Noted technology evangelist Kevin O’Keefe, from LexBlog, and noted technology curmudgeon, Scott Greenfield, both agree that competent lawyers need to understand technology, including social media.
This is not all that surprising, actually. When Kevin wrote about how ridiculous it was for Today Show hosts and ostensible journalists Willie Geist, Savannah Guthrie, and Natalie Morales to chuckle about their own social media ignorance, he was not suggesting that everyone should be using Twitter. He was arguing that social media literacy is essential for professionals, whether journalists or lawyers. Scott backed him up:
[T]here remains no human reason why writing “u r kewl, roflmao” should ever be part of the lawyers lexicon. But ignorance of the tools of the trade, or a deeply entrenched element of modern society, isn’t cute, or funny, or a badge of honor. It’s just ignorance.
I have said the same for a while, but it’s not just a few tech-savvy lawyers arguing for greater technical competence among lawyers. Even the ABA says lawyers must be competent with the technological tools of our trade. It’s time to stop wearing your incompetence like a badge of pride. You need to understand that box on (or under) your desk, and you need to know how social media works so you can counsel your clients in divorce cases or disability cases or when putting together terms of service. Or anything, really.
It’s not okay to be a Luddite.