Monday, August 19, 2013

New York restricts attorneys' use of LinkedIn profiles

Interesting ethics opinion from New York on the use of LinkedIn; in the opinion, the New York Committee on Professional Ethics held that neither law firm or a lawyer (save one specially licensed) may list practice areas under the LinkedIn heading "Specialties" because, says the Committee, that would be a violation of Rule 7.4

Many commentators discussing this opinion have criticized it, arguing that it does not reflect the reality of social sites like LinkedIn and the meaning said site uses the term "Specialties."  It also could put New York attorneys at a disadvantage when it comes to potential clients or employers using search features of LinkedIn to find attorneys who practice in certain fields.

Nonetheless, the State has spoken and attorneys in the Empire State must heed its command, regardless of the sense or the lack thereof.