The mainstream world is finally taking notice of the fact that lawyers use social media. In a recent article on Mashable.com (the consumer source for all things social media), our friend and fellow Connected member Adrian Dayton commented on why lawyers have been hesitant to jump into the arena, but are starting to now: “The online world is like the Wild West because nobody knows for sure how the laws apply.” He says that lawyers are starting to use social media in practice for things like jury selection and evidence gathering. On martindale.com Connected, lawyers have been busy building networks with like-minded professionals, trading referrals, and sharing expertise to generate new business (especially with corporate counsel). And most of this happens in specialized Groups.
With over 900 such groups and counting, you are probably wondering which ones are the best to join. A good group should have a growing membership base, an active leader, great content, and consistent updates. These five groups have each of these qualities and are a great resource for lawyers.
I didn’t just put this on here because it’s my practice area. The Intellectual Property group has over 340 legal professionals in it including IP heavy hitters like David Nimmer of Irell & Manella LLP, Jason Kravitz of Nixon Peabody, Professor Peter Menell from Berkeley, and John McKowen of Cassels Brock. The nice thing about the group, besides the members, is the diversity and quality of posts you will get; some recent posts include A hint at bigger things to come? $300 million in damages for Internet counterfeiting, Nimmer on Peer to Peer Sharing: Webinar Video Playback, and What options do businesses have to play background music legally in stores? (and that’s just the past week!).
These two are like peas and carrots, beauty and the beast, football and Sunday … you get the point. While they are two very different groups, they go great together in any lawyer’s list and compliment each other in a ways that give you the best of everything. In Social Media for Lawyers you will find over 300 legal professionals who are passionate about social media, on the cutting edge, and who will talk about things like Do You Follow Your Twitter Followers?, Social Media Graphics – awesome or just a gimmick?, and Have You Seen ‘The Social Network?’.
The Social Media Policy group also boasts a membership of 300+ but the discussions tend to be more legally focused and practical. You will find posts like Common elements of Social Media Policies, Lawyers Can’t ‘Friend’ for the Wrong Reasons, and our Connected ebook Navigating the Ethical Pitfalls of Social Media.
This is a new group in Connected, and there aren’t that many people in it (yet), but it makes the list because it is the place where I find myself posting a lot. Top of mind, a bit out there, or just hard to categorize finds itself in here. We’ve got posts like Forget the Dress Code Debate: Let’s Talk about the Coffee Cup Code, Supreme Court Ambulance Chasers: Specialists Look for Cases That Will Hit the Supreme Court, Will California Legalize Marijuana?
E. Leigh Dance started this group with weekly discussions for in-house counsel and outside counsel to learn about succeeding in their respective legal markets. It has since blossomed into a 270+ member group with introspective posts by members like Steve Lauer, Rees Morrison, John Ogden (former head of the New York ACC), and Dirk Tirez, president of the ACC Europe (postings on his behalf by journalist Richard Parnham). It continues to crank out thought provoking posts like ACC Europe’s response to ECJ legal privilege test case, Long-term relationships – how often should they be tested/reviewed?, and Corporations Retaining Counsel Through the Procurement Function.
This group run by Lori Sieron from the Lexis Hub for New Attorneys, has now grown past 60 members with almost daily updates. Discussions like Should You Lie to Prospective Employers about Your Salary? and Social Media Privacy–Do You Really Care? push the envelope and present group members with interesting fodder to chat about.
What do you think makes for a good group? Do you have a favorite on martindale.com Connected that we didn’t mention here? Leave us a comment and let us know what it is.