Socially Acceptable vs. Ethically Unacceptable
Updated: Jun 17, 2021
By Dennis J. Quinn and Kimberly Ohanuka, Carr Maloney, P.C.
Over the years, social media has grown to be an effective marketing tool for all businesses including law firms. Many social media apps, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, provide specific tools for attorneys to grow their clientele. But attorneys must remain mindful of the content they post on social media and make they comply with the ethical rules. Specifically, attorneys should adhere to the rules regarding confidentiality and advertising when using social media to market their services. Unfortunately, the ABA Model Rules do not address social media specifically. And while the ABA issued Formal Opinion 18-480 in 2018, it only covered a few of the potential ethical problems lawyer could face in using social media. This article will focus on some other areas and offer three tips to stay ethically compliant when advertising your legal services on social media: (1) avoid catfishing your social media followers; (2) avoid paying social media influencers; and (3) avoid sliding into potential clients’ DMS.