May 13 '13
This is the law’s fastest cross-examination where the respondent has to post an answer between zero and 140 characters. Over the past few weeks, Zero – 140 has focused on the people running legal marketing… so we thought it was time to bring it back to the firms themselves… and actually interview a tweeting lawyer! @ParalegalTony is a paralegal at SJ Berwin and, in his own words, uses Twitter to “shar[e] the best ways to break into the legal profession while searching for a #trainingcontract”. In terms of innovation in legal marketing, @ParalegalTony really is one to watch!
Brian John Spencer: What are you up to right now?
Anthony Lyons: Studying for LPC exams this week. Got a long few nights ahead of me!
BJS: Why and where did you choose to read law?
AL: Law with French Law & French Language at UEA, personal development & financial reward was my motivation.
BJS: What does the law mean to you?
AL: An exciting & ever evolving subject that is continually being developed. Reflects my ambitions (or so I like to think).
BJS: What about the internet?
AL: A tool, a resource & something which everyone should learn to make best use of, whatever their needs may be.
BJS: When did you get online?
AL: As soon as I could. Remember Netscape? (that’s old).
BJS: When did you jump onto Twitter, LinkedIn etc.?
AL: About 2 years ago & only just capitalising on it over the past year with @ParalegalTony.
BJS: What do your friends and family make of you Tweeting?
AL: My girlfriend hates it bless her. Reading & writing about law in my spare time? Crazy.
BJS: Why do lawyers have such a mistrust of technology and social media?
AL: Many are anxious not to put something out there they can’t remove. Understandable but “you got to risk it for a biscuit!”
BJS: Should we encourage more silver surfers (older generation people)?
AL: Not really. If they are interested or have need then they’ll discover it.
BJS: Are you a blogger?
AL: Occasional & very interested in making the time to get better at it. Got any tips?
BJS: Thoughts on blogging and what it can do?
AL: Diary / Networking Tool / Portfolio – it’s a great platform to share your ideas.
BJS: Social media and the rule of law, do they make a happy couple?
AL: The fallacy of the latter is highlighted by the former, so yes.
BJS: What about social media & law practice – what role does social media have to play?
AL: Engagement & access. SM is proving to be a very useful tool for those who firms might not normally listen to.
BJS: Have you been trolled?
AL: Yes, was great fun at first but got tedious quite quickly. Please don’t.
BJS: Looking forward what does the web and social media hold for lawyers & law practice?
AL: Client care, brand awareness, employment opportunities, business development – lots!
BJS: Thoughts on legal apprenticeships?
AL: It’s an interesting concept that should incorporate a lot of what accountancy firms have developed. I’m for it.
BJS: Should law school teach digital literacy?
AL: No. It’s not difficult to teach yourself & I’d be against paying for the privilege. Less education & more personal initiative please.
BJS: What about primary schools, should they teach coding and more fundamental computer literacy skills?
AL: Definitely. I learnt how to write HTML & Java. All kids should have the opportunity – big fan of the Raspberry Pi.
BJS: Should law school teach commercial acumen like marketing and business development?
AL: This I do agree with. Legal education providers really need to lose any sense of technocratic lawyers & teach the practical skills needed by all.
BJS: Any personal online/social media ambitions?
AL: Plenty! I’d like to create my own blog & make regular contributions to legal magazines. Maybe even assist in setting up a “training contract portal”.
BJS: Advice for aspiring solicitors?
AL: Dig deep – financially & emotionally.
Interview conducted by Brian John Spencer of http://www.legalwire.co.uk/