Lawyers Twitter

One Saturday morning I came across a tweet from a lawyer recommending me to another lawyer. I contacted her and before brunch I had a new CLE accreditation client.

This happened many years ago when I left law firm life after a decade of law librarianship to start a continuing legal education consultancy. Besides the crude blog I crafted, Twitter (@tim_baran) turned out to be my most effective brand awareness and relationship building effort. It’s also become my most trusted source for breaking news.

The 2009 Legal Talk Network episode on The Pros & Cons of Twitter was instrumental in helping me get why I should be on Twitter. Following thought leaders in the legal space like @kevinokeefe, @bobambrogi, @jordan_law21, and others, provided a solid education.

But, what about practicing lawyers who are still on the fence or who have joined Twitter but are skeptical or unsure of how to navigate the network? Check out these stories from fellow practicing lawyers on how they use Twitter to build relationships, increase awareness, share information, and get news.

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Brian Focht – For me, Twitter is a phenomenal listening tool. I probably get more legal and tech news from Twitter than any other single source. @NCCyberAdvocate

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Brian Mekdsy – I use Twitter mainly to share relevant and timely information about the legal industry, technology (including Legal Tech), law school-related news, small business and legal marketing, legal developments, and issues related to social networking. Social engagement is also an important consideration when I use Twitter, so I try to interact with my connections whenever an issue or topic lends itself to a back-and-forth exchange. @Brian_MALawyer

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Cari Rincker – I use Twitter in multiple ways. First, any new blog that I post on my Food, Farm and Family Blog automatically posts on my business Facebook and Twitter pages via a third party application called Symphony. This helps update my followers on new blog entries. Second, every morning I tweet relevant news and blog links. Not only does this help build my brand but I want to be seen as a source of information to people. Third, I use it to publicize speaking engagements, events that I am hosting, and literature that I have authored. Fourth, I really love tweeting from conferences that I attend (using the official hashtag of the conference, of course) as a way to get information from the conference out to the public and for me to learn from other attendees. Last but certainly not least, I use Twitter as an information and conversation tool. @CariRincker

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Chad Burton – Twitter has lately become my preferred social media platform. It has grown on me over time. It seems like much of my activity relates to entertaining myself. The information I share — that is at least quasi-substantive — often shows where my head is on developments related to the legal industry. I also use the platform to keep up on current events and news, as well as occasionally troll my friends and colleagues. @chadeburton

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Chrissie Scelsi – Twitter has been part of my practice since I first started it 5 years ago. I was an early adopter of the platform, and it has proven to be a great way for me to stay current on a wide variety of issues related to my practice, share content, as well as engage with people that in many instances I would not normally interact with or have access to due to geography or other barriers. The greatest impact that Twitter has had on my practice has been in terms of marketing. The Florida Bar considers using a Twitter handle that is not your own name or firm name to be advertising under a trade name, which means that you have to put it on your business cards, letterhead, and court pleadings. My practice is in transactional entertainment, intellectual property, and new media law, so I haven’t tested the third one, but I have opted to get creative in my branding around my Twitter handle in terms of the other two, and it has really helped me stand out in networking, as @punklawyer is a pretty memorable handle, especially in the legal field. In fact, I was just recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as one of 8 Central Florida attorneys with ‘Twitterati status’ based on the number of followers. @PunkLawyer

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Elizabeth Potts Weinstein – I use Twitter both to communicate with potential clients & referral sources as well as to gather information for my own practice. Most of my feed is posting my informational small biz law blog posts and videos, but I also retweet legal news and articles of interest to other small business owners (my target market). It’s a great place to keep up on the latest cases and controversies. Sometimes I answer basic legal questions from followers. I also participate in a few twitterchats, and get into discussions with small business owners about their practice. It takes a lot more posting to make connections than it did a few years ago, but I still get clients via Twitter. @ElizabethPW

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Frederic Abramson – I usually use Twitter when I’m on the go, when I have idle time in court. I use apps such as Fiipboard and subscribe to many legal newsletters which provides plenty of fodder to tweet. I divide my timeline through the use of lists. One list is for general business leaders. Another is populated by a program called Cloze, which has access to my gmail account and follows everyone who I have contacted. I also have a list of prospects. I have another list for lawyers and legal professionals. Generally I use Twitter as an information source. I have also made a number of friends through Twitter, but that requires engagement. @fredabramson

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Gabriel Cheong – I use twitter to connect with thought leaders on marketing, branding, entrepreneurship – not only in the legal field, but also from other industries. I think there’s lots to learn from others in only 140 characters. @GabrielCheong

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Ignatius Grande – I believe that Twitter is the most useful social media platform for attorneys. On a daily basis I utilize lists and hashtags to find new cases, timely articles, and interesting commentary on topics that are of interest to me. Because of the word limit, posts have to get to the point quickly, so you are able to review a lot of content in a short period of time. I often check Twitter from my iPhone during my commute or at night while watching television. @igrande

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Digital Marketing Playbook for Law Firms

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Jennifer Ellis – Whether it is discussing late-breaking news, sharing a blog post about a hot legal issue or even group watching a tv show, Twitter is the best social media option for fast, responsive communication. I use Twitter to share and re-share all kinds of content, but I find it most useful for sharing (and learning about) things in real time. @JLE_JD

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Jenny Stevens – I use Twitter to quickly post “hot tips” about my practice or my specific area of law. Also, when we’re traveling and speaking at legal or tech seminars, I use my tweets as a way to quickly update my followers on the things we’re speaking about or interesting things we’re learning while attending. I’ve also found it’s a great way to meet new folks I’d otherwise have never crossed paths with while attending such conferences. @MrsMacLawyer

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Mitch Jackson – Twitter is a wonderful way to connect, engage and communicate with others. Sharing helpful tips, resources and links in 140 characters or less keeps things fast, efficient and easy. Using DM (private message) is a great way to share private information on the go. When it comes to building new relationships, very few tools come close to what I’ve been able to achieve on Twitter. @mitchjackson

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Randall Ryder I don’t really have a conscious game plan with Twitter. I use it to highlight news on consumer law, blab about my favorite sports teams, and showcase incredibly important articles on The Onion. In a nutshell, I try and use it to showcase my practice (consumer law) and my personality (sports and humor). @randallryder

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Scott Malouf – I use Twitter to connect with other professionals of course. But it is just as important to understand how others (students, startups, brand managers, activists, unhappy employees, etc.) have different goals and use Twitter very differently.

Being on Twitter frequently helps me track these uses and give better advice to clients on the legal risks and benefits of Twitter and other platforms. @ScottMalouf

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Shawn Tuma – Twitter is my go-to relationship building tool. I often compare Twitter to walking into a cocktail party, saying hello to everyone I see, having light conversation, all while finding people I have connections with to form deeper relationships. Twitter Lists are the key for fostering those relationships. I have over 50 Lists that include family and close friends, thought-leaders in my practice area, colleagues with similar practices in other states, professional partners, potential clients, and referral sources. I use these lists for focusing on what these people are interested in, sharing their content, and having conversations with them. I have made some really great friends this way, and snagged a few clients along the way! @shawnetuma

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Steven Kramer – It’s important to understand that we are in an unprecedented age of communication. People receive information and connect on a personal level through various platforms, so it’s important that I am active on all of them. This includes Twitter and other social media outlets, radio, television, and print. But that’s just half the battle for me. I use Twitter to communicate in a manner that is in good humor and is meaningful to the lives of people I am reaching. That’s how I gain genuine engagement that drives and grows business. @KramerLawFirm

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Have a story about how you use Twitter? Please share in the comments below.

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