De minimis CURAT social media

If you are a lawyer or law student,  then you are probably familiar with the old legal maxium:

De minimis not curat lex – the law is not concerned with little things (minimal/trivial things)

However, when it comes to law firms using social media – the opposite true.

Little/trivial things can be very  important when using social media.

It’s often the “little things” that connect us with our audience.

If you are interested in learning more about how to be more sociable with your social media, I encourage you to learn from US social media expert Adrian Dayton.


I’ll add links at the end of this post to his website and his Twitter.

I am not connected with Adrian in any way.

I first heard of him in a podcast about legal marketing. He seemed like a “nice guy”.

He started out as a lawyer  (M&A if I recall)  – but he was laid off with the financial downturn in the US. He was interested in social media and has gone on to be a successful speaker and consultant. He even did a boot camp in Australia a few years back.

I like to listen to and learn from his podcasts and  to “study” how he uses social media himself.

We can all learn from the way Adrian uses social media  – especially the way he includes little things that could be classified as “de minimis” – more obiter dictum than ratio decidendi.

Yes, I’m a former lawyer too. As a young man I found law too boring so I escaped to  a life of travel and adventure as a TV reporter and producer on a travel show.

Getaway travel

Now, as a “responsible family man” I’m back working with lawyers again – not AS as lawyer – but as a communication and media consultant.

Old legal habits die hard – and I love any chance to throw in my legal Latin maximums!

My son thinks I’m cool using Latin (very Harry Potter as in Wingardium Leviosa! – (sometimes referred to as lingardium leviosa)

Anyway, I like things Adrian includes – that ARE NOT crucial to business – yet connect on a more personal level.

I like the way his (current) Twitter profile includes a shot on Mt Kilimanjaro and how he lists his family first and how he has a shot of his son in his profile pic.


As I said, these things have nothing to do with his professional side – but these “little things” say so much about him as a person.

I also like the way he included a video about The Monkees.


Once again, nothing to do with his business, but another level of social connection. I am a big fan of the Monkees too!


So what?


I encourage YOU to not be afraid to include things that as a lawyer you may think are trivial and unimportant to business.

One of my other social media heroes Chris Brogan recommends not always posting about yourself or about “business”. (I’m still working to improve this with my own social media. I’ve been guilty off too many “business” posts!)

Post about other people and everyday non-business things too.

It’s interesting how both Chris and Adrian talk about using social media to engage with other people and to chat.

I put them both to the test to see if they practiced what they preach.

I contacted both on Twitter and both DID get back to me – and promptly.

They’re both busy guys –  so I imagine they both must schedule time  in their busy days to engage.

Chris and I chatted about music.

Adrian and I chatted about how he makes his blog posts interesting by comparing social media to Michael Jordan or Nintendo.


Family, travel and adventure, Monkees, Nintendo –  my kinda guy!

It’s the little things that help create the connections.

So remember: De minimus CURAT social media –with the little things Social Media IS concerned!

And, here’s a link to his business site which also connects you with his twitter


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So why do lawyers need to be likeable anyway?

Lawyers often get a bad rap ( perceived as dry, detached and  dispassionate) – yet they can change their image and be more likeable.

In these competitive times –  to attract and retain clients, lawyers need to show more than  just their legal expertise.

They need to create greater connections with existing and potential clients.

Lawyers need to be more likeable.

1. by showing what they have in common with their audience ( how they are LIKE their audience).

2. by revealing just a bit of their human and private side – what things in life they LIKE.

Lawyers in the US now list things (outside of work) that they LIKE and are passionate about.

Social Media Savvy law firms are creating more shareable and likeable content.

Legal websites are more audience-focussed and dare to stand out from the old stodgy legal image.

Who is writing this?


Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti. When I was a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland – I found the working as a lawyer too dull, so I “escaped”  for an adventure-filled career as a TV reporter and Defence Correspondent – and even a political speechwriter and media adviser.


Since 2004 I’ve been an international presentation and writing coach and consultant helping leading Australian and global businesses.

I use my media and social media skills to help professionals (including lawyers) communicate and persuade more effectively by “connecting” with their audience.