The impact on law practice of the evolving internet is an increasing challenge for law firm managers who are responsible for training and supervising lawyers and staff. The web permits researching facts and law, marketing our practices, and keeping in touch with colleagues and clients. Yet whether marketing information about a law firm is circulated traditionally through printed brochures and directory listings, or electronically on a web page or in emails, the information must be accurate and not contain misrepresentations. When communications about clients’ cases occur electronically, they must be secure and preserve confidences. Statements made in personal conversations about adversaries, their clients, or judicial officers can result in embarrassment or even discipline if disseminated through web postings or email traffic that is republished to others. Obtaining information about an adverse party represented by counsel may be inappropriate where an attorney or staff member of a law firm obtains information through use of a pretext, or by assuming an identify that is not accurate in order to induce the adverse party to disclose information. These are new considerations which managers must consider and make known to law firm colleagues.
Have you begun engagement strategies through the use of social media in your firm? What platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) have you found to be most successful? DRI addresses social media issues in the current issue of For the Defense and in the upcoming Webcast on September 16, Twitter and Facebook and MySpace, Oh My: New Rules for New Technology, presented by DRI’s Public Policy, Technology and Law Practice Management Committees.