Technology is changing all the time. Lawyers, or the people that they hire to do their social media have to stay up on the ethical guidelines that relate to the use of technology, which includes social media. The Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers still apply, even in this rapidly changing digital world.
Lawyers are not ethically permitted to describe themselves as a specialist or proclaim that they specialize in a particular area of law. The exception to that rule is, if they are certified by an accrediting body approved by the American Bar Association. Social media platforms are changing their headings all the time, so lawyers and their staff. or their social media agency need to monitor their social media profiles to be sure that their headings are not changed in a way that would cause the description of their law firm to go against ethical requirements.
It gets tricky because a satisfied client could post a comment on the law firm’s social media site, claiming that they are the best lawyer. Seems like a nice thing to say, but it could be an ethical dilemma for the lawyer, because they are not supposed to claim to be an expert or the best in their field.
If a lawyer is going to use social media to promote their legal services, they have to use the same disclaimers that they would use to disseminate the information in print. This means that on every social media post, whether on Facbook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter, there has to be a disclaimer. For example, “This Post contains attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.” And yes, even with the 140 character Twitter limit, this disclaimer has to be factored in to the characters used.
Some good things to post if you are a lawyer, or do the social media for a law firm are:
- Blogs about the particular expertise of the lawyer
- Inspirational Quotes
- Business Quotes
- Helpful tips related to law
- Humorous comics relating to law
- Infographics relating to law
- Upcoming events in the community