Using social media to boost business

October 25, 2011
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In our latest issue of Indiana Lawyer, reporter Michael Hoskins looks at social media polices some courts have instituted to prevent employees from discussing their employers online, especially in a negative way. Social media, such as offensive tweets and posting pictures from the adults-only Halloween party that you only kind of remember due to a few too many beers, are some of the poor ways in which we use social media. In our efforts to have our lives be an open book (or would it be more like an open Kindle now?), we sometimes hastily post things that we shouldn’t – things that could have negative repercussions on our professional and social lives.

But social media isn’t all bad. It can be an excellent tool for reaching your public. I’ve read numerous stories about companies reaching out to customers who have tweeted about their negative experiences with a particular product/company.

In your legal practice, do you use social media to find new clients, keep people informed on topics in your practice area, or find referrals? If you are part of an office or firm, does your company encourage you to get on Facebook to increase your office’s online presence?
 

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  • Pro Social Media
    Social media gives firms another way to reach potential clients or referral sources. Any time you can stay at the top of someone's mind, you're more likely to get a phone call.

    It also gives your firm a personal touch. You can share things that you normally wouldn't be able to in more traditional types of advertising.
  • rules need to catch up
    From what I have read in professional articles about all sorts of trouble one can get into for using social media, I think maybe think the current ethical rules may be overbroad. These rules need to adapt to changing modes of communication or they can become obsolete.

    Lawyers shouldn't have to give up all sorts of different types of communications media and speech, just because we have a law license.

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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