By Patricia Jjemba • October 30, 2016•Writers in Residence
Picture this: in a single day 60% of Instagram users log into their accounts, over 112.5 billion business emails are sent; almost 23 billion texts are exchanged; and 2 million blog posts are posted. The truth is you don’t have to picture anything because this is our reality. The Internet is not only the wave of the future, it is most certainly the right now. Not only has the Internet become the hub for communication, but it has also become the breeding ground for ideas, marketing, branding, negotiating, learning, and educating. All of which are vital for any pre-law individual, law student, or lawyer who wants to get anywhere in academia, the legal profession, and beyond. And for good reason! The Internet presents a wealth of benefits. Three of the most exciting benefits that are listed below.
Online Presence: There’s an age-old saying that went a little something like this, “your reputation precedes you.” This is especially true in the legal field. Out of a stack of 100’s of admission applications, 1,000’s of resumes, and tons of briefs you want your work to stand out. (Presumably for good reason!) Using the Internet as a platform by creating media like a consistent blog is an effective way to do this. Think about it: before you even step on campus, into an interviewing room, or in front a judge you have the opportunity to show your interests, knowledge, and intellect. The positive persona you create online literally has the ability to get you in the door!
Strategy: Speaking of getting in the door, a lot of lawyers will tell you that they did not start out doing what they had a desire to do or even expected to do. Using the Internet to write about an area of law or policy that you haven’t physically been able to interact with is extremely beneficial to the trajectory of your career. Some might even consider you an expert in what you are writing about online, which may be completely unrelated to what you are doing from 9-5. Because let’s be honest, Roger Goodell was not checking for my interview request so long as I had an .edu at the end my email address. But I found ways around that via…the Internet.
Access: The unprecedented access we now have as compared to those in the legal field 50 or even 100 years ago is amazing. The fact that a law student in Lansing, Michigan can commiserate with another law student in Syracuse, New York over the law of Contracts is nothing short of a gift from the gods. And for those of us preparing to take the bar exam, encouraging blog posts are beneficial for both mental and strategic purposes. How about the wealth of knowledge that is out there in areas of the law that a long-time practicing attorney may need as background information for her pro-bono case? The Internet and these kinds of blogs offer greater access than we could have even imagined.