Digital Ethics for Lawyers—What Law Firms Should Know

Attorneys are typically well-versed in the ethical obligations they have toward clients.

But whether they’re running online marketing campaigns or simply moving toward more digital platforms to run their firms, some firms might wonder how those best practices apply in the digital world.

All the ethics attorneys are taught in law school and legal conferences still apply online (and in the cloud), but there are a few additional considerations for the digital age.

Ethical Considerations for an Attorney’s Website

Attorneys should always consider the rules of their state’s bar association when choosing what to say on their website.

If you’re part of a law firm that is regularly adding new content to the site, it’s worth taking the time to speak with your writers to make sure they know what they can and can’t say.

It’s also a good practice to have any content that is added to your site reviewed by someone at your firm who knows the law. For example, if a member of your marketing department writes a blog article for your website, you could ask an attorney at your firm to review it before posting.

The review process will ensure that the content is both accurate and in-keeping with the best practices set forth by your state’s bar association.

Here are a few tips that you can keep in mind when adding content to your law firm’s website:

  • Make it clear to your website’s visitors that contacting the firm via online chat, email, or phone does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
  • Inform visitors that past case results or client testimonials are not indicators or promises of future results.
  • If you use language regarding attorney fees, make sure they’re in line with the best practices of your state.

Your state’s bar association rules will necessitate further refinement of the language you use. For example, many states require attorneys not to use language like “expert,” “specialist,” or anything that indicates your firm is the “best law firm” in the state.

Ethical Considerations for Working Digitally

Attorneys should also keep in mind the privacy and security of sensitive legal documents written, stored, or shared digitally.

This is true whether you’re simply typing up legal documents with Microsoft Word or relying on practice management systems to improve your firm’s internal processes.

We’ve talked about anti-virus protection software for law firms before, but it bears repeating. The last thing a firm wants is for their clients’ information to fall into the wrong hands.

If you haven’t invested in malware protection, do yourself a favor and find the right software for your firm.

If You Want to Grow Your Practice, Try backdocket

At backdocket, we know how important it is for law firms to deliver their clients the best legal services possible. We designed a practice management software for small- to mid-size law firms that improves communication, streamlines workflows, and automates routine processes.

We’re all about helping law firms work smarter, not harder. If you’ve considered a practice management software but don’t know where to begin, let us give you a free demonstration of backdocket’s capabilities.

Contact us today to find out how our practice management software can grow your firm.

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