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Recent NYSB Ethics Opinion Clarifies LinkedIn Use

August 29th, 2013 / - filed under Digital Marketing

This summer, the New York State Bar’s Committee on Professional Ethics issued an important opinion on law firms’ and lawyers’ use of LinkedIn. The Committee held that neither law firms nor lawyers—on LinkedIn company pages or individual profiles, respectively—may list their legal services under “Specialties” unless the firm or lawyer is certified as a specialist by the authority charged with the certification of specialization in a given field.

If you read our recent article in the Connecticut Law Tribune, then you know that we’re big proponents of social media as a way for lawyers to build name recognition and connect with potential clients. LinkedIn profiles, for example, offer lawyers the unique opportunity to elaborate on their professional experience and establish credibility in the eyes of industry professionals who aren’t otherwise visiting bio pages on law firm websites. To the extent LinkedIn usage is in keeping with the NYSB’s recent opinion (which did not address listing legal services under other LinkedIn profile fields such as “Skills and Expertise,” “Company Overview,” “Industry,” and “Products & Services”), we continue to find value in social media as a content marketing tool for lawyers. And as we’ve said before, content marketing need not be scary. (And if it is, we can help.)