Imagine my shock when a job post for a Social Media Specialist appeared in my Twitter stream.
The shocking aspect was the company name, ahem, law firm name, attached to the opening: Latham & Watkins. Talk about prestige! And they want to hire a Social Media Specialist? Just one Social Media Specialist? My curiosity got the better of me so I opened the link on my Android. As I said, my curiosity got the better of me, and no, I was not driving at the time.
What immediately struck me was that the description did not start with the responsibilities of the position, but rather the position’s compensation. After all, if you are going to hire the best and the brightest, you wouldn’t want them to assume you’re hiring them for free.
Granted, that may just be their job opening template, and will certainly cater to people who are involved in social media simply to make money. All snarkiness aside, though, it is interesting that a BigLaw firm is actively looking for a Social Media Specialist. I imagine there was some debate about calling the position “specialist.” However, being able to formulate “a comprehensive social media approach that is integrated with the firm’s public relations and marketing endeavors, as well as supporting the development of the firm’s social media policies and governance” no doubt requires such specialist skills. And this is a respected law firm we’re talking about, so reputation management will no doubt be paramount. More so, I’d suspect, in light of Aflac and Chrysler. Social media backfiring, indeed.
The job description implies they’ve given some thought to the Social Media Specialist position. It doesn’t read quite like many other job descriptions for that or similar positions. It also implies they’re currently active in social media, which is up for debate. They have a Facebook Page, which is currently the firm’s Wikipedia entry. There are a couple others that are empty community pages. They have a Twitter handle, but 0 tweets. As of this posting, anyway. A search of “Latham Wakins” turns up attorneys there who tweet. Given the number of disgruntled attorneys in this economy, and the attorneys (disgruntled and otherwise) on social media, you kind of have to wonder who they will ultimately hire. The job description says nothing about having a legal background. They’re looking for what you’d expect: PR/Communications. Kind of wonder, though, what chances a lawyer-turned-pr-communications pro would have.
Take a few minutes and read the Social Media Specialist job description yourself. If nothing else, it offers a glimpse into what the future may hold for non-legal jobs. To some, that may mean “career transition.”