Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Next Big Thing: Is the social media tide turning?

Today's Legal Week has focussed on the use of social media tools by the legal profession.  It ran two pieces today:

New ideas in Law: The geek shall inherit... a wonderfully well researched piece of journalism by Alex Aldridge summarising the history of the legal blogging scene at home and abroad and introducing the new, rising talent in the UK blawgosphere. I was thrilled and honoured for this very blog to be included in the article, quote:
"Then there's In-House Lawyer, a more serious, non-fictional, yet still distinctly irreverent insider account of life as an in-house lawyer, authored by Melanie Hatton, a former Mayer Brown lawyer who is now head of legal and company secretary at Latitude Digital Marketing. In it, Hatton reflects candidly on issues facing in-house counsel, with recent posts including a piece drawing attention to the friction between in-house legal departments and sales teams in companies and an admission that she always leaves anything litigious to a Friday, the day of the week when "opposing counsel seem much more inclined to strike a deal with less antagonism".

Irreverent and candid. Heck, I hadn't realised! But I can roll with that.  Alex's article is a suberb blawg round-up, culminating in his blawger roll of honour list.  It makes my job of hosting this quarter's ukblawg round-up next week quite a challenge!

Tweet Disposition: the tech-savvy lawyers making social media work for them is written by Sofia Lind and introduces a selection of in-house and private practice tweeting lawyers.  I was over the moon to be mentioned in this article along with other tweeting companions I know, and some which I didn't but I no doubt soon will.  Sofia's article also takes a look at blogging and Linked-in and interestingly identifies what the Top 10 law firms are doing (or not doing) about social media, confirming what I suspected, i.e. that its the individuals, independents and smaller firms in the UK which are getting to grips with social media a lot more quickly and effectively than the larger firms.
These two articles have brought the UK's legal social media scene to the fore, their angle very much that social media is here to be embraced and not policed, and I predict we'll now see the tide changing with more of our profession surfing the social media waves. 
Cartoon courtesy of Geek & Poke 


  1. Things have definitely changed over the last couple of years. The recent Law Society Gazette LinkedIn group discussion on "what law firms should tweet about" is another interesting case.

    12 months ago I'm not sure how much of a ripple it would have raised, but the thread is already several pages long with some obviously strongly held views being expressed.

    I would suggest it is the well known "adoption curve" in operation ( but I guess the question is where we are on the curve?

  2. Thank you for your comment Jon, its taken me a few days to read through the Law Society Gazette Linked In discussion to which you referred, its a long one isn't it? But I agree, a prime example of how social media is beginning to sink into the profession.

    Thank you also for the insight into the adoption curve. As to where we are on that, well my view is that its most definitely sensitive to the individual type of social media, and also there's a difference in analysis when judging where the general population of users resides on that curve, and where the legal population resides. So as an example, for Twitter, I'd say if you're joining now, you're coming in at between early majority and late majority (and probaby loser to the latter) analysed against the wider population, although against the legal popolation you're a stage earlier.