May 2013 Bar Bulletin
Facing the Challenge of Social Media
By Kim Ositis,
Assistant Librarian for Reference Services
In keeping with this month's topic of "Challenge," I'm going to talk about online and print resources for guidance in building a social media presence for your law firm or solo practice.
Recently, our library jumped into the social media world by launching a Facebook page. Our first step was to draft a social media policy. Check out our blog post from February 2012 for resources for crafting your own policy: http://kcll.org/articles/developing-law-firm-social-media-policy.
When looking for guidance on issues of lawyer conduct, a typical place to start would be the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs) and the Washington Attorney General and WSBA Advisory Opinions. Unfortunately, a search in those resources for "social media" yields zero hits.
An article from netforlawyers.com lists the handful of jurisdictions that have issued rules and opinions on this topic: http://tinyurl.com/cuxeglz. Oregon recently issued a formal ethics opinion: http://www.osbar.org/_docs/ethics/2013-189.pdf.
Thankfully, there is an increasing number of books and online articles to help guide attorneys along the way.
The ABA Law Practice Management Section has recently published a series of "in one hour for lawyers" books covering blogging, Twitter and Facebook. These are available at our library in the KF 320 call number area. A slightly different twist on this topic is Social Media as Evidence (2013, ABA). While this book focuses on the evidentiary power of social media data, it provides some valuable insights on how to make sure that your firm's social media practices don't inadvertently provide a source of discoverable evidence.
The King County Bar Association hosted a recent CLE on the topic called "Strategizing Your Online Presence & Related Ethical Issues." Course materials are available from the KCBA.
Stay current on the latest happenings regarding social media and attorneys by subscribing to blawgs (legal blogs) on the topic, such as http://www.socialmediaforlawfirms.com. Find more blawgs via this handy directory from the ABA Journal: http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs.
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