BY ADRIAN DAY TON
What if someone says something negative about me online?” This is probably the most
common question lawyers ask me. The sad truth
is that many lawyers have nothing to worry about.
They aren’t online. They have no online presence.
If your reputation is what people say about
you within your community, your online presence
is what everything posted about you on Google,
You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn or anywhere else online
adds up to. Managing this material may seem
overwhelming, but there is a simple place to start:
Google your name, right now. What shows
up? According to our research at Adrian Dayton &
Associates, if you have a LinkedIn account there
is a 74 percent chance that your profile will show
up in the first three results. There is a 33 percent
chance that your LinkedIn profile will show up in
the No. 1 slot—ahead of your law firm’s web bio.
Why does this matter? Data from BTI
Consulting Group tell us that more than 70 percent of business comes through existing relationships. Your potential clients meet you through
referrals, but that doesn’t mean they hire you
sight unseen; they use Google to do due dili-
DIEGO M. RADZINSCHI
JAMIE BARNE TT: The Venable partner and co-chairman of the firm’s telecommunications group said companies will want to be
involved in discussions over national standards on cybersecurity that will be hashed out over the next several months.
gence. According to the 2012 In-House Counsel
New Media Engagement Survey by Greentarget,
Zeughauser Group and InsideCounsel magazine,
buyers of legal services trust Wikipedia and
LinkedIn more than they trust your firm’s website.
They trust Wikipedia because it is difficult to
upload nakedly self-promoting information to
that site; the administrators allow only factual
information. ( That’s not to say you should believe
everything you read on Wikipedia.) Does your firm
have a Wikipedia page? Do you have a personal
entry on Wikipedia? This isn’t about vanity. If you
have spent your career building a reputation for
doing great work, you owe it to yourself to make
sure your online presence clearly articulates that.
Nobody cares about your online reputation as
much as you do.
LinkedIn is a different story. You can write anything you like on your LinkedIn page, as long as you
follow your local professional ethics rules. You control your picture, your summary, your headline—
everything. So why do people trust your LinkedIn
page? Because it puts your experience into context.
It combines what you have done with whom you
know—the professionals with whom you share
connections and endorsements. And it does it in a
very public way that gives potential buyers confidence that what they see is what they get.
You also can create videos to post on You Tube;
start using Twitter; write your own law blog. It isn’t
about your résumé anymore; it is about your Google
results. Keep doing things the way you always
have done them, and you might be OK. But know
that there are less experienced and less intelligent
lawyers out there working like crazy to create the
appearance that they are better than you. If they win
business because they had a superior online presence, you will have nobody to blame but yourself.
Adrian Dayton is an attorney and
author of the book Social Media
for Lawyers ( Twitter Edition). His
website is adriandayton.com.
ing their legal authority to create new rules or
regulations on cybersecurity. The National Security
Agency and Department of
Justice will be setting up a
program for sharing classified information with private companies. And the
Department of Commerce
will be working with critical infrastructure companies like utilities and banks
to develop national standards to best deter attacks.
Companies in those regulated industries will want
to be involved in the government’s discussion about
those national standards,
called the “cybersecurity
framework,” which will
be hashed out in a process
that may take months, said
Jamie Barnett, co-chairman of Venable’s telecommunications
group and a partner in the firm’s cybersecurity practice. The framework may prove
very broad or very specific. “They’re going
to want their legal counsel on this because
they don’t want to be on the wrong side
or have the wrong standards adopted, and
they’re going to want to at least have their
concerns heard,” Barnett said.
Patrick Gallagher, the director of
the National Institute of Standards and
Technology, announced on February 13
that the institute will issue a “Request for
Information” from critical infrastructure
owners and operators and hold work-
shops. “By working together…we’re
going to make this successful,” Gallagher
said. “The U.S. has always turned to
industry to be the main driver of these
types of standards.”
General Keith Alexander, director of
the National Security Agency, said at the
same announcement that high-profile
cyberattacks like those against Wall Street
show how the government and industry
need “to be working together as a team”
to keep America safe.
HARD TO SAY NO?
While companies will be glad to receive
government information on cyberthreats,
the executive order’s information-sharing
program raises a number of legal issues,
said Ted Kobus and Jerry Ferguson, co-chairmen of Baker & Hostetler’s privacy
and data-protection practice.
Under the order, businesses could
enter a voluntary information-sharing
program, providing information about
cyberthreats to the government; in
return, the government could provide
classified technical information.
But the order also tells agencies to
come up with incentives to lure companies into the sharing program, possibly
including preferences for government
contracts, Ferguson said. “If you’ve got
your regulator creating incentives, it may
be very difficult to say no,” he said.
Attorneys for these companies will
“have to step back and think” about what
might happen to the information they
share, Kobus said. Is this information
CYBERSECURITY, FROM PAGE 1
going to be shared with competitors? Will
it be subject to Freedom of Information
Act requests? Could it open the company
White & Case partner Daren Orzech-
owski said individual privacy rights are
also a consideration. “Companies should
re-evaluate their existing privacy poli-
cies and check if, under the policy they
have with their customers, do they have
the right to voluntarily share informa-
tion,” he said. “There might be issues
with participation [in the program] that
they need to understand now.”
Law firms are not likely to be included
among businesses considered to repre-
sent critical infrastructure, such as utili-
ties and financial services companies. But
they might be affected by the executive
order because they represent companies
that house intellectual property and gov-
ernment secrets. “Because our clients
are going to be involved in that litiga-
tion, lawyers are going to be dragged into
these disclosures as well,” Kobus said.
The order will also raise the visibility
of the cybersecurity standards in place
at regulated companies. “Look at those
procedures to see if you’re in compliance under current law, because they
are going to be under scrutiny no matter
what new regime the executive order
brings,” Kobus said.
The scrutiny will go beyond in-house
systems—companies will also need to
“make sure their supply chain has all the
controls in place as well,” said Mercedes
Tunstall, of counsel to Ballard Spahr. “It’s
an area of concern. You spend so much
time and effort getting your own house
in order, and then you need to turn
around and look at your suppliers.”
Lawyers familiar with cybersecurity
have been anticipating the executive
order for months—ever since Congress
failed to pass legislation to address cyber-
threats last session. Many of the provi-
sions will take agencies months or a year
to study and then implement.
The executive order does not grant
some of the things law firms and other
businesses need most to help prevent
cyberattacks—mainly, liability protections
for sharing information about cyber-
attacks with the government and with
each other. The White House has said
that legislation is still needed to protect
the nation’s key infrastructure.
Todd Ruger can be contacted at truger@-alm.com. Senior reporter Jenna Greene contributed to this report.