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'Social' Media: Professional Should Trump Social for Lawyers
From:
Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC -- Law Firm Management Expert Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A., CMC -- Law Firm Management Expert
Los Angeles , CA
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

 
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"Social" Media: Professional Should Trump Social for Lawyers

Watch your Face . . . book, that is. Lawyers can—and should—use social media, but professional should be the watchword in the legal profession.

A number of years ago, the state bar in Florida, through its Character and Fitness Commission, decided to examine applicants' Facebook and Myspace websites under certain circumstances, such as when there has been an allegation of alcohol or drug abuse. What was the commission looking for? Perhaps some kind of remorse. I'm not sure. And how many other bar associations are looking at the same sorts of social media to determine the qualifications of an applicant to be a lawyer? I'm not sure. The point is, though, that we have to be careful about what goes into our social media, such as Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Most people who started with any one of these types of social media started it in a jocular sort of way; they wanted to have some fun, they wanted to talk about their personal life, and so forth. However, there are too many stories of secretaries who have not been hired and lawyers who have been fired because of things posted on social media that were "unprofessional"

So, there is a downside to using social media. Yes, you want to appear human on your social media sites. And, yes, you want your clients and your prospective clients to know who you are because it is thought that the legal profession is a relationship business. However, you must be careful about what you put out there. Only a small percentage should be personal expression; the rest should be professional because lawyers are part of a profession and a business, and what goes on your social media should advance your business interests.

Yes, Big Brother is watching.

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Edward Poll, J.D., M.B.A.., CMC
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