Does Social Media Create Ethical Issues for Your Practice?
Statistics show that the use of social media by attorneys has increased to over 50 percent.
The reason why? Facebook has nearly as many users as the populations of the U.S., Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia combined. YouTube isn’t far behind Facebook with some 800 million users and Twitter has over 100 million registered users.
However, for some attorneys, especially those that are more conservative, the possible implications of using social media as a marketing strategy can outweigh the benefits.
The Legal Dangers of Social Media
Some attorneys believe that social media can create legal dangers and complex ethical issues, partly because the rules regulating social media and ethics are fairly ambiguous for attorneys.
If used incorrectly, social media can be damaging to an attorney’s reputation and even have legal implications.
That’s why many law firms turn to specialists to manage their social media sites.
This is a niche area that very few consulting firms specialize in, but the use of such experts is on the rise, and it’s understandable why.
Although ABA’s Commission on Ethics 20/20 is working on guidance for social media, they are still working on a proposal.
What Should an Attorney Do?
Certainly, social media is an easy way to increase business, but there are clearly precautions that should be taken.
Attorneys should be certain that they pay special attention to accidental disclosures, protecting client information, information security, and inadvertently creating a client relationship. This attention should be taken into consideration by support staff as well.
Attorneys should also stay abreast of changes in the law and use common sense. It may also be advisable to hire an expert who specializes in social media for attorneys. These experts know how to handle these increasingly complex issues and can help you be certain that you aren’t creating an ethical issue when using social media to your advantage.
It helps to work with a marketing agency that specializes in working with attorneys and understands the ethical issues attorneys face.
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Jim’s mission with Bambiz is to help Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys get more clients and grow their business. He was awarded the Tampa Bay Business Journal Top Up and Comer Under 30 and is a Certified Digital Marketer. Jim is also passionate about running and fitness, having completed over 26 full marathons in three continents.