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Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2009. We have all survived another year and are looking ahead to a new one. It is a time for reflection, renewal and change—or at least the best of intentions to change. Clearly the world around us is changing, and the practice of law is changing with it. How do we keep up?
For the big picture, Bob Denney’s annual “What’s Hot and What’s Not” report is a good place to start. But also, beginning with this issue, we’ll take it a step further and help you tackle one of the biggest changes there is: the new reality of how people (and their lawyers) interact with each other. Web 2.0. Social media. Blogs and blawgs, Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter and tweets. RSS feeds and Google everything. Actively participating in the Web 2.0 conversation is increasingly a must for all of us. But it is a large, loud and intimidating crowd—especially if you don’t know the rules of engagement or how to use the tools. In these pages and online, we will strive to provide you with hands-on, practical advice on dealing with the wonderful world of Web 2.0.
To that end, check out our new “Legal Web 2.0” column. Magazine board member Steve Matthews is the column’s editor, scoping out the best topics and writers who will help us all learn more about Web 2.0. Steve is also our Web 2.0 secret weapon, as he is helping this magazine build a bigger online presence. Watch for more on this in future issues and at www.lawpractice.org. Also in this issue, you’ll find features that focus on how you can use Web 2.0 tools for business development and marketing. The authors explain how you can tell your story to build a recognizable personal brand on the Web, with examples and advice on how to rise above the cacophony to establish a clear presence that will help prospective clients find you. Oh yeah, we’ve also got advice on complying with ethics rules—in the Web 2.0 world, some of them don’t exactly work the way they were intended. Thanks to magazine board member John Bowers who, as issue editor, helped us with great ideas and content for this issue.
There is more great new content this year. In another brand-new column, “Taking the Lead,” Ed Flitton and Karen MacKay will be sharing top advice and information for current and future managing partners. Turn to page 64 for the inaugural column, which focuses on dealing with IT people and issues. As an ex-law firm computer guy, I think the advice is right on.
So then, venture forth into the new year—and the wonderful world of Web 2.0. I hope our virtual paths will cross somewhere, and I look forward to meeting you there.