Law Tips: Social Media Part II

Focus, Focus, Focus!  Not just in bungee jumping and tightrope walking, but this is great advice when using social media in your legal practice.  Returning this week to the subject of ICLEF’s recent CLE on Social Media for Attorneys, Law Tips brings you a few more pointers on the positive effects of using these tools.

Our reference for these tips is the CLE presentation by Ryan Bowers, Barnes & Thornburg, Indianapolis, on “The Best Practices on How to be Successful, Practical and Most Effective.”  Ryan applies social media continually in his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and appeals, with a concentration on construction, environmental liability, insurance coverage, product liability, and antitrust matters.

His recent CLE session kicked off with interesting background on the direct impact of social media on the law profession.   For example, the 2012 Greentarget Survey of in-house counsel shows that 76% of the respondents attribute importance to a lawyer’s blog when deciding which firms to retain.  Another relevant bit of information out of the survey is that the legal industry is using social media as a client services mechanism at an 8% year-over-year increase.

Getting into practical uses for lawyers, Ryan provides CLE participants with background on one of the popular social media avenues used in the legal industry, Linkedin. He points out the benefits of this social network as a professional resource for connecting with people, for referrals, to share content and to drive people to a law firm’s website.  Mr. Bowers recommends that if you are using Linkedin you take advantage of all of the features, such as, structuring your online resume with specific content for online clients, completing the summary section, personalizing your invitations and using the news feed to discover content and post blog links. He does provide an alert, however, to be aware for any ‘specialties’ designations that may pop up in Linkedin that Indiana lawyers should avoid.

Ryan uses news feeds to share blog posts and is alert to opportunities for referrals.  The groups within Linkedin is another area that can help you target industries and engage potential clients.  Here’s an example of possible content: Ryan Bowers Linkedin

Emphasizing his overall message again, Ryan advises that to be effective in social media attorneys need to “Focus, Focus, Focus.”  He suggests that you use the media to market narrowly to a specific niche.  Focus on a few networks, identifying your target audience. For instance, those using Twitter and Google+ would be more tech or IP oriented and in-house counsel are more concentrated on Linkedin. He also includes  a reminder that social media is social; to avoid obvious advertising and to focus on finding interesting and useful content to share.

Social media tools  can offer effective and economical solutions for various business situations.  Thanks again to Ryan Bowers for allowing us to draw on his expertise in focusing social media successfully in the legal profession.


The CLE program on Social Media For Attorneys: How to Use It Correctly and Effectively Now That It Is More Than a Fad covers many aspects of this rapidly-changing environment, including presentations from the chair, Anthony Rose of Indianapolis and Chuck Kidd’s ethics update from the Indiana Disciplinary Commission.  This program is no longer available as a Live In-Person Seminar. However, you can still view the Video Replay, the Online/On Demand Video or purchase the e-Publication of this Seminar by Clicking Here.

We appreciate you reading Law Tips.  Your comments are always welcome: or  Look for updates on Facebook or sign up for the RSS feed here on ICLEF’s website for the  “Law Tips Blog” as we continue to sift through the treasure trove of knowledge of our legal experts.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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