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Posts Tagged: Twitter

Apr 12

What Law Students Want

On Friday, I moderated We Want You (in Our Network) at the NALP Annual Education Conference.  The panel consisted of practicing lawyers, law students and a legal reporter.  As illustrated in the tweet below, many attendees appreciated the students’ thoughts on how law schools and law firms are using social media, including what the students would like to see from law schools and law firms.

Since the topic of the panel involved social media, I asked law students on Twitter to share how they would like to see law schools and firms use social media  Here are a few ideas shared by the student panelists and those who participated via Twitter.

Law Schools

  1. Post profiles of local lawyers.
  2. Inform students about local events (not limited to events hosted by the legal industry or school).
  3. Share bar exam pass rates.

Law Firms

  1. Blog! Blogs help candidates get a better sense of the work the firm does as well as insight regarding the firm’s culture.

  2. Be creative – add more content than just press releases.

Jun 11

Lessons for Unemployed Lawyers From Laid-Off Social Media Specialist/Fitness Blogger

I began following Theodora Blanchfield (@tblanchfield) on Twitter when I first joined the social networking site in August 2008.  At the time, Theodora was a reporter for Legal Technology News, and I was focused on following people in the legal industry.  Theodora eventually obtained a position as a social media specialist for a magazine company, but I continued to follow her because she published an interesting fitness blog, Losing Weight in the City (you can read Theodora’s fitness story here).

While I don’t read Theodora’s blog daily, I do pay attention to the headlines of her posts when she tweets them.  This headline last week caught my attention:


My immediate response was, “oh no!”  But, I was comforted after reading the post, and I think unemployed lawyers can learn at least three lessons from Theodora’s layoff story.  Consider the following quotes from Theodora’s post:

“I have some freelance work lined up and lots of leads for both projects and positions.”

Lawyers can also freelance.  I’ve referred to freelance lawyering as an option for laid-off lawyers in this past newsletter with resources for laid-off lawyers and in #LawJobChat No. 2 with Lisa Solomon, a veteran freelance lawyer.  Refer to Lisa’s site for more information about the freelance lawyering process and tips for getting started.

“If you have or know of any job or project leads in NYC (or telecommuting), I’d love to hear about them.”

Theodora immediately reached out to her network asking for job and project leads.  She shared her layoff story on her blog and sought help.  Based on a subsequent post, many of Theodora’s loyal readers responded with tips and leads.

More importantly, Theodora cultivated a strong following over several years by blogging and using other social media sites consistently. Theodora’s efforts paid off on the day she was laid off because she had assembled a strong network to provide leads and encouragement.

“I also plan on blogging a lot more … partially because it’s such a good release.”

I mentioned in this video clip that one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sounding desperate.  Note the tone of Theodora’s layoff story — it’s filled with positive thoughts and optimism.  She doesn’t sound desperate at all.

Finally, as I suggest in my book, remember to follow people outside the legal industry on Twitter and other social networking sites.  You’ll gain new ideas by following professionals in other industries who may be experiencing similar challenges.

May 11

How Do You Actually Meet People Through Social Networking?

Melissa Sachs and I recorded a job search program for Lawline in November.  One of the 15 topics we addressed was how job seekers can meet people through social networking sites like the BIG 3.  I’ve included the clip below – note the two-part process:  (1) identify and connect with people online (many of the “lists” noted in the video clip are also referenced in my previous blog post, Lawyers to Follow on Twitter); (2) meet offline.

Apr 11

Diversity Tweets

I have the pleasure of speaking on a panel about brand/image management at the 2011 NALP Annual Education Conference.  This panel is part of the Diversity and Inclusion track of programs.  To prepare for the program, I compiled a Twitter list of users who frequently tweet about diversity issues in the legal profession.  I’ll incorporate this list in the presentation and share the list with all attendees.  Click here to view the list, and please let me know if you frequently tweet about diversity issues and would like to be added to the list.

Mar 11

Mandatory Social Media Training in Law Schools?

Should law school career offices require students to learn how to use social networking sites as job search tools?

Consider the following three scenarios:

  1. Yesterday, I showed a job-seeking lawyer how to use LinkedIn to search for a contact in the legal department of the corporation to which he was applying.  He contacted the Assistant General Counsel through LinkedIn rather than submitting his resume through the online job posting and has an interview scheduled for next week.
  2. Last month, I coached a candidate on how to use Twitter to prepare for a firm interview.  The candidate informed me after the interview that of all the information he reviewed before his interview, the information he gained from Twitter helped him the most.  The candidate subsequently received and accepted an offer from the firm.
  3. In my book, I profile a practicing lawyer and law student who obtained jobs through contacts they made on social networking sites.

Many law schools hold mandatory training on how to use LexisNexis and Westlaw career resources (click here for one example).   Shouldn’t law schools require the same mandatory training on how to use social networking sites?  I welcome your comments and thoughts on this subject.  Note – I’m referring to the career services holding the mandatory training sessions, not a mandatory course that is part of a student’s academic semester.

Mar 11

Get Hired at SXSWi

I spent part of the weekend in Austin at SXSW® Interactive (SXSWi), the five-day festival filled with compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology (Twitter launched at SXSWi in 2007).  In 2010, I attended all five days of SXSWi and shared some job search tips I gained from the presentations in this previous blog post (I also wrote a newsletter about why lawyers should attend a non-legal, creative conference such as SXSWi and you can read it here).   This year, I attended only a fraction of SXSWi (one full day of presentations) yet once again noticed the benefit for lawyers looking to get hired—-either by employers or clients.  Unlike most traditional conferences attended by lawyers, SXSWi allows you to interact with the leaders of technology and new media companies in a setting without many lawyers … a competitive advantage!  Consider the following examples:

  • Google is always hiring. Marissa Mayer, vice president of consumer products at Google, presented on Friday.  During the Q&A of Mayer’s presentation, a guy in the audience asked if Google was hiring.  Mayer responded that Google is always hiring, and the guy said he would give Mayer his resume at the end of the presentation.  While I doubt the guy was a lawyer, a lawyer could ask the same question — or approach Mayer (or any speaker) after the presentation or at one of the many SXSWi parties.
  • Foundation opportunities in the gaming/social networking industry. Idit Harel Caperton, founder of World Wide Workshop, a global foundation that runs the Globaloria program, presented about the effects of teaching game design to young children.  At the end of her presentation, she announced that her company was hiring.  I didn’t inquire about the specific opportunities but perhaps a lawyer looking to transition to a non-practicing role in the gaming/high-tech industry would find the opportunities appealing.
  • Networking opportunities within “safety net” of other lawyers. I previously noted that SXSWi is a conference without many lawyers.  The lawyers who do attend can take advantage of networking with the other lawyers.  Firm lawyers can network with in-house counsel.  Job-seeking lawyers can network with both firm lawyers and in-house counsel.    In the past few days, I’ve noticed tweets from the following lawyers in attendance:
    • @VogeleLaw – Attorney at Microsoft
    • @EdCavazos – Technology Lawyer (Bracewell Giuliani) & Adjunct Professor of Software and Video Game Law (UT School of Law)
    • @MollyDiBi – Employment Lawyer
    • @danielg280 – Lawyer @ Mayo Clinic

Bottom line – lawyers who attend SXSWi have the opportunity to stand out and can seize this opportunity for career growth.

Jan 11

Jobs in Sports Law (#LawJobChat No. 7)

In the spirit of the upcoming Super Bowl (also known as the biggest annual sporting event held in the United States), we thought it was appropriate to focus on jobs in sports law for the January #LawJobChat.

Join #LawJobChat on Thursday, January 27 at 9pm EST.  Our sports law expert guests include David Cohen, a sports lawyer in Los Angeles, and June Casalmir, an in-house lawyer at Sprint Nextel where she provides legal support for NASCAR.

Join #LawJobChat on Thursday to tweet your own questions to David and June.  Or, email your questions to me in advance (, and I’ll tweet them during the chat.

Click here for details about how to participate in a Twitter Chat.  As always, I’ll post the #LawJobChat transcript following the live chat.

Jan 11

Interview Prep with Twitter to Gain Industry Insights

I was helping an out-of-state real estate candidate prepare for an interview yesterday, and she commented, “I’ve tapped all the usual sources – Martindale, NALP Directory, Chambers and Partners, Google, LinkedIn, and Vault.”  I asked if she was prepared to ask or answer questions about the real estate industry in Texas (where she’s interviewing), and I suggested she turn to Twitter.

In my book, I discuss how law students and lawyers can use Twitter to learn about specific attorneys (page 207), firms (page 208), and practice areas (page 209).  They can also use Twitter to gain insight about the industries the firms and attorneys represent.

I suggested that this candidate start with the local business journal’s Twitter feed.  As you can see, three of the six tweets from January 19 alone contain information about real estate industry.  And, the Twitter feed is user-friendly – simply skim the stream, identify relevant tweets, and read linked articles.

Twitter interview prep DBJ RE

I also recommended the candidate review the Twitter feed of a local real estate attorney who frequently tweets about the industry.  While my candidate was not interviewing with this particular attorney or firm, she can still learn from the attorney’s tweets.  Moreover, she can glance at the users the real estate attorney is following and read their Twitter feeds.  For example, we found that the attorney followed a hotel broker and investment banker, medical real estate developer, Dallas-based commercial real estate broker, and Dallas-based property tax consulting firm.  All of these users had informative tweets about the real estate industry.

Bottom line – even if the attorneys and firms are not on Twitter, you can still use Twitter to learn about the industries they represent.

Jan 11

Yes, Law Firms Can Use Social Media in Recruiting

I obtained four qualified candidates through social networking last week.  I posted a status update on Facebook and LinkedIn early in the week about a position for which I am recruiting.  Within hours, I received replies from friends of friends, relatives of friends, and former colleagues who were interested and qualified in the position.

Law firms can take the same steps to attract candidates from their existing networks.  In my book, I discuss several free ways law firms can share job openings on social networking sites, including:

  1. Facebook Note (page. 126). The Facebook Note allows you to use more characters than a status update.  You can also tag friends who may be interested in the position you post in the Note.  And, your friends can share the Note so that it appears on their Facebook pages.
  2. Facebook Marketplace (p. 129). Firms can post job openings in the Facebook classifieds.
  3. Facebook Firm Page (p. 131). Firms can post job openings on their own Facebook page, and the posting can be shared by fans of the page.
  4. LinkedIn Group Job Posting (p. 171). Identify the LinkedIn Groups that will contain candidates you are seeking and post jobs in the relevant Groups.
  5. Facebook or LinkedIn Status Update (p. 174). Firm recruiters and hiring personnel can share job openings in their individual status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  6. Tweet Job Openings (p. 201). Share your job openings on Twitter.

Of course, the above efforts won’t work without connections and strategies.  I have over 500 Facebook “friends” and over 500 LinkedIn “connections.”  I probably would not have obtained the same results if I had only 100 friends and 200 connections.

And, notice that I posted the job opening on Facebook and LinkedIn but not on Twitter.  There was a strategic reason for not posting on Twitter.  I wanted to reach out to people I knew well and trusted for this particular position.   I don’t know the majority of my Twitter contacts that well (that’s the purpose of Twitter).

So, yes, law firms can use social networking sites in their own recruiting practices.  But, they must first understand the sites, build their connections, and formulate their own social networking strategies before diving in.

Nov 10

My Holiday Gift to You!

In the spirit of the holiday gift giving season, I’m giving you (my blog readers, newsletter readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends and fans, LinkedIn connections, clients, candidates, and colleagues) my time on Thursday, December 16, from 8am-5pm CST. wrapped_gift

Call me on Thursday, December 16, between 8am-5pm CST and ask me anything — 214.361.0070.

I receive calls or emails daily with questions on the following topics:

  • Job searching
  • Resumes
  • Career development
  • My book
  • Social networking
  • How I started a business
  • How I wrote the book, why I wrote the book
  • Why I quit practicing law, how I knew when the time was right to leave
  • “Can I pick your brain?”

While I strive to return all calls and emails, I admit I’m guilty of not returning them all.  Here’s your opportunity to ask me your question over the phone.  Or, feel free to call just to say hello!

Here’s how it will work on December 16:

  • I will be at my office desk between 8am-5pm CST
  • Call my office line between 8am-5pm CST – 214.361.0070
  • If I am on the phone when you call, email me ( and I will call you back
  • Or, you can follow me on Twitter (@aellislegal) and I’ll tweet when I am off the phone
  • There is no time limit for each call (just be reasonable and respectful of others who may be trying to call me)
  • Anyone may call – you don’t need to be a lawyer or in the legal profession
  • You can ask me anything

I hope to hear from you on Thursday, December 16, between 8am-5pm CST – 214.361.0070!!

Finally, hat tip to Jim Kukral, a business author I follow on Twitter, who inspired me with this “call me today” idea.  And, the inspiration from Jim further illustrates why it’s important to do “something different,” such as reading/following thought leaders outside your industry — the best ideas often come from outside!