Law Society of Scotland Publishes Social Media Guidance

June 19, 2012

Published by the Law Society for Scotland on 20 June, Social Media – Guidance for the legal profession, has been tailored to the needs of Scottish solicitors.

Paul Motion, Convener of the Society’s Technology Committee and former Chair of the Scottish Society for Computers and Law, said solicitors were using social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter more than ever before.

He said: ‘Some solicitors are still feeling their way with social media, perhaps partly because it is relatively informal, but many others have embraced it as a vital communications tool. Given the ever-increasing use of social media, we decided the time was right for guidelines. Hopefully, they will help members engage with social media in a positive way.’

The guidance, which is aimed mostly at employers and practice managers, describes the main social media platforms and the opportunities they offer, for instance, in business development, promoting services, marketing properties and recruitment. It also outlines issues around good practice, ethical considerations, security and social media and the law.

Key issues include:

·        personal and business use of social media

·        ownership of social media contacts and followers

·        privacy and data implications

·        how social media is being used in court cases and legal disputes

·        the importance of developing a social media strategy for staff

Paul Motion added: ‘Social media has a lot to offer but it also presents certain risks and challenges. It is important to remember that professional responsibilities apply regardless of the medium of communication. By being aware of potential issues, solicitors can make the most of social media.’