Endeavor to Be Useful: Legal Marketing Tips 12.14.11

A digest of social media advice and tips for legal marketing.

Legal Blogging 2.0: Lessons from Law Student Bloggers

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfQsngNoV7I&w=480&h=390]

The first time I wrote about law student bloggers I approached it from the perspective of social media expertise as a competitive advantage in job hunting. In the intervening time I’ve come to appreciate something more transformative in blogs by current law students and recent grads.

In 2001 Marc Prensky famously postulated a bifurcation in the relationship with and adoption of digital technologies between digital immigrants — individuals born before the advent of digital technology who incorporated it to their lives to a greater or lesser extent later on — and digital natives — individuals immersed in digital technology since birth and therefore more naturally comfortable with and adaptable to it.

The same analogy can be applied to legal social media. While Baby Boom and Gen X lawyers have an uneasy, uneven relationship with blogging and online networking, Gen Y and Millennial lawyers and law students have been immersed in it for their entire undergraduate and graduate careers. While Legal Blogging 1.0 is mired in evangelism for social media marketing and online networking, Legal Blogging 2.0 comes to it organically, with different sensibilities and objectives.

Some distinguishing characteristics I see in Legal Blogging 2.0:

  • Technology and online social connectivity are essential — not adjunct — in both personal and professional life. For those who choose it, blogging is not a chore, nor a necessary evil — and it’s not a “strategy.”
  • Be an interesting person first, then a law student/lawyer
  • Peer mentoring and crowdsourcing are the most relevant and useful forms of coaching. Insights and advice from Version 1.0 legal bloggers are welcome, but not deferred to.

Following are some interesting blogs worth checking out that I believe embody the best characteristics of Legal Blogging 2.0:

World Wide Whit (Jack Whittington) – I like the manifesto-like quality to this post and applaud the mission of Law School Chat:

“As I reach the end of my law school career it has become apparent to me that life would have been incredibly easier over the course of the last three years if I would have had someone to give me a heads up about what to expect throughout law school or just someone to talk to when it all felt like it was too much to handle.

“Jason Tenenbaum, Brian Hoffman, and myself are launching a joint social media venture through Twitter to bring law school students, potential law school students, and attorneys together in conversation about what to expect in law school and how to deal with the many challenges it presents us. It is our vision to create a place where students can go with any questions they may have regarding law school or life in general and give them a broad range of opinions and insights in how to approach things. Most of all we want to create a friendly atmosphere that fosters collegiality among the up and coming generation of law school students with those who came before us and the ones who will follow in our footsteps someday soon.”

The next live Twitter chat with take place March 27, but in the meantime you can join the conversation through the #lawschoolchat hashtag or by email.

Fresh Thought Soup (Mariel) – From “About the blog & Disclaimer”:

“I’ll write about a lot of things: law school and the ensuing hilarity, life lessons, and general happenings.  I hope this is becomes a way to spread the encouragement and entertainment, dispel the mystery surrounding the hallowed halls of law school, and as a way for my friends to keep in touch [or at least feel less like I’ve disappeared].”

My Mind Rebels at Stagnation (Anonymous) – A recent collection of anecdotes and impressions of the new semester was followed by a very powerful, personal account of “What Planned Parenthood Means to Me.”

Daisy, JD (Just Daisy) (Daisy) – From “About Daisy”:

“I am an attorney married to an attorney, which means my house is full of boring books & equally boring discussions. To make up for the general lack of creativity I blog, I cook & I make fun of the legal profession at every available opportunity. Unless of course I’m feeling sassy and then I’ll offer unsolicited advice on being a law student or a lawyer or the spouse of a lawyer.”