For some time I knew that I was going to be in London in late March doing some work with The International Academy of Dispute Resolution. (www.inadr.org). When I put out a call on twitter seeking volunteer judges @SobukiRa, @clarinette02 and @AmandaBucklow were the first to respond. I was, of course, extremely grateful. Then something happened that was completely unexpected — Scottish lawyer @BrianInkster tweeted that he was going to speak at Lex 2011 (http://www.lex2011.co.uk/934-11%20-%20LEX%202011.pdf) on his law firm, Inksters’, experience of using Twitter. More interestingly, Brian tweeted, that Lex2011Tweetup, was going to occur on the evening after the first day of Lex 2011. Brian asked if I was going to be in London on the 16th, and could I make it. I said I had not planned on it, but would look in to the possibility. A couple of weeks passed, then there was a follow up tweet, and some gentle nudging by some others – @IkenCEO , @legaleagleMHM, @clarinette02 and I am sure a few more, that I have forgotten.
So, always having been one to respond to a nudge, off I went. I decided to attend Brian’s lecture, which required Brian to obtain an invite to Lex 2011, an invitation only event. I arrived at Heathrow at about 8:00 that morning and made it to the hotel in time for a shower and change of clothes. At a break, I found Brian chatting with @SteveKuncewicz. While Brian and I have shared many tweets, it was our first conversation. He gave a stellar presentation that provided loads of useful information on engaging vs broadcasting on Twitter, the effective use of multiple law firm Twitter accounts to broadcast firm specialties and blogs. It was an incredible learning experience
I left for a nap, and told Brian I would see him later at #Lex2011Tweetup. I was in the lobby of the hotel shortly before it was to start and saw a tweet from @HeatherTowns advising that #Lex2011Tweetup, as she and @BrianInkster were there. So I walked the block to the bar, and things were off and running.
Soon enough I was meeting, amongst others, @HeatherTowns @Azrights, @clarinette02, @London_Law_Firm, @IkenCEO, @DavidAllenGreen, @dylanwhite, @LindaCheungUK, @andrewneligan, and @TheNakedLawyer. I know there many more, and my apologies to those I have left out.
The tweetup was a collection of lawyers, some students and trainees, and law-related professionals. The atmosphere was one of genuine interest in each other, and a collegiality that was remarkable. We all had time to share a legal thought or two, and many laughs as well.
I have to say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I certainly am not part of, nor pretend to be part of the London legal community — but that night I felt about as welcome as I do in my own home.
Special thanks to all who made it so!