Unlike high school or college students, law students have to be especially careful of what they post on social media sites.
When you were younger, social media was a great way to express your individuality and share your day-to-day experiences with friends.
But as you get older -- especially when you enroll in law school -- you should consider evolving your social media use to consider its ability to benefit or hurt your career prospects and how your potential clients view you.
Unlike in college, you are likely sitting next to your life-long colleagues in law school. Like it or not, these people may be a part of your professional life for as long as you are an attorney. For this reason, law students should consider these five things before posting anything on social media sites, as reported by Mashable:
- Illegal Activities. A picture of you smoking a bong or stealing a street sign is questionably cool in high school or college. But you just look like a fool no one will want to work with if you post these pictures while you're a law student.
- Bullying. Cyber-bullying is a major problem on social media sites, and law students are not immune. Be above the bullying as these kinds of behavior can be interpreted as poison in the office environment.
- Disparagement of Professor. Save your griping off the Internet. Remember that what you post online, will remain online forever. Someone who complains and whines about a professor is likely to be viewed as someone who will complain and whine about a supervisor.
- Lies. Lying about your background and capabilities can really come back and bite you. Should you ever enter the public sphere either as prosecutor or as an elected official, you should remember that the things you post as a 20-some-year-old may be vetted and could come back to haunt you.
- Unprofessional Pictures. Everyone knows that your Facebook profile is not your resume. But being "yourself" does not necessarily mean posting the most extreme pictures you can find of yourself (e.g., drunken photos). Use some discretion and be aware that more than your friends will see you profile.
Facebook and other social media sites are great because it keeps you connected. The downside for law students is that it keeps you connected -- connected to potential employers, colleagues, voters, etc.
- Yes, Your Social Media Account Could Ruin Your Career (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Law School Admission Officers Are Checking Facebook Walls (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- A Drink-by-Drink Guide to Success at Legal Networking Events (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)