If you're a regular user of Facebook, you know how easy this website makes it to join other people's discussions. Once you have “friended” an individual, you have access to any posts he makes on his Facebook page, and you have the ability to leave a comment on any discussion (even if it involves people you don't personally know). What better opportunity to show off your legal expertise and cultivate potential clients?
On Social Media, Your Perspective is Valuable
In what kinds of situations is it permissible for you to weigh in on a Facebook discussion with legal advice? Here are some examples:
- People are discussing a major news story (a crime, an accident, etc.), and wonder how the alleged perpetrator can “get away with it.” Here's a chance to give them some insight into the legal system.
- Someone posts on Facebook that he has just been in a car accident, and is shaken up and in need of comforting. You don't want to give your full pitch here, which would be in bad taste; you can just post something like “I may be able to help, call me at the office.”
- A Facebook friend posts about a difficult family situation, or a tricky legal pickle that one of his friends, relatives, or coworkers happens to be in. Once again, you can remind this person that you have experience in this area, and he should put his friend in touch.
The one thing you don't want to do on Facebook is to actively, intrusively promote yourself on discussion threads, with no regard to the context of the ongoing debate; this is a sure way to get yourself “unfriended.” Rather, you want to express your sympathy, give your perspective, and gently remind people that you are a lawyer who can provide valuable help.