Exploring the use of blogs and social media in legal education, its opportunities and challenges

Roper, Victoria (2019) Exploring the use of blogs and social media in legal education, its opportunities and challenges. In: Lawyering in a Digital Age: Equipping students for the technologically advancing practice of law, 27th - 28th June 2019, Ambleside, UK.

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This paper will explore the use of blogs and other types of social media in legal education, analysing the potential opportunities and challenges. Insights from an ongoing blog project within a clinical setting will be offered and the conclusions of a recently published journal article will be presented. In 2014 the presenter and a colleague set up a student-led blog (https://wetakecareofbusiness.wordpress.com/). The blog has had over 7,000 views from people in over 100 countries and it was one of only 3 projects shortlisted for the national Routledge/ALT Teaching Law with Technology Prize 2016. Students within business and commercial groups in the Student Law Office, a live client clinical legal education module, are encouraged to write blog posts reflecting on their learning experiences. The blog also promotes the work of the Student Law Office, and clients sometimes work with students to take advantage of the free publicity. The blog project is therefore designed to help students appreciate the growing importance social media and digital marketing play in legal services. In future, such skills will likely be seen as essential lawyerly traits, yet few law students are currently given the opportunity to develop them at university. Commercial awareness, another much sought after attribute, is a recurring theme students choose to write about, and a number of students have told us that writing for the blog has helped them to demonstrate commercial awareness in job interviews. However, the use of blogs and social media in legal education warrants careful planning and consideration. There appears to be a dearth of best practice exemplars or policies relating to incorporating blogs and other social media in teaching. Academics should consider at the outset: student privacy and ethical issues; what level of lecturer oversight is required; how familiar both students and lecturers are with the technology; and how time consuming the use will be for both students and lecturers. More research and scholarly debate is needed in this area if issues are to be avoided and the technology is to be used to full effect.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: M900 Other in Law
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 13:49
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 17:01
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40049

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