Aba real estate ppt (final)Presentation Transcript
Integrating Social Media Into Your Law Practice Sara Foskitt (@foskitt) D. Todd Smith (@dtoddsmith)Michelle Cheng (@foodiethenew40)
Major Social Media Platforms for Lawyers• Blogs • Texas Bar Circle• Twitter • Lawyers.com• Facebook • Legal OnRamp• Google Plus • Martindale-Hubbell• LinkedIn • LawLink• YouTube • Justia• Avvo • Yelp• JD Supra Examples…
Why Use Social Media to Promote Your Practice?• Establish firm brand and market reach• Share expertise and news• Increase firm visibility and traffic• Inform clients about upcoming seminars and events• Create goodwill by pointing to helpful resources• Explain laws relevant to practice area
The Power of Social Media• More than 800 million active Facebook users – over half log on to FB on any given day.• 20% of all internet users use Twitter or another service to share or view updates• Business use: Twitter up 250%, Facebook up 192% since Spring 2009• No fad—a fundamental shift in communication
Social Media Etiquette• Don’t sell• Don’t over-post• The more positive you are, the more people will want to do business with you• Be careful who you add as your friend• Know what you want to be known for and focus on that area• Use common sense
What Not to Post on Social Media
Ethical Considerations• DR 7.07(a): Must file advertisements before or concurrently with first dissemination• In 2005, SCOTX expressly applied the Advertising Rules to electronic or digital communications• Blogging took root shortly thereafter, followed by Facebook, Twitter, and others• No one knew for sure how the ARs would apply to new media• Issue has reached new importance, since new statute treats violation of ARs as barratry
The Bar’s Take: Comment 17• In 2010, the Advertising Review Committee released Interpretive Comment 17• Purpose was to address issues with different kinds of Internet-based advertisements, including blogs, social media, and web-based display ads• Focus is whether they are advertisements subject to filing requirements, but helps guide behavior on social media for all purposes
IC 17 on Blogs and Status Updates“Blogs or status updates considered to beeducational or informational in nature arenot required to be filed with the AdvertisingReview Department. However, attorneysshould be careful to ensure that suchpostings do not meet the definition of anadvertisement subject to the filingrequirements.”
IC 17 on Landing Pages“Landing pages such as those on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. where the landingpage is generally available to the public areadvertisements. Where access is limited toexisting clients and personal friends, filingwith the Advertising Review Department isnot required.”
What Does This Mean?• Electronic communications like social media posts are advertisements in the public media subject to the filing requirements of DR 7.07 unless exempt• DRs protect the public from false or misleading information• Violate the filing requirements without meeting an exemption or making false or misleading statements = exposing oneself to barratry under new statute
Where Is the Line?• Exercise caution about providing information beyond what is exempt under DR 7.07(e)• But the ARC says filing is not required for blogs or status updates that are merely educational or informative in nature• The most common types of legal-related blog and social-media posts do not trigger filing requirements or related rules, as long as the content would not otherwise be considered an advertisement and is not false or misleading• Not a safe harbor per se, but a good rule of thumb
LinkedIn Example of IssuesCaution: 7.02(4) prohibits comparisons to other lawyer’s services,unless substantiated by verifiable objective data. This is probablyok.
• DR 7.03(a)violations?
Not unethical. Good marketing, until she says “hire me.” Could be breaching confidentiality?