Social Networking For Law Firms - Ark Group

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Social Networking for Law FirmsDAVID LAUDPUBLISHED BY

Social Networking for Law Firmsis published by Managing PartnerUK/EUROPE/ASIA OFFICEArk Conferences Ltd6-14 Underwood StreetLondon N1 7JQUnited KingdomTel 44 (0)207 566 5792Fax 44 (0)20 7324 [email protected] AMERICA OFFICEArk Group Inc4408 N. Rockwood DriveSuite 150Peoria IL 61614United StatesTel 1 309 495 2853Fax 1 309 495 [email protected]/NZ OFFICEArk Group Australia Pty LtdMain Level83 Walker StreetNorth Sydney NSW 2060AustraliaTel 61 1300 550 662Fax 61 1300 550 [email protected] enquiriesHannah [email protected]: 978-1-78358-063-7 (hard copy)978-1-78358-064-4 (PDF)Commissioning Editor – LegalHelen [email protected] enquiriesDaniel Smallwooddsmallwo[email protected] Publisher – InternationalFiona [email protected]/NZ enquiriesSteve [email protected] copyright of all material appearing withinthis publication is reserved by the authors andArk Conferences 2013. It may not be reproduced,duplicated or copied by any means without theprior written consent of the publisher.ARK2432

Social Networking for Law FirmsDAVID LAUDPUBLISHED BY

ContentsExecutive summary. VAbout the author.VIIAbout the contributors.IXAcknowledgements.XIPart One: Social networking guidance for law firmsChapter 1: Introduction to social networking. 3Social networking explained. 3Social media statistics. 9Effective social networking. 12Chapter 2: The ‘social’ firm. 15Benefits. 15Ownership. 15Reputation. 16Client service support. 17Policy. 17Department responsibilities. 18Recruitment. 19Security. 20Chapter 3: Networking across the firm. 23Online/offline. 23Clients as opinion formers. 24Technology. 24Knowledge sharing. 25Effective connectivity and collaboration. 26Intranets. 26Improving performance. 27Challenges. 28III

ContentsChapter 4: Creating a social strategy. 31Goals and objectives. 31Brand management. 33Client care. 34Platforms. 35Putting plans into action. 38The long game. 39Chapter 5: Selling the value of social networking. 41Concerns around the use of social tools. 41How a law firm could use social tools internally – The proposed approach. 43Conclusion. 46Chapter 6: Measuring success – External facing social media. 49Metrics. 49Monitoring and reporting. 50Chapter 7: Measuring success – An in-depth guide on measuringenterprise social networking. 53Defining value and success . 54Developing use cases. 55Choosing, designing, and implementing. 57Measuring. 57Conclusion. 65Chapter 8: Trends in social networking. 67Technology. 67Client behaviour. 68Trends. 70The future of law firm applications of social media. 72Part Two: Case studiesCase study 1: Wragge & Co. 75Case study 2: Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. 79Case study 3: Stanley de Leon Solicitors. 83Case study 4: Tilly Bailey & Irvine. 89IV

Executive summaryA GREAT deal has been written, blogged,tweeted, and even published in thetraditional manner on the topic of socialnetworking. For some it has created newcareers and opened a world of collaborationand opportunity. McKinsey estimated that theapplication of corporate social networkingplatforms could result in productivityimprovements of almost 25 per cent.1 IBM’sworldwide study of 1,700 CEOs identifiedthat those most likely to outperform thecompetition are those who embrace aculture of openness and cite the use ofsocial tools as a key aid.2There is certainly no shortage of expertswilling to share their particular take onmaximising social media for personal andbusiness advantage. So why then are somany owners, partners, directors, andmanagers still confused or unsure of the truebenefits of social networking?Perhaps there is just too muchinformation bombarding the business andlegal communities. This report therefore aimsto cut through the confusion, to focus on thekey aspects of social networking mediums,and to offer practical advice on developinga social networking strategy for a lawfirm. The report will look at both the wellpublicised external side of social networkingand the growing trend to adopt the platformsfor internal communication.The world looks somewhat differentnow than it did 10 years ago. The globalfinancial crash and the subsequent fall outfor business and consumers is somethingwe are all adapting to. Cost saving, clientcare, compliance, and acquiring andretaining the right talent for firms have been,and continue to be, key priorities. It hasbecome harder to motivate and engage withemployees who are themselves concernedabout their future. Equally, it has becomeharder to win new business as clients seekgreater savings and increased value fromadditional service delivery. Changes inlegislation and the rise of independent legalservice providers have driven many practicesto closure and have left others vulnerable toaggressive acquisition.It is a tough time for the legal profession.However, what was true of successful firmsin the past remains true today in termsof clients and staff. The best firms have avision, a clear focus on clients, and theyknow who those clients are, where theyare to be found, and essentially what thoseclients are looking for. These firms recruitthe best talent and keep them motivatedand well trained with a keen client centricapproach to all matters. Law firms nowadayscannot survive by simply having a website,placing adverts, and by paying staff andlawyers a decent salary and offering goodbenefits. So, what do these firms need to doto thrive in the twenty-first century?While the full answer to that question isadmittedly likely to encompass more than asocial networking strategy, this report looksspecifically at how social networking as amedium to communicate and engage willhelp develop a legal practice.V

Executive summaryThis report provides a detailed definitionof social networking and its backgroundleading up to the current day. Twenty-oneof the leading platforms are analysed withstatistical data provided to help determinewhich may prove the most advantageousfor a firm’s particular needs. The reportlooks at current trends, how clients are usingsocial media, and the manner in which lawfirms can use the platforms to engage inmeaningful dialogue. Without launchinginto overly technical jargon, it looks at thetechnology that lies behind the media andexplores how it is evolving.One very important section of thereport investigates the ‘social’ firm, anddrills down into the model of a law firmusing social networking tools in each andevery possible facet of their business.Consideration of the risk and exposureof social media use by employees,the reputational factors, and its use inrecruitment also feature within this report.The report also looks at examples ofnetworking across firms. Knowledge sharingand collaborative working have led to anall-important increase in job satisfaction.There are challenges to be faced inmaking internal processes work and theseare explored fully. The report reviews theimportant strategic thinking behind a socialnetworking plan and considers the stepsto be taken in creating a workable andsuccessful campaign.One key obstacle to social networkingis often the internal perception of newtechnology and its place in the legal world.For some firms this is not an issue, however,for many it remains a sticking point withstrong views often expressed on the time andresource spent with little tangible view ofreturns. To assist in this aspect of planning,this report considers methodologies andstrategies to implement.VIBeing able to put forward a strongproposition will require evidence of analysisand ongoing measurement. This shouldnot be overlooked in any social networkinginitiative, external or internal, and thisreport assists by discussing the variousoptions, tools, and management methods ofmeasuring social media activity.The report concludes with a numberof case studies which help to bring to lifekey elements of the report. Information onstaff engagement, external marketing, andmaking social networking a core part of thebusiness has been shared by the case studylaw firms.Overall, this report aims to demystifythe world of social networking, to providepractical guidelines on developing a strategyfor a law firm, and to help create a positiveapproach to this increasingly important fieldof business development and management.References1. See: techtelecoms internet/the social economy.2. See:

About the authorDAVID LAUD is the chief executive of Samuel Phillips Law Firm, a chartered marketer, and a fellow ofthe Chartered Institute of Marketing. In addition, he runs his own marketing consultancy and smartphone application company.His early career saw him spend 10 years with global travel company Thomas Cook where heheaded the project team to build a new money transfer product, MoneyGram. Following the successfullaunch, David joined US telecoms giant AT&T as head of marketing for the Systemedia Division.For the past 17 years, David has worked closely with the legal sector and regularly contributes tomarketing and management focused articles in The Lawyer and The Law Society Gazette in additionto numerous online forums.His interest in social media started with the need to keep up with two teenage daughters on MSNmessenger, Facebook, and MySpace. Over time, David identified the potential of the medium forhis own businesses and clients. To keep up to date with developments he maintains a wide variety ofsocial networking accounts and was recently selected by the BBC to contribute to a Radio 4 debateas a social media specialist.Despite business interests and social media taking a large part of David’s time, he still finds aspare moment to take part in the odd run. To date he has completed 13 half marathons.David is married and lives in the North East of England with his wife, Jo, and three teenage children.VII

About the contributorsJAMES MULLAN is the knowledge management systems manager at Field Fisher Waterhousewhere he is responsible for the firm’s intranet, enterprise search tool, internal social media tools,and other knowledge systems.Before joining Field Fisher Waterhouse, James worked at CMS Cameron McKenna wherehe was responsible for the development of social media tools within the Knowledge & InformationServices Team and managed several other knowledge projects. In addition to his own blog(, James has contributed to several books on the use of socialmedia tools both within libraries and by law librarians, and has spoken at a number ofconferences on the use of social media tools and techniques within libraries and law firms.During 2012/13 James was President of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians(BIALL) and was part of the project team that redesigned the BIALL website.GORDON VALA-WEBB is national director, innovation and information with Canadian law firmMcMillan LLP. His passion is working with leaders to improve their organisations’ results byhelping them transform how their people collaborate, innovate, and share what they know.Gordon is an award-winning enterprise social-networking and knowledge thought-leader/practitioner with over 13 years of experience working with large/complex public and private sectororganisations. Most recently he was national director of knowledge management for PwC Canada.As part of the selection and rollout of a global social networking platform across PwC’s networkof firms (175,000 people in over 150 countries), Gordon led the Business Value/Design team.That platform won ‘New Way of Business’ (best-in-show) at JiveWorld in October 2012.He has a Masters in the Management of Technology (Faculty of Engineering, Waterloo), anMA (Politics) from Queens University, and was certified as a Human Capital Strategist (HCI).Gordon lives in Toronto and blogs at

AcknowledgementsIT IS hoped that readers will find this report useful and, above all, that it is a tool that can be referredto in managing the social networking activity of your firm both internally and externally.Writing this, my second publication for Managing Partner/Ark Group, has been a timely exercise.As with the first report, researching and writing the chapters proved invaluable in refreshing andimproving my appreciation of the complexities of managing this growing medium.There are a number of very important individuals who have assisted in bringing this project toits completion. I must thank my family for their patience in losing me for many weekends andevenings – hopefully it will have proved worthwhile.Once again I am very grateful for the opportunity presented to me by Managing Partner/ArkGroup and the trust that Helen Roche and the team have placed in me and my fellow contributors.Those fellow contributors have delivered excellent content and I am very grateful for the time andprofessionalism of James Mullan and Gordon Vala-Webb. I appreciate how hard it can be to jugglea busy working schedule with writing detailed content of this nature.Case studies are always very useful for readers to review and learn from real examples of firms’experiences with social media. Thank you to Colin Gilbert of DGAA, Sarah Zokay-West of Stanley deLeon, Victoria Cornfield of Tilly Bailey & Irvine, and Paul Thewlis and Kathryn Hobbs of Wragge & Co.I trust that this report will help shape and support the management of your social networkingactivities. I welcome comments and would be happy to engage in a discussion on any of the pointscovered in the following chapters. You can find me on Twitter: @davidlaud.David LaudXI

key aspects of social networking mediums, and to offer practical advice on developing a social networking strategy for a law firm. The report will look at both the well-publicised external side of social networking and the growing trend to adopt the platforms for internal communication. The world looks somewhat different now than it did 10 .