I think I have finally figured out why lawyers don’t like social media. Typing.Yes, typing. Many of the lawyers of a certain generation are used to handing over dictaphone tapes, orating from behind podiums or simply taking handwritten notes on a legal pad. They can’t be bothered to type.Now, with the “burgeoning” of technology into all kinds of platforms that require hen-pecking, these lawyers are at a loss and “can’t be bothered.” These are the same attorneys who don’t know the difference between Outlook and Internet Explorer.I’m so glad my dad made me take typing classes.During that pro-feminist era, I scoffed at what I thought was his preparing me for a future as a secretary. Little did I realize that my dad was one of the first computer administrators of his generation—he got his Masters in Mathematics back in 1960. I have a hard time of conceiving of a Masters degree in Mathematics; pretty heady stuff. He saw where the world was going and he knew how important typing was going to become.He was ahead of his time.So programs like Skype or 8pen may offer the solution these attorneys need. But I don’t think so. I have found both of these programs to be a bit challenging.The best solution?Vlingo, a dictaphone app built for BlackBerry phones. It works across a number of platforms including text messages, Twitter, Facebook, BBM, Yahoo and Windows Live. Plus, it will read your incoming messages to you.So, see, you less tech-savvy lawyers can participate in social media too.Now we just need to teach them how to download an app …

  • Steve

    I don't think that lawyers that don't do social media are avoiding it because they are less tech-savvy.

    I think they haven't seen a solid reason to jump into the social media world (too much time – not enough return on that time). I know of very few lawyers – even those over 50 – that don't know how to type. Giving them a Dictaphone app isn't going to change the cultural aspects of why lawyers don't see the value of social media.

    When they start hearing from their peers about how they are landing a lot of work because of social media, then you'll see the interest in social media increase. Until then, lawyers will see it as just a fad, and a waste of their time.

  • Get marketing folk involved and then you'll see more participation. Almost no major law firms that i know of have lawyers that market themselves – it's down to marketing and comms teams. The lawyers have pitches and profiles written for them and palmed off as their own work, why should blogs and social media participation be any different?

  • Steve, the post was written mostly tongue in cheek and with lots of poetic license. So don't take my generalized statements to heart. Mostly just trying to point out some interesting apps that are addressing a touchy (meaning, "typing") problem!

  • Wow, Mark, sounds like you have insider knowledge! 😉

  • Lisa, I love your final statement (simply because it is still very true for many)! My father also realized the impact that computers would have and required I learn to type as well. I had similar feelings, but have been grateful every since.

  • Thea Warner

    This is funny because my husband and I were just lamenting the fact that while our 7th grade son is required to type up most school projects on the computer, they have never really had a basic typing course in school! My parents (dad was an engineer and mom a scientist) required my sisters, brother and I to all take typing in middle school. While I didn't appreciate it at the time (I was never a great typist), I was glad for the skill when I got to college!