Have Twitter, Facebook, and blogs helped or hurt the practice of law? While social media has jeopardized some defendant’s right to a fair trial, it also allows attorneys to connect with existing and potential clients and allows the public to easily find information about the legal profession. At any rate, social media will only continue to impact society and the law — and can be a vital asset to attorneys and the practice of law.
To date, there have been over 20 incredibly insightful comments from some very bright legal minds from across the country. To me, this is the most amazing part of social media – getting to connect with leading professionals around the country and gaining their insight and perspective on current legal trends and topics.
While I initially wanted to get the group’s thoughts about social media endangering the right to a fair trial, the LinkedIn discussion ultimately shifted in another direction – the use of social media in marketing. Whether an attorney is thinking about ‘claiming their profile’ on AVVO or staring a Facebook page, attorneys have increasingly begun to use Social Media in an attempt to reach clients and build a positive online reputation. There are many concerns here, from maintaining ethical compliance to social media credential fraud.
A local bar association recently featured a CLE event that was essentially about law in a Web 2.0 world. The two chief concerns amongst attorneys:
1. Attorney awareness of how much Web 2.0 is shifting clients’ experience and expectations
2. The legal ethics surrounding these changes
Here are a few more thoughts from the discussion:
- Social media is only going to grow, so the sooner all of us identify its strengths and assets, the better.
- Some attorneys … aren’t comfortable with the fact that Avvo’s system is not fully within their control.
- It seems that lawyers could avoid all social media ethics risks completely if they’d simply stop talking about themselves.
- I really don’t think the law profession is ready for “raw” social media.
Personally, after writing the initial blog post I think that social media has only had a positive impact on the law. At the end of the day, the reason I think it is a positive is because it puts more legal information into the hands of legal consumers and the general public – whether chatting with potential attorneys online or sharing their legal experience, more information can only be a good thing.
How are you using social media in your practice?
 This was based on a Marcch 25th blog post that I wrote entitled Law in a Web 2.0 World
 I initially posed the question whether the law has had a benefical or detreimental affect on the law in a recent blog post Law in a Web 2.0 World. Interestingly in the blog, I was more concerned about getting people’s thoughts on ‘Voir Google’ and social media and smartphones invading the sanctity of the American jury system. With jurors Googling outside information during trial, sharing social media posts in deliberations, and tweeting about their case from the jury box it’s getting much harder to get a ‘fair’ trial. Since jury instructions just don’t seem to go far enough, some have even suggested digital sequestration in certain high profile trials.