Posted by: johnocunningham | February 2, 2013

Best Blogs in January: Linked-In Skill Endorsements

This is my 5th post in a series of monthly features that I have dubbed, “Best of My Blogroll.” The concept is simple – each month I peruse my own blogroll for material I think most worthy of sharing with others, and then I report on it here.

For the best of January, I have selected a series of posts about the relatively new “skill endorsements” feature of Linked-In, which were provided by Nancy Myrland of Myrland Marketing.

In three separate posts, Nancy explains:

1. What’s Going On with Linked-In Endorsements (and how to use them);

2. How to Take Control of Your Skills (so you get endorsed for the skills you want to be known for); and

3. Deciding Whether to Reciprocate (on skill endorsements).

I would add one other condition that applies specially to lawyers on Linked-In. Lawyers can certainly benefit from being endorsed, and should therefore take control of their skills listed on Linked-In, but in a minority of jurisdictions lawyers are flat-out prohibited from giving testimonials of any kind. In those jurisdictions, lawyers would be wise to check with bar counsel on whether Linked-In endorsements that they provide for others would constitute testimonials prohibited by ethical rules.

Lawyers must also be careful about writing actual full-text testimonials on Linked-In, if asked to do so. A number of jurisdictions that do not prohibit testimonials still regulate what is ethical to say about another lawyer. For instance, it may be prohibited to state that “Lawyer Smith is THE best trial lawyer in the state.” Use of superlatives, comparatives, and statements that create any kind of implied guarantee of results are all examples of possibly prohibited language in some jurisdictions.

But lawyers should not shun social media just because they are afraid of crossing boundary lines. Clients live with boundaries every day, and they expect lawyers to tell them where the lines are so they can navigate safely. Lawyers: figure out where the lines are, navigate inside of them, and learn to prosper, just like your clients. This social media stuff is not going away!



  1. John, thank you! You are absolutely wonderful for taking the time to mention and link to my blog posts! I am due to write a follow-up specifically addressing the legal ethics that surround these new skills endorsements, and you have reminded me to pull it all together by writing this post.

    Again, thank you so much for your kindness…happy to be your 5th “Best of My Blogroll!”

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