The Florida Bar
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January 1, 2014
Update: Complying with Bar rules on LinkedIn may be easier than thought

Representatives of the LinkedIn business network have met with Bar officials and said changes to the site may address most of the serious concerns raised by the Board of Governors and the Standing Committee on Advertising.

The meeting occurred December 17 after the board and SCA meetings. LinkedIn representatives said law firms and lawyers can now go on their LinkedIn page and change the heading under which their practice areas are listed. LinkedIn used to default that heading as “Specialties,” which raised questions for Bar members since Bar rules provide that only certified lawyers can call themselves specialists. Although the default has been changed to remove “specialties,” existing profiles of lawyers and law firms were not changed by LinkedIn, but may be changed by the lawyers or law firms.

Similarly, LinkedIn encourages viewers to leave endorsements and those are listed under a heading of “Skills and Expertise.” Again, under Bar rules, only certified lawyers may call themselves experts. A LinkedIn representative informed the Bar that the company is working to remove the “expertise” heading, hopefully early in 2014. The representative also said the company would look at allowing users to remove individual endorsements.

[Revised: 12-25-2014]