It used to be that when lawyers turned their minds to the use of social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) it was at the request of a client looking for help with a corporate policy. Times have changed. Now lawyers themselves are turning to social media due to its extraordinary power as a marketing tool.
This week, in an effort to teach lawyers how to effectively utilize this “emerging new media” the Canadian Bar Association hosted a webinar called “Social Media for Lawyers”.
Consider the following:
- the emergence of law-targeted sites such as Legal OnRamp, JDSupra, MH Connected, and others;
- the decision of Ontario’s Chief Justice to allow live blogging and “twittering” from the courtroom of the Ottawa mayor’s bribery trial;
- court decisions which take note of, or actually rely on, evidence from Facebook;
- numerous law schools (Harvard, U of T) and Canadian law firms (the “seven sisters” are represented) are engaged in the use of social media, including Twitter and Facebook;
- the prevalence of large Canadian corporations on various social media sites – business development anyone?
Still not convinced? During the webinar, the following statistics were provided:
Facebook: the #5 top global website boasts 132 million unique visitors per month and 300 million active users
Twitter: the fastest growing social network
LinkedIn: 43 million strongly business-oriented users
With targeted, consistent, appropriate use (lawyers must ensure they are compliant with their Rules of Professional Conduct), social media is an invaluable marketing tool – particularly for those practicing in a niche legal market (like Wortzman Nickle!).