I read with interest Caroline Elefant’s post “How Lawyers Are Using Social Media” on Legal Blog Watch Friday that re-caps an article from Chicago Lawyer about how lawyers are using social media and online networking.
The conclusions drawn out from the article and post appear to be that lawyers value online networking and social media as part of their practice, particularly in areas such as staying current with clients, drumming up business and even doing research about opposing counsel.
These observations line up with the findings from the 2008 Networks for Counsel survey that found, among other things, that:
- Nearly 50 percent of attorneys are members of online social networks
- 67 percent of 25-35 year olds, 49 percent of 36-45 year olds, and 36 percent of 46-55+ year olds reported membership in an online social network.
- More than 40 percent of attorneys believe professional networking has the potential to change the business and practice of law over the next five years
So, lawyers, even older ones, are starting to value and use online networks. And, with more than two-thirds of young lawyers already using online networks, it appears to be a forgone conclusion that the legal profession will eventually fully embrace online networks and – likely – other social media.
However, the Networks for Counsel survey also found one thing that will be significant to the arrival of that day. Specifically, the survey found that fewer than ten percent of lawyers say they can rely on their current network to help them work more efficiently and cost effectively. This would seem to indicate that perhaps a network more in-tune with and in-line with lawyer needs would be welcome.