carolina Supreme Court withdrew its initial opinion dated March 10, 2008 and substituted a new opinion on September 8, 2009 (Auto-Owners Ins. Co., Inc. v. Newman. Op. No. 26450). In the substituted opinion, the Court held that a subcontractor’s negligent work which damaged the GC’s other work is an "occurrence" covered under a GC’s CGL policy, but that the cost to repair the subcontractor’s defective work may not be covered under the policy. As an example, a roofing subcontractor’s "negligent" application of shingles which causes water damage to framing materials installed by another sub may be covered. The cost to repair the damaged framing may be covered, but the cost to remove and replace the shingles may not be covered. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Pleicones argues that faulty work by a subcontractor causing any damage to the GC’s work product, i.e. any part of the house, is not an "occurrence" and not covered under a GC’s CGL policy. The substituted opinion follows a line of cases that define insurance coverage for contractors and the obligations of CGL carriers that issue insurance in South Carolina. The application of the law, as defined by the string of cases, is dependent on the facts of each case. Click here for a link to the substituted Newman opinion.
  7. 7. • Twitter can be used as a “micro-blog” – Limited to 140 characters so, you must consolidate the address and can use tweetburner to do so. •A – In addition you must keep the description short. • So:
  8. 8. • Twitter asks: – What are you doing? • Post: The South Carolina Supreme Court Issues New Newman Opinion on CGL Coverage for Contractors. https://www.elmorewall.com/news.htm • This goes out to your twitter network and keeps them abreast of Construction issues in South Carolina and reminds them to think of you for business.
  9. 9. Professional Social Networking • Online Resume and profile • Import Content – – – – – S - Allows you to upload PowerPoint's Blog content can be uploaded Question and Answer by topic – Increase Expert recognition Typical Resume material – Education, Experience, Website, Picture Recommendations by other members • Static Social Media Platform – i.e. not Instant messaging or conversations • 3 Levels of Connections – 3rd level connections will find you when searching for an attorney in SC, so important to build a large network • Groups – Place for new connections, content, and emerging issues. – Examples – Coverage Defense, Construction Defect Claims and Coverage, Construction Claims network, Surety Bond Pros, Construction Professionals Forum, Chinese Drywall Litigation (Westfield example for MST)
  10. 10. • While traditionally thought of as a personal social networking platform, facebook should be used for business. • It is the largest social media platform 200 million active users and more than 100 million that log on at least once a day. • Dynamic so can engage users from other static sites such as Linkedin, plaxo, and martindale connected. • You can post content – – – – – Chat IM URL’s for websites YouTube Video Documents from JD Supra --Causes and fundraisers --Invitations to events --Photos --Status Updates --Groups • Do post photos, but only post ones you would display in your office • Do build groups, establish causes, and put up documents • Facebook gives clients a tangible idea of who you are and what you like. Think of it as a virtual office and share information a client may learn about you if he or she visited your office. • For those of us with friends who post pictures or tag pictures of you, you should monitor these to see what content is out there on you and remove the tag if it is not professional.
  11. 11. • Law Firm can not have a profile on Facebook, but can set up a fan page – Don’t recommend due to potential atty-client relationship argument – However individual attorney profiles are recommended • Facebook has been used as a means of service of process in Australia and New Zealand • A NC Judge was reprimanded for “friending” a lawyer on a case before him and discussing the case with him on Facebook – There are SC judges on Facebook as well – Judge Few • Privacy is not guaranteed and all submissions become the property of Facebook • Great Parody on Facebook see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrlSkU0TFLs&feature=related
  12. 12. • A place to post Law Articles, Opinions, Briefs, and Memorandums. • Law firm can have a profile rather than an individual. • Idea is to attract clients through work product and publications. • When posting make sure to include information about how to contact you and the firm in the article you upload
  13. 13. Profiles • Go to www.google.com/profiles • Fill out a new profile with the information from the Elmore & Wall Website • Once confirmed by Google, your profile should appear on the first page of any Google search for your name. • Great way to increase your visibility online
  14. 14. Recommendations • Remember social media is a means of PUBLICATION – – • Keep it professional Send traffic to the Elmore & Wall website Develop a Firm Policy regarding Social Networking. – Basics: • • • • – Other Resources • • • See attached Sample Law Firm Social Networking Policy from Jaffe Additional examples of Social Networking Policies can be found at: http://123socialmedia.com/2009/01/23/socialmedia-policy-examples/ Incorporate Disclaimers on blogs and dynamic social media – • Don’t post anything that’s confidential. Avoid the appearance of establishing a client-attorney relationship. Don’t get into an argument with anyone. Be polite and avoid sensitive subjects. Example: Social networking does not create a Client-Lawyer Relationship Monitor – Check any content where other users could post media to insure they are not posting confidential information.
  15. 15. Recommendations • Use the News portion of the Elmore Wall Website as a firm Blog and consider using Google Alerts and Alltop to “microblogg” by reposting high-interest content produced by others • Do not start a group named Elmore & Wall, E&W Clients, etc. – Do not want any indication that by joining they are now represented by E&W • Successful groups and topics target clients – Examples: Construction Law Updates; Construction Law Verdicts; Mechanic’s Liens in SC; or other topics potential clients would be interested in.
  16. 16. Other Considerations about Social Media • It can be used as a tool to investigate witnesses – Especially sites such as MySpace, facebook and YouTube – MST and MHW war stories • It seems to increase visibility – After signing up for these social media websites I received a call from a Chicago firm looking for a SC attorney to handle their clients work in SC. They found me through Google and said I was the first person that came up in their search.
  17. 17. Additional Resources complied by David Barrett, Esq. on Social Networking • "The biggest mistake I see - many lawyers are not on Linkedln“ - http://twurl.n1!018d16 • Everyone else is on Facebook. Why aren't you? - http://twurl.nI!8Imrcj • Americans Expect Companies to Have a Presence in Social Media - http://twurl.nI!6eba2v • "The number one predictor of income as a lawyer is the size of your network http://twurl.nl!v23byp • The value of social media for lawyers - http://twurl.nl!efiggc • Legal Marketing Without Social Media and SEQ Not Enough - http://twurl.nl!75x4jr • 9 Reasons You Need Social Media Marketing in 2009 - http://twurl.nl/fmOajn • Lawyers Should Blog First, Tweet Second - http://twurl.nl/y07ulr • Top 5 Social Media Myths for Attorneys Explained - http://bit.ly/KcgL
  18. 18. • How Lawyers Can Grow Billings using Online Networks and Internet Marketing http://twurl.nl!4i7p2t • Linkedln Becoming More Powerful for Legal Industry Use http://bit.ly/SOosB • Law Firm Development: Are You on Target for 2009? http://twurl.nl!sla3qc • Increasing Traffic to your Website or Blog with Linkedln http://tinyurl.com/9xa9If • Lawyers Link In to Social Networking - http://twurl.nl!t551tz • How to Argue for Social Media - http://twurl.nl!evz2h7 • Social Media Will Change Your Business - http://twurl.nl!c10jqx • Professional Services Sales Using the Internet http://twurl.nl!jtnupv • Linkedln may well blow the "traditional" lawyer directories away http://twurl.nl!uyfo3a • ABA Journal feature "Social Promotion" http://twurl.nl!fw4dro
  19. 19. • Real Lawyers Have Firm Profiles at Linkedln - http://twurl.nl!n7r240 • Social Media Marketing for Lawyers: 2009 Predictions http://twurl.nl!y4tic7 • Social networking tools will become mainstreamed as "standard“ elements of law firm business development plans http://twurl.nl!4zylae • Facebook for Lawyers? http://twurl.nl!ffgwvn • Largest Law Firms have Expanding Linkedln Profiles http://twurl.nl!nnuhhg • Companies Believe Social Media Can Increase Revenue http://twurl.nI!05mOgg • Tweeting Lawyers in the Forefront http://twurl.nl!oOgjju
  20. 20. • I Did Not Get the Value of Linkedln - Do You Get It? http://twurl.nl!updh67 • Lawyers Talk About Experiences with Twitter, Linkedln, Facebook http://twurl.nl!mvbwva • Linkedln Users Have High Financial Success http://twurl.nl!aOruxu • Lawyers Get Clients Using Linkedln http://twurl.nl!f4tph4 • Linkedln should be a part of every lawyer's marketing mix http://twurl.nl!d2kduw • Large Law Firms Begin Using Linkedln Groups http://twurl.nl!08n2It • "When you hire someone, you hire his or her network.“ http://twurl.nl!lag05x • The Linkedln Lawyer Webinar Series - http://twurl.nl!xh4bri
  21. 21. Social Media – What is it and how do I use it?

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