If you are going to be in St. Louis in May 13 . . .

I’ll be co-presenting with legal ethics maven Mike Downey on social media and ethics for corporate counsel at the 29th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute in St. Louis on May 13. The Corporate Counsel Institute is the premier continuing legal education event for corporate counsel in St. Louis and is a joint production of the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.

I’m excited to get the chance to speak as part of what looks to be an excellent program. My friend, the well-known legal innovation expert, Matt Homann is the lunch speaker and that should be an excellent session.

I noticed that there is an early registration discount if you register by May 6.

Mike Downey and I will be offering a presentation called “Social Media: What’s New, What’s Dangerous and What’s Ethical?” and it qualifies for Missouri ethics credit.

If you know me, you won’t be surprised to learn that we won’t be offering the standard, plain vanilla, social media for lawyers session. In fact, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a program that has focused on the ethics issues for corporate counsel. You can expect a very practical approach designed to give you information you can use right away.

A word about the standard approach I’ve seen to this topic. It goes something like this:

A lawyer, often one with limited or even no experience in the actual use of social media, will launch into a litany of all the horrors associated with social media, usually focusing on events that happened a few years ago. That’s followed up with a brain-stormed list of even more terrible consequences that can come with the use of social media. That brings you to the first set of the presenter’s two conclusions, namely that there are “way more questions than answers” and that there might even be no definitive answers to any of the questions. Well, except for the one definitive answer that becomes the second, and most important conclusion – that the only way you can possibly deal with the horrors of social media is to hire the presenting lawyer and his or her firm to create a “social media policy” for you. Interestingly, this type of presentation echoes similar presentations from the days when blogging first became popular about “blogging policies,” and “website policies” before that, and “email policies” before that.

Now, those kinds of presentations have their place, but they don’t really interest me, and I suspect they don’t interest most lawyers, who definitely know how to spot issues and determine where the questions are, once they understand the lay of the land.

I heard a presentation of this type recently where the speaker actually said “I’m sure all of you in the audience know more about using social media than I do,” and still made the pitch for having his firm put together social media policies for you. OK. As I say, that type of presentation has its place, and it appears there’s plenty of audience for it.

I’ve always taken a different approach and audiences seem to respond to it. I think that lawyers want to get a solid understanding of what social media is, the basic tools, and see what the tools look like. I use a lot of screen shots. Then, I think they want to get an understanding of the benefits, not the horrors, so they can appreciate why millions of people are using these tools and what the potential uses for them might be. Add in some basic analytical approaches and most lawyers can run with the information, spot issues, and determine what matters for them. At least that’s what I think.

So, that’s the approach I’ll be taking and Mike will share his expertise and experience on ethical issues. We’ll also talk about policies in a practical context.

If this approach appeals to you and you are in St. Louis, I’d be happy to see you in the audience. As always, after any presentation I do, I’ll make myself as available as possible to answer questions during the rest of the day.

Here are the details and registration info.

If you can’t attend the session, let me recommend a couple of podcasts Tom Mighell and I have done: “Bulls and Bears: Lawyers Using Social Media,” “Online Reputation Maangement,” and “Social Media Common Sense.”

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

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