The Legal Case for Web 2.0

A look here by Law.com at how Lawyers in the US are using Social Networking tools to market themselves and develop their legal practices. From the introduction to the article:

"...an elite subset of attorneys has decided to go above and beyond the basics, maximizing use of these new online outlets to build law practices in a substantial way. Sometimes enlisting the help of outside experts, these lawyers have accelerated way past Social Networking and Blogging 101, and have begun to blaze trails into previously uncharted virtual territory"

So what are these "unchartered virtual" territories? Well according to the article Lawyers are using the following:

  • Social Networking sites
  • Blogs
  • Instant Messenger

There are some very interesting quotes in this article, include the following which is near the end of the article:

"Navarre says that one of the major pitfalls for lawyers, and most professionals, in online communication is that they mistakenly think they'll get something for nothing. "Some lawyers think of social networking as a transaction: I'll go there, I'll get something, and then I'll leave." Navarre explains that the secret of Web 2.0 is developing a two-way conversation where both parties benefit, and contribute...

"...the way blogs work best is for attorneys who work within a specific, colorful niche. They can build a practice using social media because they can focus on being found through keywords and keyword strings. If the lawyer can index very high for those keywords, that will help him or her get found."

It's great to see that many Lawyers in the US are actively using Web 2.0 tools to supplement their activities. Hopefully we'll see fee-earners and Partners in the UK begin to embrace these tools more actively. When they do I expect Knowledge/Information Professionals to be involved in one way or another.