Taking advantage of social media

Embracing technology can help in-house lawyers personally and professionally

Ten years ago, I was single and newly living in Chicago. I had a few friends and somewhat of a social life, but was always looking for ways to meet more people and do more interesting things. Enter the brand-new world of social media. But this was when Web 2.0 was in its infancy—long before Twitter. MySpace and LinkedIn were still a couple years away. And Facebook wasn’t even a remote thought in Mr. Zuckerberg’s brilliant mind.

That left only the online dating sites. Weighing the stigma attached to using an online dating site and the “social complexity” of this new way to mingle against the ennui I often found consuming, I opted for the former. Although it was intimidating on many levels, a husband, a kid and a house in the ’burbs later, I’m glad I entered the uncharted waters and am thankful to live in a time when this type of technology is available to us.

But every day, social media keeps getting bigger, better and more complex. I have found myself struggling to stay on top of the latest and greatest social media trends. Just as I master Facebook and convince myself it’s time to understand Twitter and make better use of LinkedIn, something called Pinterest pops up—and it all just seems so overwhelming.

As overwhelming as social media has become for me, originally an early adopter, it can be even harder for folks a few years older—who haven’t always had email or the Internet available to them in their careers—to grasp the technology. Many of our readers fall into this category, and that’s why InsideCounsel decided to partner with communications company Greentarget and consulting company Zeughauser Group to conduct a survey to gauge the true extent of social media usage among in-house counsel. 

In this issue’s feature story, "How in-house lawyers are using social media," we highlight some of the most interesting findings in that survey.

Although initially many in-house lawyers were slow to embrace the idea of social media, as expected, the pace of their usage seems to be picking up. And that can be good news for both their professional and personal lives … if they can keep up with the everchanging technology.


Cathleen Flahardy

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