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Social Media for your Firm (and your Clients)

Attorneys Appearing in Court

Welcome back to our three part series on social media and the law. Go check out Part 1 if you haven’t yet. Here in Part 2, we’re going to delve into social media use for you and your clients. We’ll start with social media for your clients, and then we’ll delve into use for your firm. It’s going to be a brief overview of both but it should give you a general idea of some best practices.

Social Media for your Clients

One of the most important things for you and your clients to remember is that posts on social media can be entered as evidence in trials. Another important facet of social media use is libel law. Now, figuring out what’s libel, what’s defamatory, and what’s fair game can be tricky, as you may well know, depending on your chosen specialization. What we do know is that ISPs and those hosting a website are often exempt from slander, just like Facebook will often find itself exempt from slander posted on its website - more on that in Part 3.

The best advice for your clients, then, is to use social media sparingly, and to avoid attacking competitors on social media brazenly. There’s a reason that most large companies and famous people have social media advisors; not only do you want to avoid hurting your brand, you want to avoid lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits might not have enough credibility to get a huge settlement from your clients, but the burden of having to deal with the legal costs - and potentially settle out of court - should be enough to dissuade anyone from posting recklessly. This creates a bit of a chilling effect, but commentary should always be honest anyway - even online.

Social Media for your Firm

Your firm should take advantage of social media in order to reach potential clients; you might have the best, most specialized, perfect-for-a-potential-client firm in your region, but if no one knows about it, it doesn’t make a lick of difference. You too should be keenly aware of libel law for your own sake; you should also know about rules relating to advertising your services online. Check with your Bar Association to see what regulations may apply. Posts on Facebook, for example, may have to be prefaced with a phrase like “This post may be considered attorney advertising”.

We have more resources on our blog that you can check out if you’re interested in learning how to effectively advertise your law firm on social media, and elsewhere online. We can also find you an appearance attorney if you need help in a pinch. In Part Three of our series, we’ll do a quick dive into tech giants as legal entities - why they’re difficult to qualify and what might come next. Stay tuned!