The New Zealand legal profession is showing a much greater interest than Australia in social media and its value for lawyers, according to a social media expert.
New York lawyer and social media expert Adrian Dayton is returning to Australia, one year after launching Australia's first social media boot camp for lawyers, to give a keynote address at the Law Institute of Victoria Conference of Councils in the Yarra Valley.
Also heading to New Zealand this month to spread the social media word, Dayton noted the overwhelming interest from New Zealand lawyers as compared to the relatively lacklustre response he received from Australia in 2010 and 2011.
"The thing that surprised me one year ago in Australia ... was that social media was so far out of their conscious. It wasn't even on their radar," Dayton said.
Speaking at the Auckland District Law Society this month to share US case studies and statistics, Dayton said he has had a huge number of requests to speak elsewhere across New Zealand.
"In the last month or so, there has been this huge interest not just in social media but in Twitter. [New Zealand lawyers] want to understand how they can use it ... that excitement hasn't quite hit in Australia."
Despite this lack of awareness, Dayton said there have been some improvements in Australia over the last 12 months since his last visit.
"Victoria has been so interested in social media in the last year," he said, noting that New South Wales has been less enthusiastic. "When I came out here a year ago, nothing could prepare me for how little interest there was at the time, but there's a lot more this year."
In Australia and New Zealand for the month of February and the beginning of March, Dayton is hosting another social media boot camp in Melbourne on 2 March 2011.