Good news for the tech-savvy out there. Lawyers continue to adopt 21st century technology in greater and greater numbers. Reports say that the legal profession is using social media more than ever before, and not solely for entertainment. According to MyCase, lawyers are using it for career and client development purposes, to stay up-to-date on legal news, and even for case investigation.
The study actually found that lawyers are using social media platforms for professional purposes about 1.6 hours a day.
These movers and shakers spend the majority of their time and energy on LinkedIn, where 73% maintain a regular personal presence, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
And it’s not just because the millennial generation has made its debut in the workplace. Professionals of all ages are using social networking platforms. According to a Pew Research Center study, older generations are using a wide variety of different social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The report found that those 30 and up were practically regulars on these platforms.
The study found that of those 65 years and older, 56% were on Facebook; 21% were on LinkedIn; 10% were on Twitter; and 6% were even on Instagram. For those 50-64, 63% were on Facebook; 30% were on LinkedIn; 12% were on Twitter; and 11% were on Instagram. Lastly for those 30-49, 73% were on Facebook; 31% were on LinkedIn; 25% were on Twitter; and 25% were on Instagram.
So like everyone, lawyers continue to embrace social media. However, some still shy away from the changes to practice that social media has brought. Part of the reason? Lawyer advertising and ethics rules.
Some states have revised ethics rules to specifically include social media, including New York. For example, Formal Opinion 2015-7 looks at LinkedIn profiles and addresses the point that online communication isn’t presumptively an advertisement.
The New York opinion is a good reminder for lawyers that state ethics rules may still apply even when you are on social media, so be smart.
The New York State Bar Association has formulated a set of guidelines that serve as a great tool to make sure you stay safe when using social media. Check it out, and let us know what you think about social media. Is it your friend or foe?