Virtue and the Virtual: Introduction to Legal Ethics and Social Media

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

CPD Points 1


Lawyers and law firms are increasingly engaging in social media, bringing both opportunities and new and challenging ethical issues. This course examines these issues and provides practical guidance on the topic.

Lawyers and law firms are engaging with social media increasingly both for personal and business purposes.  While there are clear benefits for the profession in engaging with social media, it also exposes lawyers to new and challenging ethical issues.

The course also provides a brief introduction to different types of social networking platforms and discusses the characteristics of social media which increase the likelihood of errors or ethical transgressions being made by lawyers.

The course then examines the specific ethical issues which arise from lawyers increased engagement with social media, and provides practical guidance on how lawyers can avoid ethical transgressions in this context.  The course illustrates this through a series of real life case studies which explore a range of ethical issues lawyers may face when engaging with social media, including:

  • tweeting or blogging about cases and clients, and the potential for breaches of confidentiality;
  • using social media to advocate on behalf of clients outside the courtroom;
  • using social networking sites to access information about witnesses or other parties to proceedings; and
  • Issues arising from judges and lawyers being “friends” on a social networking site.

Author Profile

LawCPD Author: Chris Shanahan SC

Christopher Shanahan SC

Christopher Shanahan SC was admitted to the WA bar in 1984, NSW in 1989 and the High Court of Australia in 1990. He practices as a barrister at Murray Chambers.

View More From This Author


Interactive Content
Self-Paced Completion
Access on Any Device
Receive Certificate of Completion

What Lawyers Say

  1. 5.0/5
    Very relevant and helpful.
    This course in particular was very relevant and helpful.
  2. 5.0/5
    Excellent authors, great way to learn.
    This is a great way to learn. Full credit to LawCPD and the excellent authors.
    - Brett Davies
  3. 4.0/5
    Truly appreciate the online format!
    I have found the Nirvana for obtaining CPD points, my days of attending lame conferences and falling asleep at seminars has ended. Truly appreciate the online format!
  4. 5.0/5
    Simple, memorable and interesting.
    Deals with the different forms of social media in a simple and memorable way - also covers many Interesting US cases with relevance to Australia.