Smart Social Media Use By Law Schools (and Students)

Law firms have been struggling with social media use, but law schools may be in even worse shape. Should you be pushing your school to engage current and prospective students and alums online?Last year I started paying close attention to the hows and whys of institutional social media use. I was spurred by frustration that my top-30 law school was giving students terrible advice (IMHO) on using social media. That advice was basically, “don’t do it.”

We’ve come a long way since then, and I’ve had the privilege of helping my school draft a policy for staff/administration on social media use (similar version is available on Social Media Best Practices for Law Schools if you’re interested). I’m pretty happy that my school will now take purposeful steps in using social media and in educating students to do the same, hopefully to those students advantage in finding a job. But are other schools doing the same? Should they be?

I’m hoping readers can shed some light on what the big issues are in law schools using social media. Which of these concerns are most important to you (as student, staff, or alum)?

  • How professors and students interact online
  • How the institution presents itself to prospective students
  • How the institution reaches out for general information and fundraising
  • How current students learn important information
  • What career services does for students
  • What career services does for alums

As you can see from this brief list, a good social media effort by a law school requires involvement from diverse parties (admissions, student services, registrar, career services, alumni relations, marketing/external relations, faculty, IT, and, of course, students). This means that everyone has to at least be aware of why social media is important, what it is best used for, and know what their own role is in the process. Awareness and communication seem to be most of the battle. How’s your school (or alma mater) faring on this front?

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