How Not to Get Addicted to Social Media

I recently came across an insightful article that can apply to any of us in this information (overload) age. The original location of the article in on the Longhorn Leads  website on July 16th.

In a world that seems to be saturated with social media use, it can be difficult to recognize the very blurry line between normal usage and dependence. Much like drugs or alcohol, social media can become a real addiction for those that are prone to compulsive behavior. Maintaining a normal level of connectivity with the people on your friends list without becoming so fixated on those sites that you begin to miss out on face-to-face interaction is possible, but it requires a certain level of discipline and the ability to objectively appraise your own level of social media usage.

While a social media addiction isn’t likely to cause the physical destruction that comes with substance abuse or alcoholism, it can very easily become an impediment to living a normal, productive life. There are very real repercussions stemming from behavioral addictions which can dramatically impact the life of not only an addict, but also those around them. These tips can help you spot a budding addiction and cut it off at the pass, as well as address the issue with loved ones that are becoming unhealthily fixated on the Internet and social networking sites, in particular.

Keep Your Network Manageable

When you see the number next to your list of friends growing, it can be a very exciting and fulfilling affirmation of your popularity and desirability. After all, if so many people have sent or favorably responded to friend requests, you must be a sought-after person. Still, a cumbersome friends list means that you’ll eventually be bogged down with updates, and simply staying abreast of the changes documented in your newsfeed can become  a full-time job. The first step to staving off a social media dependency is to keep your friends list at a realistic, manageable level. You can’t possibly stay on top of the big events and random thoughts of a thousand people while remaining productive and active in real life. Don’t approve every friend request you get, and don’t send requests out to people that you don’t have an actual, real-life connection to. This will help ensure you’re not spending valuable time congratulating the engagement of a relative stranger or liking the updates of a celebrity you’ll never meet.

Learn How Filtering Lists Work, and Use Them

If you use your social media account as a professional networking tool, you’ll have to add people that you don’t have a personal relationship with in order to expand your reach. There are filtering options built in to all the major social networking sites that will allow you to separate your contacts into more manageable lists. In addition to saving you time and limiting the amount of energy you pour into a social networking site, these lists can also help you ensure that the content you share is visible only to relevant contacts. Your business acquaintances won’t be looking at your family vacation photos, and  your parents won’t be reading your work interactions.

Pare Your Networking Site List Down

There are a plethora of social networking sites on the Internet, all with what seems to be a specific purpose. You can easily spend hours between four or five sites with which you have an account, feeding the beginnings of a social media addiction. Instead of maintaining profiles all over the web, try to limit the number of sites you use. When you can check all of your updates and interact in a reasonable amount of time, you won’t be roped in to spending hours on separate sites. It’s also easy to lose track of just how much time you’re spending on social media collectively when the usage is broken up between several sites. If you spend two hours a day using four separate sites, you’re effectively putting in a full day’s work, just browsing your social networks! You may not notice hours spent on several sites like you would if you spent six straight hours on Facebook alone.

Use Blocking Apps and Timers

If you run an Internet browser that allows apps, plugins and extensions, peruse the Productivity section for functions that will periodically block “time wasting” websites. When you’re forced to disable a plugin before logging on to your Twitter account, you’re more likely to think twice about how much time you’re investing in your online social life that could be spent on a real, in-the-flesh interaction or two.

Be Realistic and Objective

It’s never easy to be honest with yourself about destructive habits, especially those that have become compulsive. Still, it pays to be realistic about the level of dependency you have on social media and networking sites, especially if your friends and loved ones have commented on your excessive usage. While it can be difficult to notice a gradually growing dependence, it’s wise to know the signs of behavioral addiction and to be able to recognize them, both in yourself and in those around you.

How Writing Your Attorney Profile Is Like Writing a Dating Website Profile

Want to write a compelling attorney profile that will make potential clients feel like you could be their new lawyer? According to Lance Tarrant, Law Firm Marketing Specialist for LexisNexis, it may help to think of your attorney website profile like a dating website profile. Some of the goals are the same. You want to reveal enough to create a connection, but not so much that viewers find your profile long and boring.

An attorney website profile serves a very different purpose than looking for a date, of course. Along with a personal connection, your professional profile should convince potential clients that you have the knowledge and experience to help them with their legal matters.

Website visitors often have specific ideas about what they like to see in an attorney profile, as shown in research by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®. The "2013 Law Firm Website Conversion Study" found that those factors included an attorney photo, detailed information about the attorney's accomplishments and an easy-to-read format. Viewers also want to be able to easily find contact information, such as phone numbers and email links.

Here are some other tips for writing a compelling attorney website profile:

  • Develop a profile that is keyword driven, so search engines can find you. Be sure to include such terms as your area of practice and location.
  • Include all your relevant biographical information. You may want to consider a "short" bio with critical information, with the option to click through to an expanded bio where viewers can learn more if they want.
  • Customize your bios by letting your personality shine through. Include your hobbies and community service, as long as they are non-controversial.
  • Provide examples of cases where you have prevailed on behalf of a client. Include a range of case types (if applicable) and case sizes, so clients with smaller cases won't feel intimidated about contacting you.
  • Showcase a picture of yourself. Potential viewers want to be able to associate a face with a name. If you haven't taken a new one in awhile, it's time for an update! Be sure the picture conveys a professional image.
  • Provide a video link, where you "introduce" yourself. Letting clients see you can develop a connection like nothing else. The video doesn't need to be long, but it should look professional.

Lance Tarrant joined LexisNexis in 2007 as a Territory Manager where he assisted firms with legal research, practice management, and marketing solutions.  Lance now specifically works with law firms and individual attorneys with a focus in the area of marketing. He has over 15 years of marketing experience including 12 years with the Bellsouth Yellow Pages where he won numerous awards for his sales and leadership performance.  Using his vast marketing experience, he is able to take a consultative approach in helping attorneys and law firms evaluate their current marketing efforts and where there may be areas for improvement.  His marketing philosophy is built upon increasing the visibility, credibility, and personality of a lawyer or law firm with the overall goal of improving the quantity and quality of their client base.   


How Six Experts Would Fix What's Wrong with Law School

How to Fix Law School - The New RepublicFollowing up on the story The Last Days of Big Law The New Republic follows up with How to Fix Law School - Six experts tell us what they'd change. It includes: 

  • Alan Dershowitz: Make Law School “Two Years-Plus”
  • Mike Kinsley: Lose the Socratic Method
  • Paul Campos: Stop Unlimited Loaning to Law School Students
  • Dahlia Lithwick: Fewer People Should Go to Law School—and More Should Drop Out
  • David Lat: Make a Post-College Gap Mandatory
  • Mark Chandler: Let Students Intern for Money and Credit

Click here to read How to Fix Law School



The Last Days of Big Law - and the Snakepit at Mayer Brown

Big Law Firms in Trouble - The New RepublicThe New Republic just  published a gripping story entitled, "The Last Days of Big Law: You can't imagine the terror when the money dries up." Written by By Noam Scheiber it chronicles the pending doom of the top 150 law firms, spotlighting the snakepit of practicing law at Mayer Brown in Chicago, where some partners earned more than a million dollars a year:

Here's a snippet:

There are currently between 150 and 250 firms in the United States that can claim membership in the club known as Big Law, the group of historically profitable firms that cater to the country’s largest corporations. The overwhelming majority of these still operate according to a business model that assumes, at least implicitly, that clients will insist upon the best legal talent instead of the best bargain for legal talent. That assumption has become rickety. Within the next decade or so, according to one common hypothesis, there will be at most 20 to 25 firms that can operate this way—the firms whose clients have so many billions of dollars riding on their legal work that they can truly spend without limit. The other 200 firms will have to reinvent themselves or disappear.

So far, the transition has not been smooth. In fact, the more you talk to partners and associates at major law firms these days, the more it feels like some grand psychological experiment involving rats in a cage with too few crumbs.

If you set out to pick a single firm to capture the escalating plight of Big Law, it would be hard to do better than the Chicago-based Mayer Brown.

. . .

For decades, elite law firms simply refused to entertain layoffs. In tough times, they might hire slightly fewer newbies. They might trim their numbers through attrition or let some go through suspiciously timed upticks of lousy performance reviews. But laying off dozens of associates at a time was simply too grim to contemplate. Besides, the big firms saw themselves in a bitter competition for the sharpest law school grads and worried that mass firings would get them blacklisted at the Harvards, Chicagos, and Berkeleys of the world.

Mayer Brown was among the first to break with this tradition, laying off 33 associates in November of 2008. Part of the problem is the way law firms hire associates, which effectively happens almost two years in advance, when they offer summer jobs to second-year law students. (Almost everyone who “summers” at a firm like Mayer Brown receives a full-time offer.) Although this makes every firm vulnerable to sudden economic collapse, it was especially debilitating for Mayer Brown. During the boom years of the mid-2000s, the firm had made a killing helping investment banks slice up mortgages and sell them off to investors, a process known as securitization. But when the securitization market abruptly turned in late 2007, Mayer Brown had just brought on 98 American associates and had already committed to 100 more the following year. In 2008, the crisis spread from the financial markets to the entire economy, and the firm had no choice but to clean house.

Even so, the taboo remained. Mayer Brown only acknowledged its first round of layoffs after a popular legal blog, Above the Law, posted rumors of them. It would take a few more months for the industry to get over its queasiness—specifically, until February of 2009, when the venerable corporate firm Latham & Watkins announced it was cutting 190 of its own. The firm’s name abruptly entered the legal lexicon as a verb: “to be Lathamed.” But whatever ill will it generated, the firm’s move had the effect of giving cover to its too-proud competitors. “Latham was regarded as one of the most successful firms in the world and one of the best run,” says Tom Goldstein, who recently ran the litigation department of Akin Gump, a large Washington firm. “[After Latham], that stigma was gone.” Mayer Brown would have two more waves in 2009 and 2010.

Click here to read: The Last Days of Big Law: You can't imagine the terror when the money dries up

Must Have Apps to Market Your Law Firm

Thanks to David Williamson for this guest blog post. He is an expert legal writer and guest blogger. He can be found on twitter @David1122Will.

These days it's hard to get away from the constant buzz of smart phone/tablet computing technology. Business can be made – and broken – right there in the palm of your hand. Therefore, if you have yet to embrace the future; switch up your business strategies and go truly mobile, it is perhaps time you did.

Here are some novel apps available for your smartphone or tablet that not only served to drive our marketing success here at Coles Solicitors, but assisted us in other areas – proving to make all of our lives easier.


Evernote is in some ways the most functional app that any lawyer would do well to take full advantage of. With Evernote one can very easily aggregate all devices and compile a network of note-taking and record keeping for quick and easy use. The app offers an incredibly efficient way to organize bills and financial records, keep memos, notes and to-do lists, record inspiration as you find it, save web pages that may be of use and to easily save and disperse notes from any meetings – perfect for organising both marketing strategies and the day to day life of a lawyer on the go.


Marketing Plan Premier is the best app to allow even novices to develop a successful marketing plan quickly and easily. It  even comes with a handy source guide to help those who become confused. The app formulates the best marketing strategy for your firm by analyzing a strict series of components and is available for $9.99 from the app store.

Social Media:

Social media apps are great for quick and easy management of your most important marketing tools. Both the Facebook and the Twitter app are free to download and offer users the ability to manage the accounts on the go. You can update your status or posting a tweet from anywhere as soon as you find something worth sharing. For easy management, though, it may be worth considering using HootSuite to manage multiple social media accounts, and TweetDeck for more tactical Twitter usage.


Google Analytics is the mother of all analyzing software, and through Quicklytics it can now be viewed quickly and stylishly from any smartphone or tablet device. It looks at all traffic to and from your websites, can indicate problem areas, can show where the most users are located, can highlight which campaigns were most successful and even organize all financial aspects of your website and social media advertising.

How about developing your own App?

Proving to be an important addition to the savvy marketer’s arsenal, have you considered developing your own app to serve your clients? If so, the impressive features Attorney Connect offer (client referrals, GPS, custom designs, appointment booking and integrated social media/blog pages) as well as the competitive pricing packages make investigating further wholly worthwhile if you are considering exploiting this new phase of technology to market your practice.


Cast Your Vote for

In my opinion, is one of the best legal blogs online today. Since we first began in 1997, has been the premier resource attorneys and legal marketers turn to for information on the business of law.

The ABA Journal just announced that they are working on their annual list of the 100 best legal blogs - compiled by votes of readers.  As one of the principals behind, I'm thrilled to have a chance at being considered for this list and would appreciate your help.

If you enjoy what provides to the legal community and you think other lawyers should know about it too, please take a few moments to visit the Blawg 100 Amici page and nominate us before the August 9th deadline.


Web Content By the Numbers [Infographic]

I found this infographic on the No2Pen blog.

Web Content By The Numbers