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Into the World of #LawTwitter

Why you should make a Twitter account right now 

Did you know the legal community has a strong Twitter presence? Law Twitter is exactly what it sounds like — lawyers, law students, and other members of the legal community connecting with one another over Twitter. They discuss recent advances in the law, advocate for important issues, and even share networking tips and job opportunities. But it’s not all serious. I’ve seen memes, jokes, words of support, celebrations, and lots of discussion on non-law related topics. 

I joined Law Twitter recently, following the suggestion of a lawyer I met during a networking event. To get a better understanding of the community and collect some tips for students new to this world, I polled #LawTwitter for their thoughts. Around 50 replies and DMs later, this is what they had to say: 

Staying Informed 

One of the community’s most cited reasons for using Twitter was to keep up-to-date on court announcements and major developments in their practice and interest areas. For the latter, users recommend following lawyers active in those practice areas who tweet regularly about new and developing case law. 

How do you find them? Firms often have their own Twitter accounts. It’s a good idea to not only follow the firms you’re interested in, but their lawyers too. Firms post pertinent information on news and opportunities and follow their own lawyers.

You can also always ask for suggestions. Members of the community are more than willing to send you relevant accounts to follow, including lawyers, judges, academics, public organizations, and other legal commenters. 

With so many accounts to follow and a daily barrage of new tweets, missing interesting or important information is inevitable. To help combat this, some members recommend setting notification alerts for lawyers you particularly admire and using the “list” feature on Twitter to curate accounts that you’d like to engage with for specific purposes. 

Keeping Grounded

Many members of Law Twitter use their accounts to share tidbits of their daily lives, whether that be lawyers writing about their work or students writing about their studies. What I found to be the most compelling reason to join this community is that the members do not shy away from discussing their personal struggles, pitfalls, and rejections. Whether it’s a lawyer working from home discussing the difficulty balancing childcare and work or a 3L student discussing her struggles securing an articling position, I find that Law Twitter really humanizes the profession. The community is extremely supportive and will often respond with advice, leads, or photos of cute pets. There are even accounts that share mental health initiatives targeted towards the legal community.

Networking and Jobs

Reach out! Law Twitter is a great place for networking, especially during an age where almost everything is online. Many members commented that they’ve formed genuine connections over Twitter that have continued as friendships off the screen. Additionally, Law Twitter has no real jurisdictional bounds. You can meet people not only from across the country but from around the globe. One user referred to the community as a “massive virtual courthouse.” Even when tweeting for advice from my home in Toronto, I received responses from individuals in different provinces, in the United States, and outside of North America. Law Twitter is truly a great space to network with individuals who otherwise may be too far to connect with in person. 

Some individuals have even found employment or come across other opportunities like clinic work through Law Twitter. The community recommends building name recognition via Twitter by starting conversations, sharing opinions or thoughts, and writing a meaningful bio or pinned tweet that includes your legal or research interests.

Things to Keep in Mind

Joining Law Twitter definitely has its advantages, but there are considerations students should keep in mind when using their account. One prosecutor warned that students should note that any content published to the Internet follows them for the rest of their career and is available to any potential employers. Most members of the legal community are good friends with one another, so being unkind can have very real consequences. Just as you would on any other social media platform, students should exercise a degree of caution when posting or liking comments and should conduct themselves in a reasonable and respectful manner. 

The community also cautioned that students should be critical of what they read, as tweets may be dependent on the situation or jurisdiction. For example, news that impacts one province may not impact another to the same extent. Students should also be careful not to give legal advice and should be wary of taking any substantive legal position on Twitter in the case they are retained by a future client who needs them to argue the alternative position. That being said, many stated that it’s alright to be critical and take a stand for things that matter to you. Even if mistakes are made, they can be learned from. 

Finally, the Law Twitter community emphasized the importance of creating and maintaining healthy boundaries. To that end, some may find it helpful to have a separate account for #LawTwitter or to limit their Twitter use to set hours of the day. Others enjoy striking a balance between tweeting law-related takes and their hobbies. It really depends on what works for you. 

Take the Plunge

I admit that joining Law Twitter can seem a bit intimidating at first. As a 1L student, I’m still hesitant to share my thoughts and opinions in a community made up of well-established lawyers and accomplished students. But everyone I’ve encountered thus far has been so welcoming of any and all new voices. They assure that all students’ opinions are valuable and add to the conversation. 

I strongly encourage all law students to make an account and join #LawTwitter! At the very least, you can get a better understanding of the legal profession and its diverse makeup. Or if you want, you can get advice and referrals, foster new connections, and build your online presence. As one attorney put it, Law Twitter is “all about what you make it.

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