Legal Ethics

Fla. Bar Board to Surf Social Websites for Adverse Applicant Info

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It almost had to happen, sooner or later: Among a growing number of employers and agencies surfing the Internet and accessing social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to look for adverse information about applicants is at least one bar group that has just adopted a formal policy of doing so.

At a recent meeting, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners voted to review applicants’ social networking sites on a case-by-case basis, focusing on those who have demonstrated problem conduct in the past, reports the Florida Bar News.

Asked by the group’s Character and Fitness Committee whether all Florida bar forms should require applicants to list their social networking sites and grant access to the FBBE, however, the board decided to keep a low profile, according to the article.

Apparently, the board plans to avoid an up-front request to all applicants for access, explaining in a report (PDF) to the Florida Supreme Court that “in reaching this policy, the board reasoned that if applicants are required to provide access to their social websites, they are likely to delete any derogatory material before staff has the opportunity to review it.”

Hat tip: Above the Law and True/Slant

Related earlier coverage: “BigLaw Associate ‘Googles’ Everyone Before Presenting Job Candidates to Firm #ABAChicago” “Mont. Town Rescinds Rule Requiring Job Seekers to Reveal Social Web Passwords” “What Boundaries Have You Set for Your Own Facebook or Twitter Use?” ” Attorney Can’t Ask 3rd Party to ‘Friend’ Witness on Facebook, Opinion Says”

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