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How lawyers can embrace authenticity on social media

Australian legal professionals should understand the importance of bringing their authentic selves to the forefront of their online presence, says one emerging practitioner.

user iconEmma Musgrave 30 January 2024 Big Law
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Speaking on a recent episode of The Protégé Podcast, Annabel Biscotto (pictured), who is the immediate past president of the Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA), shared her insights on being one’s most authentic and genuine self in the public realm.

We’re in an age where social media, particularly platforms like LinkedIn, play a pivotal role in career development and networking, according to Ms Biscotto, who encouraged listeners to take a multifaceted approach.

“I think it’s really important nowadays because there are so many people on social media where it’s very clear they’re showing one side of themselves, whether that be an achievement, new work, employment, that type of thing. And it’s very easy to fall into the trap, especially for viewers to compare themselves to other people,” she explained.


By showcasing their multifaceted selves, Ms Biscotto noted individuals can spark more meaningful conversations and establish authentic connections.

For upcoming legal practitioners, being proficient in the online realm is becoming an integral part of one’s professional development.

Ms Biscotto said social media platforms provide insights into various facets of the working world, offering a unique window into corporate culture and conditions. It also facilitates open discussions about industry issues and the opportunity to advocate for positive change.

“LinkedIn and, obviously, other forms of social media is where people get a lot of information on different areas of their working life,” she explained.

“There’s an Instagram account called the Aussie Corporate that I am a big fan of, and I just think their content is hilarious, and it also provides this really unique insight into the corporate world. When you get into the system, it’s very difficult to see from the outside and [that account makes you feel like you’re part of] one big community … [and] seeing other people make comments about [issues affecting the corporate world] can also give you the strength to advocate and speak up.”

To be authentic on social media, Ms Biscotto emphasised the importance of leaving a message rather than just presenting accomplishments. She suggests sharing tips, encouragement, or inspiration with your posts, making yourself more approachable and relatable.

“I want to preface by saying that I still do get anxiety, and it still stresses me out a bit, posting those types of things. The post that I made about finishing up as president, that took me about two weeks to just post because I kept writing it and then getting rid of it and then thinking, ‘OK, is this going to be perceived well?’ And just kept going back and forth,” she acknowledged.

“I try to leave some tips or some encouragement or something inspirational and have that be the goal of the post, not just make it be about me. And I hope that in doing that, it makes me a bit more approachable and a bit more down to earth.”

During the episode, Ms Biscotto also delved into the potential downsides of sharing one’s authentic self online, particularly for aspiring legal professionals.

She recognised that while there may be limitations as to what you should and shouldn’t post online – particularly if one aims to join a law firm with a specific culture or values – selecting a firm that values one’s authenticity and individuality may be more rewarding in the long run.

“Obviously, if you want to get a job in a certain law firm that has a specific sort of culture, if you start posting about God knows what, then you might be not discriminated against, but you might have less of a chance of getting that job because you’re posting your views – obviously you have to consider that.

“But then if that question comes to mind and you’re thinking, ‘Oh, do I want to post this? What about if my potential employer sees it?’ I guess the question is, ‘Would you want to work for someone that isn’t going to hire you based on you voicing your opinions on this?’

“In the short term, yeah, you might have a job for a bit that you like, but then you’re not going to be able to bring your full self to work if you don’t feel comfortable enough, sort of even sharing that online.”

NB: This transcript has been edited slightly for publishing purposes. You can listen to the full episode here:

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