Social media can be a powerhouse for attorneys, providing endless opportunities for networking, relationship building, and referrals.
However, if you’re not careful, your law firm could run into issues w/ ethical obligations thereby ruining your reputation.
Keep on top of these 5 Ethical Mistakes Your Firm is Making on Social Media to make sure your business stays out of the spotlight:
- Making False or Misleading Statements: According to the American Bar Association, attorney websites, marketing materials, and social media must refrain from using the terms “expert”, “specialize”, “specialist”, or “expertise” unless they are certified by the Board of Legal Specialization in their state, and they must also refrain from using terms such as well as “best”, “better”, or “cheapest”.
- Soliciting via Auto or Batch Invitations: Uploading your contact list, or connecting with multiple people automatically via LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram could be seen as soliciting, and additional requests could hold additional violations.
- Disclosing Privileged or Confidential Information: This piece of advice may be one of the mistakes most often overlooked! Make sure when you’re taking candid pictures in the office or of day-to-day activities, to cover up any private files or documents, ensure computer screens are blank or have a screen saver enabled, and any identifying information regarding your clients or keys to a case are completely under wraps.
- Inadvertently Creating Attorney-Client Relationships: To an attorney, disclaimers are KING. Responding to legal questions in any capacity and forming relationships on your social media channels brings major risk. You must ensure ALL of your social media channels AND your website are utilizing the proper disclaimers.
- Not Having a Social Media Policy in Place: Make sure your firm has a social media policy in place and ensure it’s part of your onboarding process for all new employees. Ensure each individual working at the firm understands the rules and consequences if the rules aren’t followed. Client confidentiality should be upheld across all platforms, and all individual attorneys should represent the firm properly and professionally.