November 2015 Bar Bulletin
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November 2015 Bar Bulletin

The Risks and Rewards of Social Media for Attorneys

By Christina Schuck

 

The Risks and Rewards of Social Media for AttorneysBy Christina SchuckWhen it comes to social media, there is no shortage of advice for attorneys. Use social media well and adeptly and you can reap handsome rewards. Fail to use it at all and you risk appearing archaic and out of touch. Post foolishly and you risk potential ethics violations, losing your job and/or ridicule on the worldwide web.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines social media as “forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.”1 Marketing strategists encourage lawyers to do more online than merely setting up a LinkedIn profile and Facebook page.

They urge lawyers to engage in issues, be genuine and authentic, and shine among all the other stiff and predictable lawyers online.2 Twitter, even with its 140-character limit, is heralded as a powerful way for an attorney to establish him/herself “as an intelligence agent on a niche,” develop relationships and ultimately bring in business.3

Many lawyers employ social media successfully and have made names for themselves as a result of their social media prowess. Law360 recently rated the top 20 attorneys “killing it on Twitter.”4

Most notable is an appellate and sports law attorney, Daniel Wallach, who started out tweeting occasionally to a mere 200 followers. Then he started to post about “Deflategate,”5 the NFL scandal and federal court case in which the New England Patriots were accused of underinflating game balls in the January 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Wallach’s posts dissected all of the complicated legal filings following the suspension of the Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady.6 Suddenly, Wallach found himself quoted in newspapers around the country on a nearly daily basis7 and he now boasts well over 6,000 Twitter followers.8 Other top-20 attorneys are lauded for practical, legal writing tips, and hilarious, insightful and even snarky posts.9


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