Preparing Future Lawyers to Find Their Inner Veronica Mars: Teaching students how to use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media for investigative purposes in legal practice

Andrea Alexander, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law
Ellen Richardson, Boston University Pappas Law Library

In an increasingly competitive economic climate, the hard truth is that many young lawyers will, either by choice or by necessity, go into small firms or solo practice.  As librarians, we can help pave the way for that transition by teaching some of the practical skills that don’t have a place in traditional LRW courses, but can be highly beneficial in real life lawyering.  The recent Steubenville rape trial demonstrated that social media investigation is increasingly accepted by courts and highly beneficial in certain areas like domestic and criminal law, making it an area that’s ripe for legal research instruction.  This session will discuss how social media has come to play a role in criminal and civil investigations and give examples of lessons and exercises that librarians can use to present the practical application of social media investigation to students as a stand-alone workshop or integrated into legal research courses.  Attendees will learn how to teach their students to "catch a catfish," find and preserve Facebook photos and statuses as evidence, and more.

Schedule info

Time slot: 
13 June 10:30 - 11:30
See video

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