Ryan Johnson Partner, Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick Dickson & Squires, LLP
As lawyers, we are indeed in a service industry. Our work life (and often our personal life) is driven by the demands of clients and the court. These demands leave us strapped to our desks or in courtrooms scrambling to meet deadlines. Oh, the deadlines. But how do we as busy lawyers find time to really connect with our clients? And how do we find time to actually improve our practice while also working feverishly to meet the demands of our clients and of the court? One of the reasons I joined LPM was to learn to use innovative technologies to connect to my clients and to serve their needs. To this end, LPM’s LinkedIn group serves as a valuable resource for easily accessible information.
Emerging from the fog of Websites, blogs and social media now used by lawyers and clients is LinkedIn. For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, you are missing an opportunity to connect with your clients and referring lawyers. LinkedIn is a social media Website similar in concept to Facebook. However, LinkedIn has thrived because of its primary distinction from Facebook – LinkedIn is a purely professional social network. Forget the useless daily updates on trips to Starbucks and the grocery store, LinkedIn is exclusively meant for business. And to say LinkedIn is hot right now is an understatement. According to the New York Times, LinkedIn has over 135 million members in 200 countries, adding two new members per second. LinkedIn boasts that 75 of the Fortune 100 companies are clients and that LinkedIn is the new “global talent marketplace.” LinkedIn has already become the standard networking tool in corporate America and is quickly becoming an essential way to connect and communicate with clients and other lawyers.
LinkedIn is also a great way to stay on top of the latest law practice management tips and the latest LPM CLE events. The LPM Section does a great job of distributing CLE event announcements and helpful articles on law practice management to those members connected to the LPM group on LinkedIn.
Take a minute to create or update your profile on LinkedIn, connect to your clients, colleagues and referring lawyers and join the ABA Law Practice Management group on LinkedIn. You’d be surprised how many of your clients and competition already have. Stay connected.
Using the Free LinkedIn App to Increase the Value of Your LinkedIn Account
Dennis Kennedy Counsel, MasterCard Worldwide
Allison Shields President, Legal Ease Consulting
Many lawyers have joined the social networking platform LinkedIn. A smaller number actually use it on a regular basis. An even smaller number feel that they are using it well.
Because the traditional use of LinkedIn requires an affirmative effort to visit a Website (the “silo” issue) where you have to login (the “what’s my password” issue) and navigate to get the information you want (the “where was that again?” issue), the average LinkedIn user fails to make the regular visits to LinkedIn necessary to become an expert user.
The LinkedIn mobile app (for iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms) makes LinkedIn more useable and provides a good (and free) way for many lawyers, especially those increasingly relying on SmartPhones and apps, to use LinkedIn more frequently.
As with most SmartPhone apps, you can download and install the LinkedIn app from the applicable app store. We’ll use the iPhone app as our example. Once installed, you configure the app and can access your LinkedIn account through the app directly. The “what’s my password” issue is eliminated because the password is entered as part of the configuration.
Once the app is configured the first time, you simply open the app on your iPhone screen. You don’t have to type in a URL into your browser, switch programs or have wifi access, which helps reduce the silo issue. You can access LinkedIn whenever you want, wherever you want. If you have a few minutes while waiting for something else, you can take a quick visit to LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn app also is simply and efficiently designed. The icon for the app will show you the number of new messages you have. The first screen you see when you open the app has a search box and an icon that takes you to a place you can post updates and share information across the top.
Below that, the screen is divided into four quadrants with easy access to “Updates” (the updates you have received from your connections), your “Inbox” (messages and invitations), “Groups & More” (the groups you have joined and suggestions of people you may know) and “You” (your Profile, recent activities and list of connections). You can also set up the app to show notifications sent to you.
This simple and efficient grid layout essentially eliminates the “where was that again?” issue. In a few minutes, with a few taps, you can keep up with what’s happening in LinkedIn, which ultimately means you can keep up with what’s happening in the real world with your connections.
We’ve found that once you start using the app, your visits to the LinkedIn Website will decrease, but your use of the LinkedIn platform and the value of news and information you gain from LinkedIn will increase dramatically. Did we mention that the app was free?
If you feel that you are not getting the value that you think you should be from LinkedIn, or simply want to use LinkedIn better, installing the LinkedIn SmartPhone app might be the best step you can take.
* Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields are the authors of the new ABA book, "LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers." Get your copy at ABA TECHSHOW.
Early Bird Deadline is today, Friday, February 17, 2012
LPM Members are running out of time to take advantage of the ABA TECHSHOW Early Bird Pricing. Our members always receive the best rates at ABA TECHSHOW, but for a limited time you have access to ABA TECHSHOW’s 50+ CLE Sessions, EXPO Hall with 100+ Vendors, and invaluable networking opportunities at special rates available to no one else.
Visit the ABA TECHSHOW Blog for technology resources that benefit your practice
“By far the best legal technology conference I have ever attended. The mix of vendors, seminars and networking opportunities are unmatched for the TECHSHOW audience in my opinion.”
Nerino J. Petro, Practice Management Advisor, State Bar of Wisconsin
“I never fail to come away from ABA TECHSHOW without learning something I can put to use that day. The vendor floor is incredible in its rage of providers and the back and forth between the wide variety of attendees at programs and in the halls always sends me home with great ideas. It is the start of my technology year.”
Now imagine yourself with hundreds of attorneys from law firms big and small, finding the right software, using SmartPhones and tablets in practice, and learning about digital marketing including how to have an effective social media presence.\
In order for diversity and inclusion to mean something it must be incorporated into a firm’s culture. It must be put into action and made a priority. A firm must be committed to diversity and inclusion and also appreciate, celebrate, support, and encourage the various thoughts, ideas, and values that underlie those differences.
The January 19 and February 3 programs both sold out—don't miss this replay!
The iPad has become one of the most useful legal technology tools available and is today’s favorite technology tool in court. Litigators are increasingly choosing the iPad as their go-to when preparing for and conducting hearings at trial. Attend iPad for Litigators with legal tech experts Jim Calloway, Jamie Moncus, and Tom Mighell, author of iPad in One Hour for Lawyers, and use your iPad as a productive legal tool.
Cloud computing – including SmartPhones, Web-based e-mail such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail and AOL Mail, and products like Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Dropbox – can help lawyers reduce costs, improve efficiency, and offer better client service. But it also raises practical and ethical concerns.
Help prepare your lawyers for their new role and ultimately your firm’s long-term success by sending them to the premier legal conference for new partners and in-house counsel scheduled for March 2-3 in Philadelphia, PA at the Four Seasons Philadelphia.