How to boost your practice and avoid pitfalls

Issue April 2010

by Tricia Oliver

The second plenary session of AC10's first day of CLE programming covered the full range of social media tools, including the pros and cons for each.

Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks and a popular speaker, researcher and author on online communities and social networking, reported that "older professionals are adopting social media at a more rapid pace than their younger professional counterparts." DiMauro said that "nothing replaces a handshake," but she encouraged attorneys to enlist social media strategies to help extend and build business relationships and offered a 20-minute social media game plan.

David Harlow, who has found success with his own health law blog, encouraged fellow attorneys to start their own blogs as "part of a conversation." Harlow also recommended participating in online "blog carnivals" and to create one's own tweet deck to efficiently follow other bloggers. Harlow also cautioned folks to not just promote via Twitter, but to "engage the surfer" with one's tweets.

Following panelist Robert J. Ambrogi's 10 tips for seizing the power of social media, James Bolan brought to light the ethical considerations when utilizing social media. "Twitter is no different than the conversation you have in the courthouse," Bolan cautioned. Online conversation and social networking activity provide a "permanence that is a very different sort," he said.