Nothing like an Above the Law post to get the LME going.
Today’s late-breaking post, Biglaw Firm Holds Associates To Strict Social Media Policy, is brought to you by the good folks at Milbank.
Where to begin? Where to begin?
A four page memo that can be boiled down to: “Don’t be an idiot.” Or, the more professional, “Conduct yourself professionally on social media and networking sites as you would in any professional setting.”
ATL goes into detail of everything wrong with this policy, and I agree with it all.
But what they miss is the generational implications of such a policy.
What a bunch of killjoys. Who under, oh, 60, would want to work there?
Seriously where do they plan to recruit new associates?
Harvard? You know, that school that brought us Facebook?
Stanford? Where Google’s co-founders (and your client), owner of YouTube, Blogger, and countless other social sites, met?
Nothing says “welcome” to the Gen Y crowd as Big Brother:
The Firm reserves the right to monitor the activities of lawyers and administrative employees on Social Media Sites and may at any time request or require the removal of any posting or content on a Social Media Site. If conduct is in violation of Firm policies and/or is seen as compromising the interests of the Firm, the Firm may take appropriate disciplinary action.
Yikes. And don’t update your Facebook status from work. That is prohibited at well.
Hello. Bueller?? Bueller? The world has changed. Social media is as much of our culture as cell phones and e-mail.
The genie is out of the social media bottle and is not going back. If you have honest concerns, deal with them, but by trying to lock down social media you have now identified yourself as the least cool law firm to work for on the planet.
Which might be fine with your over 60 partners … but wait until their grandchildren get them a new iPad or tablet for Christmas so they can connect and start communicating with the other folks in the fastest growth demographic for Facebook and Twitter.
On the bright side, per the above link, social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web. At least one HR problem has been solved.