The tweet-up virgin has an epiphany

This evening I attended my very first “tweet-up”* after a long day of continuing legal education at the California Bar Association’s Annual Meeting.

*For you those of you as ignorant as I was a day or two ago, a tweet-up is a real world meeting between two or more people who know each other via Twitter, an online networking service.  Although often used for mere social purposes, Twitter has become an important  aspect of business and even international politics.

This particular tweet-up was courtesy of Adrian Dayton, author of the just released “Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition,” and attended by a collection of wonderful people involved with the legal profession in one way or another.

As I left for home I felt strangely energized and wondered why.  What was the appeal of this particular group of people over any other random collection of strangers I might meet at any other bar function?  And then it came to me, like a bolt of lightening  – these people were interested in positive relationships with other people.  It was making those relationships, helping other people, that drove them to their business success.  They revelled in their ability to help other people succeed.

How remarkably unlike lawyers!

Positive people vs. negative people.  Yet another understanding of why people hate lawyers.

Yesterday Stephen Fairley of The Rainmaker Institute (a non-lawyer) gave a 3-hour presentation on “The Top 10 “Secret” Strategies Used by Rainmakers:  How to Build a 7 Figure Law Firm During Difficult Times.”  His core message – building relationships will increase your business success.  It was marvelous and I already have a long list of his suggestions that I will implement in my businesses.  I walked out the door excited to work on my client relationships.

The Bar Association won’t give me any CLE credit for that class, however.  They will give me credit for today’s class on avoiding malpractice claims (by lawyers) which included a passing reference to the well-known fact that a large number of malpractice claims arise out of failure to communicate with one’s client.  I walked out feeling depressed.  A fellow lawyer attended a class that pointed out all the pitfalls of using social media; she walked out feeling angry.

Lawyers know how to suck the life out of everything, though there is no need for it.  As but one example, if lawyers would implement Stephen’s recommendations for building more successful law practices – creating and maintaining strong relationships – they would reduce their malpractice liability.  Two birds – one stone.  They might also be infinitely more appealing to hang out with.

It is time for the legal profession to stop focusing on the negative and return to the role of helping other people.  Novel, isn’t it?  Make a positive contribution to society.  Ironically, it follows sound business development practices.  Stephen, perhaps you should rename your seminar “Why People Hate Lawyers and How You Can Change That (and make more money in the process).”

So, my new tweet friends (including Donna Seyle who graciously transposed Tweet into regular email to invite me), thank you for sharing your remarkable positive energy on a profession that has long been in decay, but is finally making a change for the better, one tweet at a time!