With the advantages that social media offers to connect with almost anyone across the world legal professionals who were once leery of its use are now jumping on the social media bandwagon. In most respects this is a huge plus for the legal profession that typically lags behind other industries when it comes to the use of technology for communicating but there are also legitimate concerns to consider.
The pervasion of the reality T.V. syndrome has transformed socieity into one comprised of mini celebrities who must update their “loyal fans” on everything that goes on in their lives from what their cooking for dinner to who pissed them off at work and how they told that person where they could go. Legal professionals are not exempt from this syndrome and it can have disastrous effects on their careers and firm’s reputation. Legal professionals who were once tight lipped are more apt to say things than they would before the reality t.v. syndrome took hold of our culture.
There is no lack of guidance for clients about being cautious when using social media while being a party to a legal matter but the guidance for legal professionals is sparse. Because of LinkedIn groups that bring together professionals who share interests, professional associations, careers, and other commonalities legal professionals can get too comfortable with sharing information in group discussions that can come back to bite them and/or their employer later on.
Following are a few quick tips on how not to allow LinkedIn to destroy your career and the reputation and credibility of your firm.
Although, a book can be written about how to effectively use LinkedIn for Legal Professionals the previously mentioned tips will go a long way to ensure that LinkedIn’s incredible ability to connect professionals around the world is not used as a forum to vent about grievances about a current or previous employer. Even if your concerns are legitimate don’t allow the reality t.v. syndrome to override your professionalism and destroy your career or firm’s reputation.
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Llynette Bealer has 20 years experience including working as the Office Manager/Bookkeeper for Junior Achievement of San Diego and various Business Improvement Districts in San Diego, CA. She has worked in mortgage bankruptcy for Chase Home Finance and various law firms.