Social Media Don’ts for Attorneys

You always come across information on how you should market your practice and what you should do to boost your profile online. But what are the social media don’ts for attorneys?

Loose Lips Might Sink ShipsDon’t share anything confidential – This “don’t” might be met with a big “duh”, but it never hurts to be reminded. You can become comfortable on social media, surrounded by your friends and connections in the virtual world. Just like elevator talk can get you in trouble, accidently posting confidential information is a no-no. Don’t talk about clients, or your cases – not even if one of your connections brings it up.

What else are social media don’ts for attorneys? 

Thumbs Down - Social Media Don'ts for AttorneysDon’t share advice – A friend shares a status update with a legal problem. You might be inclined to offer some guidance on the matter. Please do not give advice. This might be misconstrued and you could be unintentionally drawn into an attorney-client relationship.

Don’t badmouth others – It is easy to have an off day and go on Facebook to blow off steam to your friends. With 78% of attorneys being on one or more social media platforms, keep in mind the legal community is very connected. You never know who is a friend of a friend or if what you are saying will slip out of the virtual world. Don’t talk about other attorneys, judges, and other staff you encounter.

Don’t discuss your firm business – Though firm business would usually be considered confidential, innocuous status updates might end up being a bigger deal than first thought. For example, you update your status saying “Hurray! Going home early…a little computer virus shut us down.” Not the best way for you to inform clients, their confidential information could be compromised.

Don’t add or friend everyone – Should you be friends or connected with clients? LinkedIn is a great place for professionals to connect. You should have a professional profile there so, it is perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged to connect with clients there. Facebook is a bit trickier. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. If you want it to be strictly close friends and family, just send a quick note saying that you prefer to keep professional connections on LinkedIn instead.

For more information about social media, please see TYLA’s informative social media handbook.