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In this guest blog post, written by founder and editor of Media Law (Northern Ireland) Brian John Spencer, he writes about a topic he’s being studying for some time – that of a sea-change in the legal industry to a radical, full-intentioned and strategic move to online personas.

One of Britain’s most senior lawyers is now on Twitter. His migration online represents another important episode in the history and evolution of the legal industry. Another step towards the lawyer’s full embrace of digital and full rejection of what Richard Susskind calls “irrational rejectionism” and “institutional bewilderment”.

He being, Keir Starmer QC. Former Director of Public Prosecutions and barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. With Twitter handle, (@Keir_Starmer)

Today I’m launching this Twitter account and my new website – http://t.co/KeV57y1ptm where you can find out more about my work

— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 4, 2014

It would be wrong to think this a first. He joins a gallery of senior lawyers online. But this is a landmark for another reason. This isn’t just about Twitter.

Keir Starmer has also created a personal website. This feels different. What makes this special is that it’s about a bold and full-brimmed migration online. This is about pushing beyond Twitter – what is fast becoming the norm – and into new digital pastures.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time. I’ve felt a change in the air. It’s about witnessing the creation of more radical, full-intentioned and strategic online legal personhoods.

Kevin O’Keefe said a while back that the blog was the online home of the modern lawyer. Well I say that needs a slight correction. The personal website is the home of the modern lawyer. The blog is the place where you get to know and develop a relationship with the modern lawyer. And to be clear, the personal website is different from a lawyer’s blog. There is and should be a clear separation between the two; as I explained here.

In any case, and as always, the best way to explain the new phenomenon is to highlight who’s doing it.

Lawyers with Twitter and Personal Blog

Chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee of the Bar Council of England & Wales Max Hardy (@maxbarrister) had a blog here.

Barrister & part-time PhD candidate Greg Callus has Twitter (@Greg_Callus) and personal blog with Tumblr.

Barrister Guy Gozem is on Twitter (@guygozem) and has a wonderfully expansive personal website with blog.

Corporate partner Jon Bloor is on Twitter (@JonBloor) and has a blog with touches of a personal website.

Barrister Edward Bindloss is on Twitter (@edwardbindloss) and has a personal Tumblr and WordPress sites which straddle the realm of blog and personal website.

Media, entertainment & tech lawyer Brett Farrell is on Twitter (@BrettPFarrell) has a blog with podcast section and nice personal touches.

Law Graduate Kofi Ayivor is on Twitter (@Kofiayivor) and a blog with personal twist.

Human Rights Barrister Charlotte Proudman is on Twitter (@CRProudman) and has a minimal but classy blog.

International media lawyer and fellow Belfast-native Paul Tweed (@Paul_Tweed) has long been prolific online and on Twitter. He has a great website and blog here.

Barrister Francis Hoar is on Twitter (@Francis_Hoar) and has a modest blog.

The totemic John Cooper QC (@John_Cooper_QC) is of course on Twitter but, less known, he has a wonderful blog with skiffs of a personal website.

Specialist Employment Law Silk, Sean Jones, is on Twitter (@seanjones11kbw) and has a blog.

Media Lawyer David Banks is on Twitter (@DBanksy) and has a nice blog with personal sections.

Criminal barrister Jon Mack is on Twitter (@JonDMack) and has a blog with a personal url.

 

Lawyers with Twitter and Personal Websites

Human rights lawyer Conor Gearty is on Twitter (@conorgearty) and has a personal website. Though it’s a little dated looking.

International media lawyer and fellow Belfast-native Paul Tweed (@Paul_Tweed) has long been prolific online and on Twitter. He has a great website and blog here

Barrister Rupert Myers is on Twitter (@RupertMyers) and has a personal website.

Specialist employment barrister at Outer Temple Chambers, Daniel Barnett is on Twitter (@daniel_barnett) and has a snappy personal website.

Former MP, Barrister and occasional journalist Jerry Hayles is on Twitter (@jerryhayes1) and has a really nice personal website.

Family barrister and mediator is on Twitter (@Familoo), has a fantastic blog and a really sophisticated personal website.

Professor of legal services regulation Stephen Mayson is on Twitter (@StephenMayson) and has a personal website.

Barrister Kate Eastman is on Twitter (@KateHumanRights) and has a personal website.

Legal writer Edward Adams is on Twitter (@edadams) and has an amazing personal website.

Legal entrepreneur Alex Halliday who created LawPal (@LawPalHQ) is on Twitter (@alexhalliday) and has a personal website.

Northern Ireland solicitor Mark Reid is on Twitter (@MReidSolicitor) and has a comprehensive personal website.

Joseph Giret is a barrister and experience cyclist who is on Twitter (@JosephGiretQC) and has a wonderful personal website.

Barrister Gerard McDermott QC is on Twitter (@McDermottQC) and has a classy personal website.

UK lawyer and journalist Roger Smith is on Twitter (@rogerjgsmith) and has another classy personal website.

Chancery and commercial barrister Paul Stevenson is on Twitter (@barrister_paul) and has a great personal website.

One of the best-known commentators on the law Joshua Rozenberg is on Twitter (@JoshuaRozenberg) and has a personal website with about.com.

Tech lawyer Peter Lee is on Twitter (@PeterLee000) and also has a personal website with about.com.

Vicky Beeching is a specialist in online ethics, doing a PhD on the ‘ethics of technology’. She is on Twitter (@vickybeeching) and a great personal website.

With many thanks to Brian John Spencer for this post. We’d love to hear your views and feedback on this subject – or have you seen other lawyers with great websites and Twitter pages (maybe you’re one of them!) Get in touch, either leave a comment on the blog, or tweet us @ElephantCreate

 

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