Just last week a speaker at the American Continuing Legal Education Association’s mid-year conference in Orlando stated that he thought attorneys over a "Certain Age" (capitals intended!) were not using social networking as a means of communication, networking or finding out about legal community events, such as continuing legal education programs.
What? Are you kidding me?
OK, I’m thinking to myself, I’m probably on the (much) lower end of his Certain Age scale (if I’m on it at all) so I probably don’t count. So, just for fun, I took a casual poll (a very scientific casual poll, I promise) of my attorney friends via Twitter and Facebook and, go figure, they disagreed.
I know, skewed poll, they’re using social networking.
Need to poll folks the old fashioned way, by email. But still, many of my friends who pipped up said they were of a Certain Age and they couldn’t imagine business or personal life without social networking.
Where am I going with this?
On Friday Larry Bodine, of Law Marketing Blog, wrote in his blog about a Hubbard One survey of Managing Partners and General Counsel, announced at a Managing Partner Forum in Florida, and guess what they found? Yep, law firms, and attorneys, are not strangers to social networking:
• Firm Page
– 35% of top 20 American law firms have FB page
• Firm Employee Groups
– 40% of top 20 American law firms have FB groups
– 60% of top 20 Fortune 500 firms have FB groups
• Individual Profiles/Pages
– 0% of top 10 GC’s, 10 Managing Partners have public FB profiles
Unfortunately, no demographics are discussed, so it doesn’t really prove or disprove the Certain Age theory. But it’s an interesting enough survey to bear repeating.
What was most interesting was that Attorneys in law firms use LinkedIn far far more than General Counsel at corporations. I suppose the logical answer is that firm attorneys are more into networking, the means of getting new business. But still… is that all?
Based on the results, I’d say Facebook may rock the legal world, but Twitter has not yet made much of an impression, at least on General Counsel. Well, no kidding. If they’re not checking linkedIn – an easy platform to figure out – they’re certainly not going to tweet. Heck, I can barely keep up with Twitter!
· Clients tweeting? 0 of top 20 Fortune 500 General Counsels are tweeting
· Law firm leaders tweeting? 0 of top 20 AmLaw Managing Partners are tweeting
· Law firms tweeting? 5 of top 20 AmLaw firms are tweeting
Not surprisingly, blogs, have made significant inroads into the legal community:
• ~45% of AmLaw 200 Blogging
And if you think of blogging as having extended conversations on the net, as Kevin O’Keefe describes, then attorneys of a Certain Age probably really are using social networking to connect with others. (unless they’re all in the other 55%)
Enough social networking for the evening, if I don’t leave soon I will be of a Certain Age before I stop! I’m off to feed the dogs.