Posts Tagged ‘lawyers’

For Lawyers is LinkedIn Better than Facebook?

March 1, 2011

I was presenting on a webinar yesterday and we had several questions on whether Lawyers should focus more on LinkedIn than Facebook so  I’m re-posting something I wrote on this subject back in January.

Why choose?

One reason to choose is time – maintaining social networking profiles is an ongoing process, however its possible to stream blog content to both your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.  You may find that you get more interaction on Facebook which makes it easier for people to engage with your content than does LinkedIn.  You may want to focus on Q&As with LinkedIn and interacting with people on your blog content through Facebook.

SEO for Lawyers: Start with Google & Drill Down

January 23, 2011

Here is Google’s 2010 Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide which not only includes lots of great tips but more importantly conveys key principles when thinking about SEO.

Focus on your website visitor first

This is the key message from Google both for SEO and the user experience.  There are lots of companies offering SEO and if they are employing “tricks” to push your website up in the rankings, there will be a cost and the nonmonetary portion will most likely be paid by your website visitors.

Specific terms related to your practice

If you just follow Google and their various optimization tools they will suggest you use terms very common to your area of law. For example, if you are a divorce attorney, they include lots of variations on “divorce” but they may not look at “legal separation” or “annulment.”  They won’t look at more granular terms like child support, visitation rights, alimony, spousal support and the like.

Think about someone facing a divorce

They may have a specific issue that they are trying to understand before they hire an attorney. They may have heard about legal separation but not understand what it means.  If you spend a few sentences helping a visitor get the difference between that an a divorce and annulment, they will have a positive opinion about you and be more likely to contact you if you are nearby.

Don’t Obsess about Keyword Popularity

Many times it will be your specific discussions that grab people not your sprinkling “divorce lawyer” liberally on every page so don’t be a slave to popularity.

Remember to think like a non-lawyer

If your client base isn’t other lawyers, then remember to translate your legal terminology into plain english.  Don’t exclude legal terminology because often people hear a legal term and want to learn more but don’t focus on those terms exclusively either.

Contra Costa Attorneys – Need CLE credits?

October 8, 2010

I will be presenting a one hour CLE seminar on how attorneys can better utilize social networking at Scott’s restaurant in Walnut Creek. The program is sponsored by the Litigation Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.

Click here for more information and to sign-up.

Online presence resulting in legal business

October 1, 2010

According to a new ABA Survey, 10% of attorneys have received business from their activity online.  I know one attorney who claims that 25% of his business has come from social networking activity in the past year.

Other highlights:

  • 83% have LinkedIn profiles while 68% have one on Facebook.  Plaxo (anybody really use this?) came in third at 18%.
  • 56% of lawyers know have some kind of social networking profile up from 43% in 2009
  • 76% used social networking for professional networking and 42% used it just fun.

Avvo lawsuit – are both sides wrong?

September 25, 2010

A Florida attorney with a history of bar sanctions is suing Avvo for misrepresenting him in their profile of him.  They gave him a 3.7 out of 10.  But as this post from Above the Law says, maybe he has a point as Avvo uses unverified Internet data to fill out the profiles.

Facebook fan page for lawyers?

March 9, 2010

I recently gave a talk about social networking and lawyers and when it came to Facebook I stayed strictly on the fence.  Here is a post that touts the value of a Facebook Fan page for lawyers/law firms.  So here are my thoughts about the pros and cons:


1.  Makes you more visible on the web.  Recently, it was announced that Facebook gets more search traffic than Google so a Fan page on Facebook can only help your visibility

2.  Extends your website content.  If you have a small website and want give users a chance to see a photo album of your new office or a place to view news feeds appropriate to their needs, then a link out to your Facebook Fan page could be a great add-on to your website.

3.  Encourages potential clients to engage with you.  Facebook Fan pages aren’t static like a webpage.  Fans can make comments, its easy for you to add new content and features in an environment you may already be comfortable in.


1.  Takes more time to make it really valuable.  A Fan page becomes one more thing to manage and it will only attract attention and engagement if it has fresh content people want.  Do you really have the time for that?

2.  Could be duplicative of your website and communicate only a portion of your brand.  Once you direct people off your website, then they will no longer be within your brand – the look and feel of your website and your brand is diluted.  And do you really want to stream your blog both to your website and your fan page? 

3.  If  not kept up, could reflect badly on you.   Like an abandoned blog, an abandoned Facebook Fan page looks sad and forlorn.  There are the three people – all related to you – who signed up as fans.  There are the tabs that when someone clicks reveals blank white pages.   


If you love Facebook and social networking and enjoy learning and exploring, then this might be perfect for you.  If on the other-hand you would do this only as another way to promote yourself on Internet, I think LinkedIn, your Website and blog are still much more appropriate venues.  But as I said in my talk, lets check back in 6 months and see where we are.

65 yr old lawyer active social networker

February 18, 2010

Jeffrey Crown is a 65 year old Connecticut lawyer who has thoroughly embraced social networking.  He is active on LinkedIn, Avvo and JDSupra.

Why is he doing it?  Because he finds it fun.  Has he acquired clients directly from his social networking activity?  He isn’t sure but has gotten his name out there on the Internet.  Now that he has this article written about him published on that will help with that SEO thingy.

Worried lawyers and social networking

February 5, 2010

I’m perplexed about the fear lawyers have about social networking and online marketing.  Much of their fear gets focused on writing detailed and comprehensive disclaimers.  But there are still lawyers who fear any kind of social networking as a per se ethics violation.

Here is the kind of article that breeds this suspicion.  It’s a summary of social networking panels at the New York Bar Association and the author does a scattershot summary of findings out of context from different discussion.   It talks about attorneys handling cases and concerns they should have about what they say online; it talks about how to communicate with clients, libel dangers and various Bars and their opaque rules concerning electronic communications.  Its enough to make your head spin.

Bottom line:  my advice is to include a brief disclaimer on your website etc. if that’s a concern for you.  I frankly think its unnecessary but it won’t hurt and can ease your worries.  Most importantly, make sure that you send every client a legal services agreement and have them sign it.  That’s how you should do business when you answer the phone and a client wants to hire you and its no different if you receive a tweet from someone wanting to hire you.

Million lawyer march to LinkedIn?

December 9, 2009

According to Larry Bodine, there are now 1,359,590 lawyers with profiles on LinkedIn!   Okay, I’m a geeky data guy and this number seems awfully high to me.  He sources “Apollo Business Development” which appears to be a market research company he co-owns.

When I ran a search in LinkedIn just using the keyword, “Law” I came up with 1,074,531 hits and that term will include lots of non-lawyers.  My search on “lawyer OR attorney” came up with far less.

Larry, can you let us know your methodology for coming up with this figure?

 Update:  Thanks to Larry for explaining (see comment below) how he arrived at that figure which is a very cool tip for determining numbers on LinkedIn.  Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that everyone listing themselves as providing “legal services” are lawyers.  They could be paralegals, marketing consultants, court reporters etc.

Blogging not free for Florida lawyer

September 17, 2009

Because he got fined$1,200 by the State Bar folks in Florida for comments he made about a judge on his blog.