Social media has been part of our daily lives for nearly a decade. At first, many lawyers were skeptical, believing that social media offered little value to their practices. But over the years, as social media has enmeshed itself into our culture, the effects of it upon our day-to-day lives is indisputable. Social media impacts both our personal and professional lives, a fact that many lawyers are increasingly accepting.
For some lawyers, especially litigators, social media is a tool that helps them provide better representation to their clients. Whether it’s mining social media for evidence or researching jurors online, social media is helping them to make their clients’ cases in court.
Lawyers are also using social media for professional development and networking. In fact, according to the results of the most recent ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, more lawyers than ever are interacting online to forward their professional goals.
For example, according to the report, 85% of law firms have a website and 76% of law firms now maintain an online presence compared to only 55% in 2012. Lawyers report that they interact online for a variety of reasons, with career development and networking leading the way (71%), followed by client development (48%), education and current awareness (45%), and case investigation (24%).
When it comes to the specific social media sites, LinkedIn is the most popular with 57% of law firms reporting a presence on Linkedin. Next is Facebook, where 35% of firms have a Facebook page. Twitter comes in third, with 21% of firms using Twitter. And Google Plus comes in last, with 10% of firms reporting a Google Plus presence.
But are their efforts paying off? 24% of lawyers report that they’ve been retained by a client because of their efforts, so all signs point to yes!