Digital marketing can be a bit tricky for those in the legal profession, due to the oftentimes complex rules and regulations provided by the American Bar Association (ABA) surrounding what lawyers can and cannot advertise online. Social media adds an extra layer of difficulty due to the ability to share posts – which means that keeping things hyper-local becomes a struggle. If you’re trying to figure out what you can post on social media as a lawyer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Be wary of giving legal advice.
You (hopefully) already know how important it is to know what language constitutes an attorney-client relationship. On social media, avoid giving legal advice directly to anyone unless you can verify that they reside in a jurisdiction where you’re licensed to practice law. Keeping your legal advice general by reporting on things like case summaries or legal news is a safer way to go.
2. Direct solicitation is prohibited, but social media is a bit of a gray area.
Live person-to-person solicitation is prohibited in most cases by ABA Model Rule 7.4 – but the exception to this rule is forms of communication such as chat, text messages and other “easy to ignore forms of communication.” Facebook messages would likely fall into this category, but it’s crucial to know your state’s rules in this area to avoid penalties.
3. Lawyers are responsible for the non-lawyers they employ.
Model Rule 5.3 extends to social media as well – if a non-lawyer you employ such as a paralegal or law clerk behaves inappropriately on social media, it’s your responsibility to hold them responsible, which means you’re expected to monitor their behavior in the first place. Because this policy is so strict, it’s very important to have a firmwide social media policy in place with clearly defined acceptable social media practices. Regular training to make sure staff are aware of what they can and cannot do will help them understand what’s expected of them.
We Can Help
Need help fine tuning your legal social media strategy? MyAdvice has more than 20 years of experience helping lawyers with every facet of their digital marketing. Contact one of our experts today for a consultation.