10 Ways Social Media Has Changed How Lawyers Operate 

by YouBlawg on September 8, 2017

Contribution from an author in the legal sector explaining 10 of the ways social media has changed how lawyers operate:-

Chances are, you are among one of the 1.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook…

Or, if not, you might be a user of various other social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn.

There is no doubt that social media has changed the way our lives work…

From being able to do a live video, showing our friends and family what we are doing at that very moment, to using LinkedIn as a resource for networking and finding a job, even right from the comfort of your smartphone.

So, with social media having such a major presence in just about everything we do: work, relationships, and health, it should not come as much of a surprise that it has greatly impacted the way various industries perform their duties.

Take lawyers for example:

They are constantly shifting and learning new things that pertain to the legality of things said or done on social media…

Will it hold up in court?

Does it actually say somewhere in the fine print that what their client did is illegal?

As technology evolves, lawyers must continue to learn to be able to effectively operate in their industry and each lawyer’s advice must remain truthful and valuable, even among the evolving society.

How has social media changed how lawyers operate?

Whether you are on the lawyer-side of the spectrum and are curious as to how social media is changing the way your industry operates or maybe you are on the business side of things and are wondering what to look for in a lawyer in this day and age…

Understanding the way social media has changed how lawyers operate gives you some valuable insight into what lawyers in the 21st century might encounter and how they can use social media to their benefit:

  1. It provides networking opportunities.Now that the majority of the world is connected via at least one social media site, several networking opportunities are available right from your laptop or even your mobile phone.

    Lawyers can now easily connect with other professionals via LinkedIn or other sites. This allows you to meet people who might even be out of state without ever having to leave your office.

    The networking opportunities provided by social media offer lawyers a deeper insight into their industry through other industry professionals.

  2. It serves as a human resource (HR) tool.Several companies now report using social media sites as a means of recruiting…

    As people often list their skills and work history on social media sites, they can be used to find and reach out to candidates who would be a perfect fit for your job opening.

  3. It offers insight as to where people actually were.People often check in to locations or might give other determining factors as to where they were at a certain moment, via social media.

    It could also be something as simple as a geographical tag when a status was posted.

    This information can help lawyers build a case for their client or against the opposing party, offering insight as to if their statements are true or not and who might also be able to back them up.

  4. It offers insight as to how people actually feel.This can work in two ways:

    The law firm determining more information about a potential hire.

    Or, the lawyer determining more information about their client or the opposing party.

    People often use social media sites like their personal diary: listing how they are feeling, who they are with, and why they feel a certain way.

    Once posted, this information can be easily located and possibly used in court.

  5. It creates ethical issues as far as relationships created.While social media can be used for extremely beneficial purposes, it can also create some pretty major gray areas…

    For example, should lawyers search for information about the jury or the judge via social media?

    Ultimately, this boils down to the personal ethics and convictions of the lawyer.

  6. It offers a way for easy access to information.Once something is posted on social media, it is typically easily located…

    Even with privacy settings, information cannot be completely undetectable once it has been posted on the internet.

    This can offer a lawyer an additional tool when looking for information about a case which could help them determine which strategy will be the most effective.

  7. It can be used as a teaching tool.Most law firms will set up a company profile on social media as a way to gain clients and to offer people a little bit more information about their firm and law in general…

    They can also use their social media site to help teach office employees what they should or should not post on social media.

    You never know, it could help save someone their job one day…

  8. It can be used as a tool for jury selection.Sometimes, social media is used as a tool for jury selection, offering specific insight into their political and religious views.
  9. It offers insight into the competition’s practices and clients.Most firms that develop a social media site are partially using it as a marketing tool…

    Therefore, law firms can easily research other firms to see what they are doing and how they are doing it.

  10. It introduces new challenges in regard to intellectual property.What can you post and what can you not post on social media?

    For example, Facebook requires you clearly state whether or not you own the rights to a song if you post it in a video on their site.

    When it comes to social media sites and intellectual property, a new array of legal issues arise.

In Conclusion

Technology is always changing. Therefore, the practices and overall industry of law will continue to change with it…

Social media is just another aspect of our society that is continuously evolving.

And, as things change – such as social media – industries such as law must continue to change with it, protecting the users and prosecuting those who abuse it.

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