Lawyers often ask: why should I post my filings on JD Supra? I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; I have a blog, and I participate in my local Bar association events and legal listservs; I post my monthly newsletters and articles on JD Supra. Why post my filings, too?
One response to this question, by JD Supra contributor Adrianos Facchetti: "[People] will believe what they see. Let them see."
Yesterday, criminal defense attorney Mark Bennett posted a filing – a short memorandum in support of sentencing. The memorandum was, by all accounts, exceptional – in its simplicity, humanity, passion and power. (As a lawyer and legal writer who has practiced for the last twelve years, I heartily agree with the Twitter responses to Bennett’s post here, here, here and here).
This four-page document provided a particular insight into Bennett’s professional side – the substantive quality of his work, the emotional investment he gives his clients – in a way that 50 articles, 100 blog posts, 300 tweets, and 500 connections on LinkedIn never could.
Finding a technical legal expert is easy – if you practice in a particular field long enough, chances are, you know the relevant laws and procedures as well as the next lawyer. Finding a smart, personable lawyer – the kind that can make lots of connections on Twitter and LinkedIn – the same. Almost any lawyer can create an impressive online persona with a good website designer, blog, and the standard bells and whistles, awards and ratings, etc. But – as both their fellow lawyers and prospective clients know – that does not mean he is a great, or even a good, lawyer
It is the passion, creativity and strategy that a litigator brings to a case, his ability to persuasively apply the law to the facts through a compelling story (non-fictional story, that is :-)) that truly sets him apart.
So, by all means – leverage all that social networking has to offer; blog, expand your network on- and off-line. Most definitely participate in Kevin O’Keefe’s big three (blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter), but share your actual work as well (and stream it into your networks and blogs). Because, at the end of the day, it is your work – and that alone – which proves the Emperor of the online empire you’ve built, has clothes.