Being an attorney means providing clients with a vigorous legal defense even when you know they’re guilty. And that means you can’t always choose clients who support your own beliefs. For some, it means catering to the widest audience possible. Should your social media posts reflect your customers’ beliefs — or the truth? It’s a tricky situation to navigate when you know how many clients might have radical beliefs.
First and foremost, part of being a lawyer is nobility. You might be a shark in the courtroom and in defense of your client, but that doesn’t mean you can resort to lies and deceit outside the courtroom. It could get you disbarred.
That means on social media applications, your best bet is to stick with the truth. You might be a criminal defense lawyer in Washington D.C. — and that might mean defending clients who stormed the U.S. Capitol nearly a year ago — but that doesn’t mean you can post about Biden being an illegitimate president. That’s because it isn’t true.
Conversely, you might be forced to represent an environmentalist who resorted to civil disobedience to send a message to the government about the need to tackle man-made climate change before it’s too late. You can absolutely post about the latter. But what you can’t do is post about civil disobedience being okay — even if you think it is.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re a foot soldier for the law. The law is steeped in truth. It means using both sides of the story to arrive at a middle ground, closer to the truth than either the prosecutor or the defendant will admit. Both sides (are supposed to) use only the facts to achieve that middle ground. And what you do outside of court is at least as important as what you do inside.
Personal beliefs shouldn’t get in the way. Keep it real. Tell the truth.