Thursday 19th April saw the first dedicated Family Law Tweetup at One Alfred Place (@onealfredplace), a contemporary Private Members Club in the heart of London’s West End. For those not familiar with the term, a “TweetUp” is a Twitterism for “Meet Up” and is a gathering of Twitter users or Tweeters. It is not, as has been jokingly suggested, a collective of twits!
A Tweetup is usually organized exclusively through Twitter and is a great opportunity to network and finally put faces to @usernames. In this instance all the guests were seasoned Family Law professionals coming together to make connections, exchange ideas and share just a little more than 140 characters.
The much anticipated event was initiated and organized by Joanne Major of Major Family Law (@majorfamilylaw), the boutique Family Law specialists based in Newcastle upon Tyne and sponsored by LexisNexis a leading provider of content and technology courtesy of Geraldine Morris (@geraldinemorris) from LexisNexis.
Geraldine Morris said: “LexisNexis publishes an extensive range of family law online and print content making sponsorship of the first family law tweet up a natural partnership. The event was a great opportunity to share ideas and knowledge and I’m delighted that it was a huge success”
Over 50 #FamilyLaw folk from around the UK attended the London event and were treated to delicious fizz and food in splendid surroundings. Raffle prizes were generously donated by LexisNexis and Major Family Law. The LexisNexis book voucher was won by Moira Sofaer, Barrister and Mediator, of Goldsmith Chambers but regifted to Pupil Barrister David Murray (@djmurray101) his need being greater than hers apparently!
Major Family Law was the first Family Law firm to embrace Social Media in their region and, unlike many of the larger City firms, really saw the potential of microblogging to network and build its business. They realised their Tweets were attracting national and indeed international attention and decided to reach out and meet their virtual followers in person. Major Family Law is renowned for being innovative and modern in its approach and so the idea of a #familylawtweetup was conceived. By not disclosing the chosen venue until the production of evites and by putting guest’s usernames on their name-badges, Major Family Law created a tangible anticipation about the event.
In her address, Joanne Major spoke of the how much she gained from Twitter:
“From initial scepticism, I’ve grown to value what Twitter can do for my practice – a rich source of important family law news; an opportunity to learn what I need to know earlier than before; a great way to get input into thorny legal issues…a problem shared and all that “.
She even suggested that Twitter is now an essential part of her day:
“I see Twitter as part of a balanced diet – 5 a day is ideal but you can probably get away with 2 on some days”
For those within the Profession who are not yet up to speed with Social Media, Suzy Ashworth of Our PSL Ltd (@SuzyOurPSL) will be running a seminar for @ResFamilyLaw ”Using Social Media to Grow your Business” 12 July, in London, which is to be recommended.
Plans are already afoot to hold further regional and national Tweetups, based on Major Family Law’s model of last week. Paul Gadd @progressmediate Director of Protocol IT, based in Leicester and present at the event has already purchased the domain name as a homepage for future tweet ups. If you use Twitter, please watch out on #familylawtweetup and check www.familylawtweetup.co.uk – there could be a Tweetup happening near you soon!