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Report highlights weak social media use by legal services

A new report has identified what it sees as a missed opportunity by legal professionals in regards to social media activity.

The report, by Strathclyde University, found that just 10 per cent of legal firms surveyed were engaged in the use of Twitter in any organised sense.

Although the survey in question was restricted to legal firms operating in Scotland, its assessment – of the legal profession as being slow to capitalise on the benefits of social media – has been viewed by many commentators as generally applicable for the profession as a whole, across the UK.

Aamer Anwar, a defence solicitor operating in criminal cases, commented that there was currently:

“[a] backward attitude to technology and the web but also a patronising attitude that our clients don’t use Twitter.”

The survey’s results are reported to have come as a complete surprise, since the original intention of the research was merely to see the type of service those wishing to access legal assistance through social media channels could expect to receive.

Steven Raeburn, editor of legal publication The Firm, said:

“Legal professionals have historically been slow to adapt to changes in the business environment, which has already led to some firms with a traditional mindset going out of business […] Some lawyers have really embraced social media […] constantly affirming their reputation as the ‘Go To’ guys and girls […] on a scale that has never been possible before.”

Raeburn is reported to be now embarking on supervising social media training courses for legal professionals.

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