The Legal Beat
Posted on Tuesday March 12, 2019
Law professors, lawyers, and judges increasingly engage in discourse on social media. Oftentimes, that discourse is pleasant, informative, and intellectually stimulating. For example, #AppellateTwitter is an example of lawyers coming together and making the world a better place. Except, perhaps, when they come together to disagree with me about the proper number of spaces after the period at the end of a sentence.
Other times, social media is a scary world, politically charged, potentially dangerous, and abusive. Lawyers have been trolled, doxxed, personally attacked, had parody accounts created of them, and worse. Battles on Twitter can be scathing and personal. Others have had their careers ruined by tweeting something that turns out to be controversial. The medium certainly has its limitations in terms of discourse.
Law professors such as Larry Tribe and Alan Dershowitz use social media to convey political viewpoints that may not be fully tethered to scholarly analysis. The balance between the realm of scholar, pundit, lawyer, and public citizen is often discussed and debated within the academy.
Lawyers, too, have been rattling sabers on behalf of their clients on social media. The most famous tweeters for their clients, Michael Avenatti and Rudy Guiliani, have created controversy as some have argued what they do on social media does not advance their client’s interests. Apart from swaying the courts, many other lawyers have increasingly taken their case to the court of public opinion.
The University of Idaho College of Law, the Idaho Law Review, and Professors Katherine MacFarlane and Annemarie Bridy have put together an amazing symposium: #TwitterLaw, to address these complex issues. I’ll be there, live tweeting (but not participating this year because of personal matters). I am honored that this is the topic and location of LawProfBlawg’s Second Symposium.
The schedule is a carefully crafted combination of #Lawtwitter stars and social media experts. As the piece de resistance, the lunchtime keynote offers a panel of distinguished judges who have an affinity for social media in general and Twitter in particular. Check it out:
Registration for the symposium can be found here. So, please register, come to Boise (a great city), and join me in the audience for a gathering of some of my favorite #LawTwitter judges, professors, and attorneys. I wish we could have invited all of my favorite people to come talk. But there’s always next year. I may be calling on you for the 3rd annual LPB Symposium. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
LawProfBlawg is an anonymous professor at a top 100 law school. You can see more of his musings here. He is way funnier on social media, he claims. Please follow him on Twitter (@lawprofblawg) or Facebook. Email him at [email protected].