Tthinking ethics ‘You Have Been Endorsed on LinkedIn’: What Now?, 080116 KSBJ, Vol. 83 J. Kan. Bar Assn 1, 16 (2016)

Thinking ethics ‘You Have Been Endorsed on LinkedIn’: What Now?

Vol. 83 J. Kan. Bar Assn 1, 16 (2016)

Kansas Bar Journal

August 1, 2016

I. What is LinkedIn?

There are a number of social media sites on the Internet which provide interaction and client development through exposure and mutual communication. One such site – and probably the largest – is LinkedIn,1 a site where one may register and provide a personal biography, including a photograph, list educational and employment background, honors and awards, as well as links to published articles, blogs, and websites.

Additionally, a member may give a summary self-description (such as “trial lawyer and ethics counselor”) and list the primary areas of focus for one’s practice.

Te key benefit to a site like LinkedIn is the ability then to “connect” with anyone else who is also a member and who agrees to accept you as a connection. Those members (nearly a quarter billion) are located all over the world and work in all kinds of businesses and professions.2

One of the functions of LinkedIn is to permit “recommendations,” a narrative written by another member about the endorsee’s abilities. These could be accolades from clients or observations by opposing counsel.

Another of the functions of LinkedIn is the “endorsement,” which allows a member to “endorse” another member – with or without personal knowledge – in numerous areas of expertise fitting somewhere within the general definition of the member’s profession. Te endorsee receives a message, advising of the endorsement. If added to the profile by the endorsee, the endorsement then appears on the member’s page, under the heading “Skills & Expertise,” with a photo link for each person who has endorsed the member for each area. In addition, after accepting an endorsement (by clicking “Add to Profile”), the endorsee is given the opportunity to endorse other members, as their profile photos appear, one after another, with a suggested area of expertise.

II. What are the risk areas and relevant rules?

False Specialization? Under Rule 7.4(a), MRPC,3 a lawyer “may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.” However, under subsection (d) of the same rule, “[a] lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless” the lawyer is actually certified by an organization approved by the state bar or the ABA.4 Te Kansas Bar...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT