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Maintaining a social media presence as a law student

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Are you on social media? Or have you been so warned of the perils that you have distanced yourself from sharing on social media at all? While the latter option may be a preventative measure against jeopardizing your future career, it is also a barrier to potential networking, discussion and engagement with others who are on the same career path.

According to a report released by FindLaw, From Novelty to Necessity: Pragmatic Social Media for Law Firms, “[being] social is not optional” for law firms anymore. In fact, legal consumers expect law firms to be connected with the world through social media as much as they “expect you to have a phone number and law degree.” Therefore, law schools should be preparing law students to engage with social media in an effective and responsible manner before they enter the workforce.

Presenting a professional and informational social media presence should be just as important for law students as for those in practice. A recent study conducted by the American Bar Association titled 2016 Legal Technology Survey identified that LinkedIn, a business social networking site, is currently the most popular social media among lawyers with 91 percent of firms with 100+ lawyers maintaining a presence on LinkedIn. After LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other legal-specific platforms are the most utilized in the legal sphere.

If you are just using social media to put out pithy observations and memes into the world, you probably are not using your presence to receive the most benefits. According to Kevin O’Keefe, the CEO of LexBlog, a company that encourages and supports online legal writing and legal bloggers, “the use of digital platforms and social networks to bring together communities has proven to work”[3] Dig a little deeper past simple consumption. What are the topics and issues in which you are most interested? Think about how posts on these topics can help nurture or form relationships. 

Although social media has been around for a short while, there is still much potential for the use of these tools in the world of academia and especially in the lives of law students just starting their legal careers.

Written by Dominica Dul, GPSLD Intern, Spring 2018

ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division The Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division (GPLSD) provides publications, programming, and online resources of specific interest to public lawyers; voice their concerns and interests in policy deliberations throughout the American Bar Association; promote professionalism and recognize excellence within the public sector. We strive to share key information, discuss contemporary topics, and tackle tough issues to help public sector lawyers sharpen and expand their expertise.