The Podcast Grows…

My Collaborative Law and ADR podcast has grown a second episode and I have to admit to being very pleased with how it is going.

The hits for the first show were very good and the feedback was excellent, such as

  • You’re naturals. Can’t wait for the next edition
  • Great clarity. A nice human touch to professional matters
  • Really enjoyed it.
  • A great first show!

The tech I am using is very straightforward – conference calls on Skype recorded using the excellent Pamela.org Skype recording tool and then podcasted using Pamela’s in-built facilities and blubrry’s podcast plug-in on my www.collaborativelaw.tv wordpress based website.

If you are interested in starting a podcast then try this arrangement.

I haven’t yet nailed the full RSS issues but I’ll get that sorted.

If you need to download in the meantime then use this link

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Client Centered Practice? Try Social Media.

Social media enables us as lawyers to make it easier for clients to understand us and work with us.

I was at an excellent meeting last night with 9 other motivated and energetic collaborative lawyers.

Our purpose was to consider what client centered practice, within collaborative law and family law generally would look like.  This was a discussion that Woody Mosten, a leading collaborative practitioner began back in February.

Various aspects were discussed – better aligning the first interview process, broader consideration of the changing legal market place and ABS and the like.

I was advocating social media as a means of client centering.

I had suggested that we look to communications and adult learning theory.  Part of this suggests that we need to have “warmed up” the listener, let’s say our client, so that they are ready to hear the advice that we might have for them before we first meet with them.  We give them a context, or as De Bono might say, an array, in which they can easily place us and what we have to say to them.

How do we reach clients before we meet them?  Website, yes, Yellow Pages (increasingly few I would hope) but what about our blogs, our LinkedIn accounts, our personable and professional Twitter account?

When we use social media in this way, we throw out indicators as to what we are about, what and how we practice.  The result is that clients, to a modest degree, already have some idea of who they are working with.

An example.

The other day I was meeting with an excellent training company.  I wanted to know a bit about the chief exec who I was due to meet with, and so I went to my social media circles.

I was pointed towards a book that this man had written.  What was more, the first 60 pages or so were on Google books.

I read what this man had been able to get out there and was really excited. The connections between us were obvious.

As a result I was very relaxed about the meeting.  I was able to ask him questions about his book and about stories that he had written within it.

We were able to progress to a level of mutual interest and shared connections very quickly indeed, probably within two minutes.

There will be some who tut tut and want to stay behind the impermeable membrane of the conventional company website.  And that’s fine.

But to be truly client centered, give the client a chance to know who they are meeting and working with.

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Filed under An End To Silo Thinking, Law, Lawyers and Social Media, The Changing Legal Market

New Website – Social Media Training For Lawyers

Click to link through to Social Media Training For Lawyers

I have recently had several enquiries to provide social media training for lawyers.  This in part follows on from my conference presentations at Oxford University a few weeks ago, and also as a result of my own social media activity.

It felt right to establish a web presence to support those requests and the point of this post is to show how simple that was.

Step One. Get a specific web address.

I went to www.123-reg.com to find a suitable web address. www.socialmediatrainingforlawyers.co.uk was available at cost £5.99 plus VAT for 2 years.  I bought it.

The web address is pretty long but it says exactly what I want it to say, and what I think lawyers and law firms who need social media training will be searching for.

I did not pay for hosting as I can forward the web address to a blog that I set up on www.wordpress.com, namely www.socialmediatrainingforlawyers.wordpress.com, obviously.

I could have just used the WordPress address but having the full bespoke web address enables me to use socialmediatrainingforlawyers.co.uk as a professional (if rather long) email address.

Step Two.  Prepare the WordPress blog

WordPress is very powerful and with a little bit of familiarisation time (and the book WordPress For Dummies is good enough) you can prepare good, if not dazzling, blog sites that meet all the functionality of a website that could otherwise cost hundreds of pounds.

WordPress is free.

Create a contact page, about, and load up a few blog entries explaining what you are offering, and giving examples.  Don’t forget to register your blog with Google, Yahoo and Bing verification services – instructions are on WordPress under the tools button on the dashboard.

Step Three. Direct email address into existing email account such as Gmail.

Step Four. Promote new website by writing about it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and existing blogs, er, like this one.

Time spent? 2 hours.  Cost? £5.99 plus VAT

Opinions and feedback?  Well, you tell me…

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

Making Stupid Comments Online

I was kindly referred to as a lawyer “doing great things with social media” in a blog post today.  Just to prove that flattery gets you everywhere, I’ll gladly link through to Bryony Thomas’  Clear Thought consultancy blog about managing negative feedback.  Click the image below.

Click image to go to blog

I was greatly disheartened yesterday by a stupid comment made on a discussion I was having in a LinkedIn group.

I was happy to leave the comment online rather than fan his flames.  It was only his reputation that was going up in smoke after all.

I figured that a fellow lawyer who had got as far as finding his way into LinkedIn groups might just  “get it” regarding social media.

What might he have got?

  • That you don’t post about masturbation and ejaculation on a professional message board talking about professional conduct and best practice- where your own frikking colleagues are going to read it
  • That if you missed that first point, your comment remains in perpetuity for all to see and makes you look a bit of a dick
  • That social media, as Jonny Ball might have once said “Can be man’s best friend, but it can also be his worst enemy.”

Unfortunately, my companion in that discussion was saved from eternal embarrassment by the LinkedIn group moderator removing the comment.

So, Mr I-Do-Not-Get-It, if you are reading this, I would like to thank you.  I have got several training sessions coming up exploring how we lawyers can use social media effectively and responsibly, in a way which is in keeping with our professional ethics and responsibilities – your bizarre outburst will provide an excellent case study.

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Filed under Law, Lawyers and Social Media

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