Manage Your Online Presence

A guide for law students to manage online presence while preparing for a professional career

Know what is out there and change bad habits now

In your first year, learn to think like a lawyer before you share.

Your guideposts are the 3 Ps:  Profile, People and Presence by Ellen Jones, J.D. of the NALP’s E-Professionalism and Social Networking Group .

Profile: Choose your photo wisely,  never post a photo you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see.  Chose your privacy settings carefully and pay attention to the “things others share” settings on Facebook.

People:  Choose friends wisely.  Separate your personal and professional lives in two different tools.  Facebook = Personal, LinkedIn = Professional.  

Presence:  Think before you post.  Spelling counts.  Set email alerts to notify you of new postings to you profile or feed so you can respond or remove quickly.

Vanity Searching

Google your name frequently and don’t forget your online aliases and user names.  Search Facebook, Twitter and any other social media sites too!


What to look for:

  • Photos of you used without your permission
  • Unflattering comments
  • Lack of information! Not having an online presence can also be a detriment

image credit: Dorothy Joseph (

Managing your Privacy Settings

Set them, and set them again.  Privacy settings change all the time and you must keep up with what the world can see about you on social media sites.  Be careful of what you share and even more careful about with whom you share it.

The Identity Center at the University of Texas at Austin outlines best practices for privacy settings for major social media platforms.  Keep track of new settings and information here:  How to Manage Your Social Media Privacy Settings

  On Facebook

  On Twitter

  On Google


  • Ellen Jones, Facebook for Law Students:  Making Friends (But Protecting Your Professional Reputation), NALP,
  • Dianne M. Timm & Carolyn J. Duven, Privacy and Social Networking Sites, 124 New Directions for Student Services 89 (2006), DOI: 10.1002/ss.297
  • Tracy Evans & Gwen Ferrel, Managing Your Digital Dirt, NALP,
  • Microsoft Corp., Take Charge of Your Online Reputation, Microsoft Safety & Security Center,