IT and Marketing in the Legal Profession

27 January 2011

Brian Inkster lectured today on IT and Marketing in the Legal Profession to the students on the Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow School of Law. Brian's talk emphasised the importance of personal branding for young lawyers.

Brian pointed out that the first slide in his presentation represented the fact that lawyers had to tell the world who they were and what they were doing. However, rather than using a loudhailer to do so Brian would look at how IT and in particular the Internet could be used for this purpose.

Brian asked the students if they knew who Stuart Baggs is. He was, of course, one of the contenders on the last series of The Apprentice who referred to himself as 'The Brand'. He also said he was a big fish in a small pond and was told in no uncertain terms that he was not a brand nor a fish.

Brian suggested that the students are at the moment small fish in a large internet pond that they need to grow in.

But as Richard Susskind has said:

‘Most lawyers are pathologically late adopters of IT. Despite promising, early successes, until the worth of an emerging technology is proven beyond reasonable doubt it will not generally be embraced by the legal world.’

Of the 165 students it transpired that nearly all of them were on Facebook but only 4 on Twitter, 7 on LinkedIn, 1 on Quora and 2 had their own blog/website.

Brian referred them to three Scottish law students who are making waves on that front:

Brian also took the students through Inksters' online strategy including a discussion on Tweeting in Convoy and Law Firm Twitteratigate. The result of this strategy Brian explained is becoming a bigger fish in the internet pond.

The talk finished with a quote from US Attorney Betsy Munnell commenting on Law Firm Twitteratigate at The Time Blawg:-

‘Clearly, and the data in your post makes this point many times over, young lawyers need to teach themselves how to use social media for their careers. They cannot wait for their firms to catch up–not if they wish to build self-sustaining practices, not if they wish to survive this economy and the coming revolution in the delivery of legal services.’

Note: This lecture formed part of the Business, Ethics, Finance and Practice Awareness course of the Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow. Brian Inkster is also a Tutor on that course.

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