Considerations for Attorneys Using Social Media

Paul Arne’s ViewPoint in last week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle goes straight to the point of a sore issue I’ve been hearing from our attorney clients of late: exactly what should and shouldn’t I do with social media. In his article, he cites an example where the glowing praises of a client submitted as LinkedIn Recommendation put his partner at risk of violating the ethics rules of the bar association. Before you run to dig up the comment to see if it is something really steamy, I’ll save you the steps. The recommendation read,

“He is as smart as they come in the world… and a tireless worker.”

You and I both understand that it’s not possible for the recommender to know whether this guy is the smartest in the world and would let this pass but for those attorneys who are very precise about everything they put in print, this was a problem.

So say you’re not an attorney, how does this point help you with your planning? Well, consider whether you have any professional memberships or employment obligations that require you to follow certain guidelines about the advice you provide or the accolades you receive. It’s a slippery slope here and while I think the example of Paul Arne’s partner was a bit extreme, it’s a valid concern and one that you need to consider where you’re an individual contributor or a business owner looking to set standards for your team.

BTW, if you’re not an ABC subscriber and want but can’t download the full text of the article, ping me and I’ll share my copy.

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