April 2024 Tech Tip - Instagram for Lawyers

by Andra B. Greene

By now, most of you have heard of Instagram. Indeed, many of you have your own “IG” accounts, or at least your children do. Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Meta (FNA Facebook). The platform is fast becoming a popular way to market products and services as well. If you do not yet have an Instagram account, setting it up is easy to do. You simply download the Instagram App for free and create an account that is either public (anyone can access it) or private (you must grant permission to people to see it). That’s it.

The average person uses their IG account to post pictures of their family, vacation scenery, or cute animals and/or to follow the accounts of friends, famous people, vendors, or cute animals. People love to follow animal accounts. The Instagram account I set up for my two Siberian Huskies—@jackiethehusky—currently has 78,300 followers. That means over 78,000 people around the world actively follow my dogs. Some of the posts on the dogs’ account have gone “viral,” with over 1,000,000 unique views. Given the size of my huskies’ audience, advertisers constantly reach out to them through Instagram, asking the dogs to promote different products. My dogs, as social media “influencers,” currently make as much per advertising “post” (photo or video) on Instagram as some lawyers make per hour.

Social media certainly has its pluses and minuses. Scrolling through the millions of accounts on Instagram can be a tremendous time waster, but it can also be a welcome break from the stress of work. I have often wondered whether there were lawyer Instagram accounts that were worth following, either because they were funny or were insightful. So, I decided to do some research to find out. I did not go to Westlaw to conduct this investigation. Instead, my research consisted of scrolling through Instagram, surveying lawyers and law students, and searching the internet. I soon discovered numerous law-related accounts, some with hundreds of thousands of followers. As so often happens with social media, I spent far too many hours on Instagram instead of doing my own work. But I certainly had fun doing so.

My anecdotal research indicates that Instagram is not yet a popular method of lawyer marketing or advertising. I found few law firm Instagram accounts. The preferred social media outlet for law firms is LinkedIn. But my search on Instagram discovered several accounts for solo practitioners or small firms. What I did learn was that there are many Instagram accounts geared to lawyers that are humorous or offering a service to lawyers.

To give readers a glimpse of what is out there, I have highlighted five accounts targeted to lawyers that are worth a quick look. I could have listed far more. Each of the highlighted accounts has numerous followers; indeed, many have more followers than my dogs. Most are intended to be humorous. A lawyer or friend of a lawyer will instantly relate to the humor. The funny accounts primarily consist of memes. According to Wikipedia, “A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme.” If you did not know what a meme was before, you will quickly understand them when you are on Instagram. The accounts below illustrate just some of the creativity available on social media. I must warn you, though. These accounts can be habit forming.

See Figures 1 and 2: @Litigation_God (221,000 followers). This account describes itself as “Reducing your billable hour efficiency with legal humor since 2018.” The account posts memes every day satirizing Big Law. Having spent forty years in Big Law, I found that the humor hit home. Two examples illustrate what you will see. I especially liked the second post below which reflects the intersection of animal lovers and lawyers.

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See Figures 3 and 4: @attorneyproblems (293,000 followers). This account is run by the “Self-proclaimed funniest lawyer in America.” Perhaps this lawyer is not the funniest, but they are certainly in the running. Having a two-year-old granddaughter, I especially enjoyed this creator’s use of children’s characters to illustrate insightful legal points.

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See Figures 5 and 6: @attorney.memes (185,000 followers). This is an account featuring “Memes for the millennial attorney.” Even us boomers will enjoy this account. It is filled with generic attorney humor.

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See Figures 7 and 8: @attorneyheadlines (16,100 followers). The creator notes, “Many attorneys were harmed in the making of these #memes.” This is a smaller, growing account but filled with creative memes and reels (“reels” are what Instagram calls videos).

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See Figures 9 and 10: @mengyue_wang_ (19,600 followers). This account is an example of how people use Instagram for marketing purposes. Ms. Wang is a fitness and nutrition coach whose target market includes lawyers and executives. She emphasizes that a fit lawyer is a better lawyer. She uses her account to build her business. Her free health tips are useful for the often-overstressed attorney. She is available for zoom consultations and programs (for a fee). As part of my research, I did have a free zoom consult with her to discuss how to eat healthy while traveling on business. She then offered to enroll me in her six-week program. I learned that to afford the program, I would need an attorney’s salary.

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Instagram is here to stay. Whether lawyers become the ultimate social media influencers remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, enjoy scrolling through lawyer-focused accounts in between looking at cute animals.

Andra B. Greene is a mediator and arbitrator with Phillips ADR Enterprises. In her spare time, she practices yoga and fields requests for her huskies. She can be reached at agreene@phillipsadr.com.
Tech Tip columns provide advice about how to incorporate technology into one’s practice.