WebPresence, Esq.’s founder, Kristen Marquis (who is also an active attorney), authored an article for California Lawyer magazine on the ethical issues lawyers face when engaging in and on Social Media. As every practicing attorney knows, there are strict guidelines surrounding ‘advertising’ and ‘soliciting’ that a lawyer must adhere to in order to avoid the wrath of a State Bar. Familiar with the relevant rules and requirements, Kristen breaks down what California lawyers should and should not do while building a Web Presence.
The following is an excerpt of the article “Social Media for Lawyers: Beyond the Yellow Pages,” which can also be found in California Lawyer’s January 2013 print edition…
You’ve been Googled! You know it’s true, in part because you’ve done some Googling yourself. Whether it was looking up opposing counsel, your client, or your new next-door neighbor, you’ve used the powers and reach of the Internet to find out a little more about someone.
And you can be sure your potential clients will do the same when they need an attorney.
Broadly speaking, attorneys have been slow to adapt to social media and building an online presence. Many are stuck in the Yellow Pages Age, or at least have the (very mistaken) impression that they don’t need to worry about building their identity online. They assume that word of mouth has propelled their practice thus far and will continue to do so. However, if your potential client can’t research you online, they move on. Studies indicate that 90 percent of Americans consult the Internet before choosing a company or professional to do business with. Having no digital presence, then, can be nearly as damaging as having negative reviews posted online (and those reviews are out there, whether you know it or not).
To continue learning about the steps you / your law firm must take to stay in line with the State Bar while maintaing an active online presence, read the entire article here.