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Posted In: Business Development

Business Development for Law Firms: Everything is Discoverable

I have great respect for my peers, clients, friends and colleagues in the legal industry. Given most of my focus is on revenue generation, client growth and acquisition which requires elements of my other passion, collaboration and leadership, I cannot for the life of me understand why intelligent people put what could be seen as damaging content on Facebook. Most people understand that LinkedIn is to be used for business. That said, Facebook, whether one thinks it is personal, is still “out there” in the universe. One’s comments left uncensored be they political, social, or otherwise offensive to clients, prospects, colleagues, peers and potential employers should be reviewed before posting. Why?

I’ve been prompted to write this post for two reasons, both of which occurred in the past week. First, an in-house counsel who is third in command in a Global 30 company, said he was referred to a partner by an existing firm’s partner whom he trusts and respects. When he Googled the partner’s profile he reviewed not only his firm bio, but also his LinkedIn profile and his Facebook page which came up in the search. After being highly offended by some off-color comments he made with respect to his political views, the in-house counsel decided this partner was not for him or his highly visible company.  This came up during a call I had with this in-house counsel.  The second incident I heard about just occurred this week. A highly qualified individual who was one of two finalists for a C-level position was no longer under consideration after the employer’s HR team did their research and discovered some of her FB musings which included swearing, insulting others whom she did not even know, and making trite remarks about the selection of Trump. She told me the reason the firm gave her was straight forward.  “We cannot have such a senior person on our team represent the firm in the business community or any community by condoning such negative statements that reflect a lack of good judgment.”

So there you have it. Be thoughtful, everything on the web is discoverable and even when one is passionate about a topic, use good judgment when expressing those views. Facebook, LinkedIn and other mediums are the new portals to your professionalism.

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