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In-house lawyers facing 'information overload'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 12/05/14

The increasing prevalence of digital media and online marketing in the in-house legal sector is leaving many US-based lawyers keen to throw their smartphones into the river and head for the hills, a new report has indicated.

Greentarget, ALM Legal Intelligence and Zeughauser Group's fourth annual survey of in-house counsel and law firm marketers suggested many lawyers are finding it difficult to sift through the sprawling amount of content they receive to ascertain which is relevant or useful.

John Corey, founding partner of Greentarget, said that multichannel working means general counsel are more likely to be inundated with pointless or badly-considered content, even once their spam filter has got rid of the dubious offers from African princes and suspiciously-enthusiastic doctors.

"If law-firm marketers, and marketers of professional services generally, hope to make an impression, they must deliver information that readers find essential and are compelled to share. That’s why we believe firms should embrace content strategies that are rooted in corporate journalism," he explained.

Obviously, it is crucial for general counsel to keep abreast of developments within their particular industry or area of service, as this can be the difference between producing a positive strategy and failing to understand the demands of a certain case.

This will become particularly true as more in-house lawyers are asked to step up to the boardroom and produce directional work that helps companies avoid potential legal pitfalls further down the line.

However, the current standard of information they are receiving is poor on the whole, according to the survey.

New and social media is bucking this trend to some extent - LinkedIn is now considered a 'necessity' rather than an optional extra, with 37 per cent of respondents having used the professionals' online network within 24 hours of being asked.

Interestingly, many general counsel (71 per cent) prefer to lurk on social media rather than play an active part in the conversation, adopting a 'listen-only' mode while consuming content.