Publishing information online using digital media platforms almost always involves building out a “profile page” – an overview of who YOU are.  Some of these – like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – are brief and breezy.  Others – like LinkedIn and Avvo – are more formalized, akin to online resumes with an opportunity for other people to comment.  And Facebook, with its combination of professional background info and personal idiosyncrasies, is a mix of both.

There’s been a lot of ink spilled in the legal ethics community about reviews and endorsements, primarily around LinkedIn.  Check the “Testimonials” page for more info on that issue.  But really, when it comes to profiles, there are two guiding principles that, if followed, obviate most any concerns.

The first is the same one that applies to all social media marketing: don’t use it as a megaphone.  Don’t shout, and don’t sell.  Just say what you do, engage authentically, and offer your readers something of value.

The second, while also applicable across all platforms, has special relevance to profiles: don’t lie.  And by “don’t lie” I also mean that attorneys should avoid embellishments and lies of omission.  The temptation to paint a rosier picture on one’s profile can be a powerful one, but it’s got to be avoided.  Whatever benefits may flow from prevarication are outweighed by the potential consequences.[ref]And not just with the bar – compromising on integrity is a sucker’s game.[/ref]

And if you think these consequences can be dodged, consider this: expanding data transparency makes it increasingly likely that one’s digital lies will be revealed.

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