Monthly Archives: September 2010

Website for Unemployed Lawyers?

when the recession hits lawyers... again.

Sign of the times?

Forgive the language but I could not resist sharing this.

As far as I can tell, this website just might be for real.  I hope it is not for you.

Click through on the image for the website proper found, not surprisingly at http://www.shitlawjobs.com.

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Filed under The Changing Legal Market

What if it all ended. Today. POP!

As I write, Twitter is going through some fairly unattractive spasms.

I was anxious for a split second – Oh no!  What if it has all gone POP!

What if I have lost

  • my account,
  • my followers,
  • the people I follow,
  • my Tweets,
  • all those favourites that I meant to get round to reading and following the links from…?

And do you know what I realised?

It would be alright.

It would be a pity, no doubt, but not overly drastic.

The reality has to be that of the 1500 or so that I follow, and who follow me, that there is in reality a much smaller core of people that I communicate with regularly.

If it all came to an end, it would be reasonably straightforward to start out again.  In fact, the process of having to recall who and why is important would be a very useful selection filter.

The problem is that I would lose the serendipity that is found in a non-central follower linking to something random and outside of my sphere.

I lose the potential links and references to other Twitter users that might be of interest.

Perhaps I should find a Twitter back up tool, just in case… anyone got any recommendations?

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Filed under General Technology

Why Lawyers Should Not Use Social Media

The comment I read on LinkedIn yesterday that individual lawyers should only tweet if it is in keeping with the corporate image is horrific.

It reflects an ongoing attitude towards this new fangled social media thing that still persists.  Should lawyers really be meddling with Twitter, Facebook and the like.

Reasons why not?

  1. Client confidentiality
  2. Liability for online comment
  3. Because your clients expect you not to.  Isn’t it for children? I mean, what do you talk about?

Here we go.

Client confidentiality is not a problem, or at least no more of a problem than having conversation with a friend in a pub, at a restaurant, the opera (if you insist), public transport (heaven forbid) or anywhere.  Client confidentiality means you don’t talk about your clients, whether online or offline.  It really isn’t complicated and most lawyers get that.  Really, we do.

Liability for online comment?

I’m not sure this has ever been a problem has it?  Has anyone been sued for someone’s reliance on the legal merit of a tweet, or posting.

Anyway, disclaimers abound, just don’t take my word for it, okay?

The “Client’s expectation” one though is the most pernicious.

Should a profession, whether lawyers, teachers, plasterers, whatever, be debarred or disapproved because they take part in what large parts of society do?  Surely not.

It would be like saying that because you’re a lawyer, you cannot go to a nightclub, or ride on public transport. My! What would people say?

Of course we need to be mature and responsible, as does a bus driver, or councillor, or a dentist, or a parent who runs the home.  But disallowing or disapproving is nonsense.

Rant over.

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

Social Media Persona vs Law Website Profile

I am very excited to be presenting a workshop on using social media at next week’s Resolution ADR Conference.  Part of that will be exploring the tension between sanctioned corporate website profiles and a fully, complementary online persona, or presence.

I am grateful to Matthew Homann, author of the excellent NonBillableHour blog for allowing me to use his ingenious venn diagram comparing what website profiles say, and what clients want to know.

I am also musing with adapting the first verse from The Beatles “A Day In The Life…” as follows (join in if you know the words)

I read your profile today, oh boy

About a lucky man who made the grade,

And though the profile was rather dull,

I had just had to laugh…

You know the rest.

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

The Bonkers Full Cycle Genius of Google Voice

This morning I have been looking at Google Voice and Google Voice Actions on the Android range of smart phones.

Now this is some genuinely exciting tech.  You speak into your phone and it activates a search on what you have spoken.  I can use it to search for a contact’s number in my directory, or a location on Google Maps, or a straightforward Google search.

Google Voice Actions goes even further with added functionality.  Watch this video…

Now I find that exciting – almost enough to upgrade my Hero to a compatible Android phone. (Voice actions needs newer phones that can run version 2.2 of the Android operating system.  The Hero only goes up to 2.1)

But, as exciting as it is, the tech quickly strays in bonkers territory.

Imagine, I can speak a message to be sent to a friend by typed text message or email.

My friend can then receive it and respond.  Maybe she also has an Android phone with Voice Actions, so she is able to respond by talking into her phone as well.

It will not be long until this technology has become so advanced that we will have real time duplex audio message transmission, where I can say something into my phone, it is heard immediately and the other person is able to respond immediately.

I wonder what we could call that?  A phone, maybe…

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Filed under General Technology

Podcasting – You know, I might be a bit late to this.

I am currently writing my second book,  The Collaborative Law Companion, to be published in true retro paper style by Jordans next Spring.

Part of my efforts in writing, promoting and researching that book will include the website www.collaborativelaw.tv which will host a specific collaborative law blog, articles and my first podcast.

The podcasting process is still in its preparatory stage.

I have prepared a show style/agenda and approached a great colleague to co-present with me who has plenty of fire and passion.

I have approached several guests from the collaborative law community to join us and address a specific issue each show and will be able to interview leading international practitioners when I am presenting in Washington DC next month.

There are just a few things to still resolve:

  1. How to record and produce;
  2. Show frequency; and
  3. What should my theme tune be?

I am toying with the Pamela app for Skype which looks like it can do everything including a Rich Mood Editor, whatever that is.

The frequency might be fortnightly, if not then monthly.  I am hoping that the Pamela add-on makes recording and interspersing other sound effect MP3s so easy that the process will be no more onerous than talking with friends and colleagues for 30 minutes and then pressing “Send”.

I’m slightly surprised to see that Pamela does not seem to support WordPress.  I could be wrong.  Even if I am right, I can still post the podcast mp3 to my domain and then go into WordPress and link through.  I think.

As for the theme, I have recently taken to playing some blues guitar riffs.  I am toying with recording a “Perfect” version or trying to play it live each fortnight and seeing if it comes off or not.

Anyway, the podcast will be going live within the month… more to follow.

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Filed under General Technology, Law, Lawyers and Social Media