Here is an interesting discussion regarding skittish lawyers and social networking. The blogger makes the argument that client confidentiality is no more an issue in a social networking context than it would be in a public setting. However, there is a difference.
LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites allow people to claim each other as friends for all the world to see.
What if you feature your DUI practice on LinkedIn?
You meet someone at a social event and they ask you to draw up an LLC for them. Afterwards, they decide to ask to connect with you on LinkedIn. Perhaps they didn’t even look at your profile but just saw your name and wanted to connect with you. Later someone mentions to your client that they saw he was your connection. The client says that the you had helped them with a legal matter. This friends asks your client if they knew you did DUI work?
Awkward to say the least
Now your client looks at your LinkedIn profile and sees that you featuring your work as a DUI attorney. They see their name listed as a connection and worry that people will think they have been arrested for a DUI. Sure, they can de-connect with you but the incident leaves a bad taste in their mouth. Is there a ethics violation here? Probably not. However, you as the attorney might have a professional duty to make sure that a client who wants to connect with you knows the implications of their actions before doing so.