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Maybe You Shouldn't Do Social Media

The Careerist

April 24, 2011

You have to wonder if the legal profession is really ready for social networking.

As reported by the Tex Parte Blog, personal injury firm Eberstein & Witherite of Dallas is having a contest to give away an Apple iPad for people who "like" the firm's 1800Car-Wreck Facebook page--and also submit a photo of themselves to be posted on the Facebook page's wall, either wearing a 1800Car-Wreck T-shirt or a photo of themselves holding a sign that reads "I like 1800Car-Wreck." Ipad2_400

Is the law firm just craving a Sally Field moment? Or does it think this is really a good marketing tool?

Personal injury firms don't have to stay within the same conservative norms of white-shoe law firms, but this kind of contest can't be the most effective way to get new clients (or impress existing ones). Interestingly, on Eberstein & Witherite's official law firm Web site, there's no mention of the iPad contest, just the subtle link to its Facebook page. So apparently, the law firm drew some sort of line for itself. So what's the point?

Speaking of the point of social networking, TaxProf Blog's Paul L. Caron linked to a video of a flash mob breaking out in the last session of a contracts class at Pepperdine Law School. The video was posted on YouTube on April 14. One might quibble at whether you can call it a flash mob when people are already assembled for a class.

What song did the students choose to serenade their law professor with? "LoveGame" by Lady Gaga, with the memorable lyrics "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick." Hmm.

The video has clearly not gone viral yet, having garnered a little over 1,500 YouTube views as of early Thursday. There's this curious comment about the video: "And we wonder why no one hires our graduates."

Then there's a firm's attempt at flash mob video. According to an article by Adrian Dayton in The National Law Journal, lawyers at Toronto-based law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon orchestrated a flash mob in a busy shopping center, videotaped the performance, and posted it on YouTube. Want to see the video? Well, you can't, because as Dayton notes, the YouTube video was removed at the request of Cherry River Music and Will.I.Am Music, for using the song "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas without permission.

Makes you wonder if the firm has ever heard of copyright law.

Related posts: Social Media Virgins and How to Control Those Blogging, Tweeting Lawyers.

Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com, or deputy blogger Audree Wong at awong@alm.com.


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That Pepperdine flash mob was lame. They were already sitting in class!

Maybe you shouldn't do ANY media. What a pointless article.

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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