The Ethics of Social Media, Pt. 2 [Slideshow]

Part 1: The Importance of Social Media to the Modern Law Practice
Part 2: Marketing Your Practice on Social Media
Part 3: Personal Use of Social Media
Part 4: Social Media in Discovery
Part 5: Social Media as a Research Tool
Part 6: Advise Your Clients Wisely! (June 12, 2014)

As you saw in Part 1, Social Media is a tool that lawyersethics of social media can ill-afford to ignore. It’s used by essentially everyone: your family, your friends, your clients, your judge, your competition. Understanding how to use social media, and even more importantly – understanding how to use it ethically, is critical for lawyers in the 21st century.

One of the best ways a lawyer can harness social media to improve their practice is to utilize the phenomenal marketing capabilities found on social media. However, before you dive headlong into promoting your practice on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites, you need to make sure your marketing complies with ethical rules. In Part 2 of my presentation, find out how to promote your firm on social media, ethically:

The real story about the ethics of social media is that lawyers must remember that the rules still apply! All the general rules that you apply to your other types of advertising will apply generally to advertising on social media:

  • Make sure that your advertisements aren’t false or misleading;
  • If you compare your services to that of another attorney/law firm, be sure you have objective information to back up your comparisons;
  • Only post testimonials that you have personally fact-checked;
  • If you have editorial control of the social media site your client has posted on, edit or remove any false or misleading testimonials;
  • Be smart about who you endorse and how you describe your skills (avoid the word “specialize”); and
  • Be VERY smart about how you respond to comments about your firm, such as negative reviews from former clients.

Remember that social media lasts forever, so don’t put anything on social media that you haven’t thought through. The greatest enemy that a lawyer has on social media is themselves.