Tweet Others the Way You’d Want to Be Tweeted
As we’ve noted, more attorneys are using social media to promote their practices and keep up with current industry trends. Such a surge in Twitter use has led to the formation of new online legal communities, according to recent Law.com article “Law in the Time of Twitter: Do Chatty Lawyers Help or Hinder Their Legal Careers?” Attorneys can share stories, keep up with national cases, and engage with others in the industry about their practices. Hashtags like #LawTwitter, #LegalTwitter, #TrialTwitter and #LadyLawyerDiaries, just to name a few, represent these corners of the industry and invite any Twitter user to join the discussion and plug in to the greater legal Twitterverse.
While these communities can be an excellent place to swap ideas and grow your networks, the article does caution users about getting into Twitter arguments (We know it can be tempting!) or violating confidentiality. Texas Lawyer Brian Cuban says he has witnessed lawyers lose both clients and their jobs over careless tweets. But Twitter doesn’t have to be scary. Smart users think about where their tweets could end up before they press send. They never say anything they wouldn’t want their clients, colleagues, supervisors (or their mothers!) to hear.
And even though social media can lead to some negative back-and-forth, it can also foster positive discussions on important issues. For example, mental health and wellness in law gets serious consideration under #LegalWellness, making information and resources available and reminding those who are affected that they are not alone.
Used with caution, Twitter and other forms of social media offer valuable opportunities to interact with the legal community, market your practice, and connect with potential clients. Take the time to browse some of the legal hashtags listed and share your experiences with others. It just might surprise you that Twitter discussions really can be both fun and substantive.