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What Is Lawyer Slack?

What the hell is Slack you ask?

Slack is basically a messaging app on steroids.

It’s meant for teams and workplaces, can be used across multiple devices and platforms, and is equipped with robust features that allow you to not only chat one-on-one with individuals, but also in groups. You’re able to upload and share files. Slack also integrates with other apps and services: Skype, Uber, Giphy, Trello, etc. There are hundreds of tie-ins. Plus, you can granularly control almost every setting.

It’s the new hotness in business communication, and all the cool kids are using it. See coverage in The Economist, Tech Crunch, The Atlantic, etc.

Associate’s Mind Slack (a/k/a “Lawyer Slack”)

lawyer slack

Last year, I started a Slack group for Associate’s Mind (“Lawyer Slack”). Lawyer Slack is a private, lawyers-only community. Everyone has a J.D., except for a few people from other Common Law countries that have some type of wizard-degree J.D. equivalent. The point is, everyone is a lawyer.

Currently there are roughly 200 members., with around 10,000 messages exchanged every week. The week of Dec 25th was a down week due to the holidays and there were still 5,000 messages exchanged. It’s active mostly during “business hours” in the workweek.

lawyer slack statistics

What Happens In Lawyer Slack?

Every weekday, I put up a “Morning Reading” about 8am in the general channel – this is usually 2-4 legal news stories that are likely worth your time. I used to do this sort of thing on Twitter, but there is too much noise there now.

The level of service I use for Lawyer Slack only keeps the most recent 10,000 messages across all channels. Lawyer Slack goes through roughly 10,000 messages a week so after two weeks pretty much all the messages are flushed out. So no one has to worry that there is going to be a permanent record of their activity. It’s transient, watercooler talk.

Lawyer Slack is a welcoming place. And while people talk shop (law/cases/ legal news), people are often as likely to chat about sports, their kids, etc., especially in the general channel. More substantive discussion on legal issues often takes place in practice specific channels.

I asked a number of people what keeps them coming back:

Who are you?

I go by my real name in Lawyer Slack, but on the Twitters I’m BoozyBarrister. I blog at Lawyersandliquor.com.

What do you get out of Lawyer Slack? What keeps you coming back?

I’m a Civil Litigation associate at a small firm in the Philadelphia area. I’m here for not only the camaraderie and discussion with like-minded people, but for the discussions of legal issues, the mentoring of other attorneys, the assistance with legal issues, and the critique of work. There’s no stupid question here, just salty answers.

Who are you?

Jason Wilson, I’m VP of O’Connor’s, and have spent the last 22 years developing legal reference content—including systems for producing content—and various digital platforms for accessing that content. My personal blog is jasnwilsn.com.

What do you get out of Lawyer Slack? What keeps you coming back?

As one of the older lawyers on Lawyer Slack, I have found the discussions taking place in the various channels to be many things: enlightening, educational, humorous, challenging, bizarre, and sometimes NSFW. Participation is not mandatory, but with any social media platform you only get out of it what you put into it. And this place _begs_ for your opinion, if only to ridicule you about it later.

It’s in that participation that you learn both professional and personal details of fellow attorneys located in far away jurisdictions. Perhaps your experiences can help them solve a problem or resolve an issue, or vice versa. Maybe you have similar nerdy interests in peripheral devices. Maybe you’ve found yourself in the middle of a conspiracy and would like fellow attorneys to plumb the depths of the Internet in your defense. All of these things are possible in Lawyer Slack, and that’s mostly why I keep coming back to it.

Who are you?

I’m a prosecutor in the Pacific Northwest.

What do you get out of Lawyer Slack? What keeps you coming back?

Hmm what do I get. Interesting legal discussions, ridiculous discussions, a look at a variety of legal practices that I probably won’t experience for myself (in house, no thank you). And apparently I can even get meaningful personal and career advice. No, it’s not arson. But it is like being in an office with some people that I like: you don’t have to listen when you’re busy but there is almost always something interesting going on to read and discuss when I need a break from my own cases. Or to vent about my cases. Still not arson.

Huh, weird. How did you guys turn into people I think of as friends? Come for the insults, stay for the annoyingly good advice.

Who are you?

I’m a legal analyst on CFRA’s Legal Edge product. We work with institutional investors like hedge funds among others to help them understand and make money investing in legal and regulatory situations that affect publicly-traded companies. This means I spend a lot of time reading filings and transcripts and attending hearings, but I’m not representing any of our clients. I’m also our company’s assistant general counsel, and I worked on our acquisition of S&P Global’s Equity and Fund Research product.

What do you get out of Lawyer Slack? What keeps you coming back?

I get a connection to other attorneys nationwide at a variety of experience levels. We also have a disproportionate number of people who are in-house, which helps me understand some of the issues that are likely to arise or have arisen in my work.

Who are you?

I’m an insurance defense lawyer, doing mostly trucking/commercial auto and premises liability litigation. My personal blog is jeremywrichter.com.

What do you get out of Lawyer Slack? What keeps you coming back?

What keeps me coming back is the interactions. It’s such a broad group, but with so much common ground – from dealing with clients to other lawyers and judges. But mostly it’s the apparel and accessories conversations.1Fact. Sartorial conversations occur on a regular basis.

Who are you?

I’m an associate at a big fancy firm in New York and have spent the last 7 years representing corporations, sovereign nations and private equity sponsors in various M&A activity. On the side, I like to talk about personal finance with lawyers and started biglawinvestor.com as a place where I hope we’ll keep each other from doing dumb stuff with our money.

What do you get out of Lawyer Slack? What keeps you coming back?

I’m finally glad to have found a place where lawyers can chat around the water cooler about the challenges of working in the field (from solo to biglaw). I keep coming back because it’s fun and everyone wants to get better.

All that’s to say, the lawyers in Lawyer Slack run the gamut. They’re from all types of practices, and all over the United States (along with a smattering of folks from around the globe).

How Do I Join Lawyer Slack?

If you’re a lawyer reading this, you’re probably thinking: how can I get into the club!?

The thing is…it’s already kind of crowded in here. But that’s not to say that you can’t get in! I’m slowly adding people on a limited basis. For details head to:

Lawyer Slack

References   [ + ]

3 comments

  1. “after two weeks pretty much all the messages are flushed out. So no one has to worry that there is going to be a permanent record of their activity. It’s transient, watercooler talk.”
    That sounds like the thinking that has got some people into trouble on Snapchat and other places. Can’t any of the other 200 members save messages (at least by analog screenshot if no other method)? What degree of confidence can people really have in the ephemerality? And what degree does prudence require?

    • If you’re sharing anything confidential over an open internet connection, you’re screwed anyway. I trust people to use their discretion and wisdom. No one shares details of anything confidential or privileged (to my knowledge).

    • Slack still saves the information. If you upgrade your plan in the future you get the entire archive.

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