With a number of top-tier law firms getting active on Twitter, the 140 characters per update platform might just be the medium that finally gets Australian lawyers participating online.
On Twitter, Deacons is leading the charge of the participating top-tier law firms, with 480 followers and 224 updates.
DLA Phillips Fox has also been updating over the last few weeks. With 44 followers, the firm is building its network by using the medium to point contacts to legal updates, as well as links to where DLA lawyers are mentioned in the news.
Blake Dawson, meanwhile, has 74 followers and has posted nine updates since its first on the 19th February 2009
Partner and Sydney chairman of Deacons, Nick Abrahams, told Lawyers Weekly the firm registered its name on Twitter more than a year ago, before taking time to understand the online communities Twitter serviced, and finally getting involved through regular updates. The firm posted its first update on April 6, 2008.
"Our primary goal in participating is to provide an added value service to clients or potential client," said Abrahams. "It's also about dealing with people on their terms."
The firm is also proving itself as expert in the field of social networking, having published a number of studies on employer/employee attitudes towards social networking, and the risks associated with using platforms like Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Twitter within organisations.
"Throughout this we've felt that if we were going to be expressing opinions about social networking, they should be informed by experience, as well as research," said Abrahams.
But Abrahams added that it might be some time before the true value of Twitter for law firms and organisations alike, is determined. "At the end of the day, it will be the Twitter community, and in particular our clients in that community, who determine whether it's a worthwhile tool or not,' he said.
For more on lawyers using Twitter, see this Friday's edition of Lawyers Weekly