Young lawyers will be the agents of change the legal profession needs to embrace social media in 2012.
The managing partner of Marque Lawyers, Michael Bradley, said his firm is keen to deepen its engagement with law students and young lawyers next year as the firm considers more ways to take advantage of social media.
"[Young lawyers and law students] will be the agents of the change our profession so badly needs, and we'd like to keep talking with them," said Bradley, adding that engaging with social media has been a "revelation" for his firm, which this year recruited two summer clerks via Twitter.
"Social media is a very powerful tool. It's also dynamic and developing rapidly. Twitter, for example, is finding its own feet as we watch and experiment with how to use it."
But according to Minter Ellison IP and technology partner Paul Kallenbach, Twitter is something that "anyone outside the Y generation is still coming to grips with".
"Young lawyers are immersed in [social media] generally, so they're very quick to pick it up," said Kallenbach.
When it comes to blogs, which Kallenbach believes are "becoming mainstream" and "almost expected to be part of [a professional service firm's] content armoury", young lawyers are also in familiar territory.
"Younger lawyers are immersed in the sort of voice that blogs have and I think they're very quick to pick up the often more informal tone and briefer, more jaunty sort of voice," said Kallenbach.
While young lawyers are increasingly being relied upon to drive social media initiatives within law firms, Kallenbach said there has also been a "greater acceptance" of social media across all demographics.
"There's a greater acceptance of other channels, like LinkedIn, for example: it's not just for the Y generation, it has application across everyone," he said. "I think LinkedIn has taken a real resurgence in the last six to 12 months."
Kallenbach said Minters plans to expand its use of blogs in the near future, while Marque plans to expand its use of social media progressively, and "watch closely" as new types of forum come into existence.
"The clerkship Twitter campaign was awesome fun and we might do it again, or we might do something completely different," said Bradley, adding that social media has been beneficial for the firm in a business sense, and has also "made life just that bit more fun".
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