I was invited back for the second time to address an annual marketing conference at the NY State Bar Association recently. I spoke about why marketing using LinkedIn is so important for lawyers, and its restrictions.
Said restrictions on LinkedIn for those who practice law in New York State are among the strictest, from what I know, and I was sent a recent opinion by the New York County Lawyers Association Professional Ethics Committee, so I want to say thank you to my colleague Carol Greenwald.
I am quoting its digest below, which I think is useful for attorneys in all states:
Attorneys may maintain profiles on LinkedIn, containing information such as education, work history, areas of practice, skills, and recommendations written by other LinkedIn users. A LinkedIn profile that contains only one’s education and current and past employment does not constitute Attorney Advertising. If an attorney includes additional information in his or her profile, such as a description of areas of practice or certain skills or endorsements, the profile may be considered Attorney Advertising, and should contain the disclaimers set forth in Rule 7.1. Categorizing certain information under the heading “Skills” or “Endorsements” does not, however, constitute a claim to be a “Specialist” under Rule 7.4, and is accordingly not barred, provided that the information is truthful and accurate.
Attorneys must ensure that all information in their LinkedIn profiles is truthful and not misleading, including endorsements and recommendations written by other LinkedIn users. If an attorney believes an endorsement or recommendation is not accurate, the attorney should exclude it from his or her profile. New York lawyers should periodically monitor and review the content of their LinkedIn profiles for accuracy.
Its intent is good: to keep from any client inferring anything that is not completely truthful and sustainable by the attorney.
BTW, I hope to soon offer a Google Hangout for attorneys and other professional practitioners to get their LinkedIn questions answered. Stay tuned.