Blog Post

The Twitter Generation Will Change Everything


A new generation of in-house counsel is about to transform the legal business.

A recent survey of attitudes towards social media has revealed a striking gap between the media preferences of the outgoing generation of in-house counsel (those over 60 years old) and the emerging group of leaders within corporate legal departments (those 30-39 years old). See the chart below.

So what’s the takeaway?
The simplest conclusion that one can draw from this is that social media will become an increasingly important legal marketing tool. However, in my opinion, this is the least of it. As I see it, the data point to a seismic shift in the business landscape for law firms.

As the “Twitter generation” gets promoted, their progressive attitudes towards communications will transform the business culture. As a result, geographic proximity and face-to-face meetings will become much less important. And, increasingly, clients will be willing to work with professionals halfway around the world -- as long as they have the exact right expertise.

This raises a big question for every professional: If clients can select from any expert on the planet, why should they pick you? Here’s one possible answer.

Technology attitudes of in-house counsel by age
This data was taken from a survey of 164 in-house counsel by Greentarget.


5 comments... read them below or add one.
  1. Mike Bryant says:

    Interesting conclusion, there is no doubt that the change is coming. I would expect that price will determine a lot of what happens with the change. Does a increase in electronic communication come with the same results, but with lower prices. Not having personal contact will involve trust issues, but as you point out it will increase the reach of options.

  2. Alan Haley says:

    Very interesting! Do you feel that state licensure of attorneys will become less important also? As choices increase, and the world gets smaller, won’t the ability to practice law in multiple locations increase in importance?

    • Dion Algeri says:

      Alan – You make a good point. Local licensure of attorneys is definitely a barrier to working long-distance. However, I suspect that this will end up being a relatively small barrier. For one thing, not all legal matters require an attorney to be licensed in a particular jurisdiction. For cases in which there are local issues, you could simply engage local co-counsel if you were not licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. As a result, law firm networks like ALFA International or Eurojuris will likely become more commonly used in the future.

  3. Mark Bull says:

    Clients will continue to purchase professional services on the basis of trust and quality and price and inertia. Twitter is another marketing tool but if it is used to disseminate branding/marketing lies, half-truths and spin, it will blow up in the faces of firms and lawyers using it. A well established track record and solid reputation for excellence speak for themselves. Good lawyers and good consultants do not need Twitter. And in general, the professional world needs a lot less bullshit and a lot more intellectual rigour.

  4. jim webster says:

    Mark i think you may, with respect, have missed the point of the media.
    It is another route to market.

    Technical excellence, good track record and solid reputation are a given — not an alternative.

    Lawyers spend all there time repeating this mantra. Clients / in house counsel want that indeed take it as read .

    It is modern communication methods AND excellence not one or the other.

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