The Best Legal Blog Posts of 2016

2016-word-cloudIf you’ve followed my blog for a year or more, you know I generally publish a “Year in Review” post.  This December I thought I’d take a slightly different approach. Instead of a comprehensive list, I’m filtering it down to my personal favorites. And while it may be controversial, I’m calling this compilation The Best Legal Blog Posts of 2016.  There is plenty of good stuff out there, but this is the best that has appeared here.  Mostly my content, but also sourced from other great writers.

Client Relations

eCourt and court procedures

Finances

Marketing

Security

Staffing

Technology

Time Management

All Rights Reserved 2016 Beverly Michaelis

The Ethics of Social Media and Online Marketing

Last weekend the Oregon State Bar held the first ever Solo & Small Firm Conference in Bend, Oregon.  The lineup included nationally recognized speakers and Oregon-based experts, including the incomparable David Elkanich of Holland & Knight.

David gave two great presentations at the conference, and I promise to blog about both. Today I start with a subject near and dear to my heart: The Ethics of Social Media and Online Marketing.  Here are a few tweets to give you the flavor of David’s presentation:

A complete compilation of David’s tips can be found here.

Over the next days and weeks I will share other gems from the conference, including “best of” tips from:

  • Exchanging Documents Electronically
  • How Clients Can Win with Your Small Firm Resources
  • Tame the Digital Chaos
  • 60 Legal Tech Tips
  • and more!

All Rights Reserved 2016 Beverly Michaelis

Fresh Strategies and Ideas for Marketing Your Law Firm

Are you looking for fresh strategies and ideas for branding and marketing your practice?  One excellent resource is marketing advisor and social media consultant Nancy Myrland.

I’ve followed Nancy on social media for several years.  I learned quickly that she is a wealth of knowledge, even when limited to 140 characters.

Want to know how to brand your law firm?  Nancy has ideas.  Looking for new strategies in content marketing, here you are.  Is video is the way to go?  Nancy has advice on that topic too.  No surprise, but she also writes about specific social media platforms: Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and social media generally.

How can you get access to all this great stuff?  Easy!  Just subscribe to Nancy’s blog or podcast.

Another favorite of mine is Samatha Collier at Social Media for Law Firms. Samantha also has the gift of imparting great advice in 140 characters or less.

Follow Samantha on social media, visit her site, or subscribe to her blog if you want to get started in social media, improve social media engagement, or learn content marketing from one of the best.  Need motivation?  Here are a few topics to pique your interest:

While We’re on the Topic of Marketing

Don’t forget the PLF offers a number of marketing resources on its website. Select Practice Management > Forms > Marketing to access the following:

  • Marketing and Business Development Worksheets [assessing your competition, choosing a niche, crafting an elevator speech, marketing budget, target market contacts]
  • Checklist for Creating a Marketing Plan
  • Sample Marketing Plans
  • Business Development Goal-Setting Checklist
  • White Paper: Marketing and Business Development: Crucial Skills

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

Everything TECHSHOW – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

I Want It All!

I had hoped to offer readers a post to all 2015 ABA TECHSHOW tweets, but after cultivating about 1800 from Saturday and Friday’s sessions, Storify crashed.

The Bad News

The Storify script failed and the story was lost.

The Good News

I still have my TECHSHOW Tagboard. If you’re a Flipboard fan, I’m betting you’ll like it.

Tagboard

Access Tagboard here or click on the image above.

  • Click on the “Latest” button (top of the screen, left) to show the most recent cultivated tweets.
  • To see more, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on “LOAD MORE.”  Repeat if you dare.

TECHSHOW 2016

Already excited about 2016?  You should be!

2016 ABA TECHSHOW

Next year it falls on St. Paddy’s Day.

St. Patrick's Day

All Rights Reserved [2015] Beverly Michaelis

 

 

Oregon’s Social Media Law

I first wrote about Oregon’s social media law when HB 2654 was passed by the Senate in May 2013.

A year later, Dan Webb Howard has penned an interesting article for the May 2014 issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, A Cure Worse than the Disease? Oregon’s New Social Media Law.”

The idea behind HB 2654 was to protect the social media privacy rights of employees and job applicants.  But as Howard describes, the law may have unintended consequences:

The “Employer Account” Exception

Social media accounts that are “provided by” or “used on behalf of the employer” are an exception to the non-disclosure provisions of HB 2654.  Howard points out that the exception is “so broadly worded that it could have the perverse effect of forfeiting an employee’s control over personal information contained in a social media account that he or she created.”

Employees Cannot be Compelled to Permit “Shoulder Surfing” or add the Employer as a Social Media Contact

Next Howard discusses the meaning of the term “compel.”  HB 2654 fails to provide a definition, which opens the door for speculation.  Why does this matter?  Because two of the key provisions of the law prohibit compelling employees or applicants to (a) add the employer as a social media contact or (b) access password protected social media content in the presence of the employer.

When are “Supervisors” also “Employers” under HB 2654?

The last murky detail concerns vicarious liability for actions of supervisors.  Howard suggests preparing for the worst-case scenario: “that even the lowest-level supervisor might ultimately be deemed an ’employer’ for purposes of HB 2654.”

Read the Hypotheticals and Suggested Solutions

Throughout the article, Howard provides a series of hypotheticals to illustrate his points.  He also offers spot-on advice for employees and employers.  Read the full article here.