Twitter and the Legal Profession

There has been a lot of discussion lately about Twitter and its applications for the legal profession. Twitter is a free micro-blog service in which people answer the question “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less.
Although many have questioned whether such a tool could have any practical application at all, for better or worse, some enterprising individuals have indeed applied it in legal settings. Here’s a sample of some of the ways in which Twitter is being used:

  • Networking with clients & colleagues
    From Real Lawyers Have Blogs:

    You can benefit from Twitter in three ways, that I see today. First, a way to socially network with people, some of which networking may lead to work, speaking engagements, and the like. Two, a means to amplify your message, i.e., spreading what you what you may be blogging, writing, or speaking on. Three, if you blog, you are going to get news from other bloggers whose content you may want to reference in your blog or work.

    For more on using Twitter as a marketing & communications tool, check out Steve Matthews’ Law Firm Web Strategy.

  • Live Coverage from the Courtroom – From journalists:
    From the ABA Journal:

    Reporter Ron Sylvester is covering the trial of defendant Theodore Burnett [accused in the contract killing of a pregnant 14-year-old girl] for the Wichita Eagle, but he’s also submitting updates to Twitter, described as “a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

  • Live Coverage from the Courtroom – From Jurors:
    From Proof & Hearsay

    Matthew Wheeler, a blogger who got called for jury duty, was red-faced when his site got more hits than normal earlier this week.
    Wheeler was breaking the monotony of jury service by Twitter posting with interesting observations such as: “Public wi-fi in the courthouse kinda blows. Actually, it really blows.”
    Well, he was selected for the pool of potential jurors who will hear the first lead paint injury case to go to trial. It’s the mother of all trials, at least in terms of its six weeks estimated length.
    “Still sitting for jury duty crap. Hating it immensely. Plz don’t pick me. Plz don’t pick me,” Wheeler wrote just before 4 p.m. on Monday.

    If you’re interested in the uses of Twitter in the courtroom, I highly recommend Anne Reed’s Deliberations.