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YouShouldFeelPrivileged

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Facebook and Law School...
« on: April 12, 2009, 03:57:06 PM »
So, lots of law schools have a Facebook group to join and I was wondering if it's a good idea or not.  Some people have said that their professors and other law students warn them to cease all Facebook-ing, MySpace-ing and any other social networking site activities upon entering law school because employers will find your page (and those not-so-flattering photos) and ding you for it.

Thoughts on this? ???

P.S.
Myself, I have used Facebook since freshman year because at that time it was exclusively for college students/the "it" thing to do, and since then I have trimmed my original 800 "friends" down to around 30 people that I actually know and speak to on a regular basis/my profile is private to everyone else.  I do not have any outrageous views posted or explicit photos, and I think it could be a great way to stay in touch as we all go our separate ways, but I don't know if I should keep the profile or not...

Thanks for your thoughts  8)
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Changed Name

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 04:20:38 PM »
Facebook and other social networking sites can be seen as a double-edged sword.  On the one hand (and what we hear about specifically), Facebook can be a great source of embarrassment and other material which can paint you in poor light.  If a potential employer were to somehow have access to your facebook page, they may indeed see something that they don't like and not consider you for a job.  However, these effects can (and should) be mitigated through facebook's personal options.  Like you've already done so, your page should be limited to only friends.  Further, you may want to take down the pictures of you that can be quite questionable (or at least not allow for any tags to your name).

On the other edge of the sword, there are many legal-bloggers (and others) who extol the use of social networking sites (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and the use blogs to help create an image, foster professional contacts and build your career.  For law students, most of that stuff is probably going to be done in the near future, but the real issue is getting at how these sites should be used.  I believe in this technological age that we should keep up with the "times" and use these things that, more than likely, our future clients will expect us to use.

Bottom line:  there's nothing wrong with facebook.  The only problems that can arise are in the ways you use facebook and the information you allow others to see about yourself (from your pictures to your comments).  Sometimes people will use Facebook wisely themselves, but their friends will say something on their wall which makes both of the people look bad.  If you keep these things in mind, you shouldn't have to consider getting rid of facebook; indeed, I think it's a good thing to have.  Just always remember:  what you do online builds a picture of who you are.

YouShouldFeelPrivileged

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 04:34:27 PM »
Further, you may want to take down the pictures of you that can be quite questionable (or at least not allow for any tags to your name).

Thanks for the thoughtful response  :)  About un-tagging, would it be better to leave yourself tagged so that you at least know what unsavory pictures there are of you?  I mean, if an employer really wants your Facebook dirt wont they investigate your friends' profiles (where the tagged photos are linked from) and see them anyway?  Especially if you only have a small circle of friends, like me.
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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 04:49:38 PM »
Further, you may want to take down the pictures of you that can be quite questionable (or at least not allow for any tags to your name).

Thanks for the thoughtful response  :)  About un-tagging, would it be better to leave yourself tagged so that you at least know what unsavory pictures there are of you?  I mean, if an employer really wants your Facebook dirt wont they investigate your friends' profiles (where the tagged photos are linked from) and see them anyway?  Especially if you only have a small circle of friends, like me.

That's an interesting point.  I guess with the tagging, at least, you'd be aware of what was out there of you (provided they tagged you in the first place).  I think for the most part, once you reach a certain point in your life and you're past the stage where you go out s partying while taking pictures of yourself doing illegal things, the pictures you're actually tagged in are fairly mild.

It doesn't sound like your Facebook page has anything I'd be worried about.  I would be curious to know the extent to which employers did do searches of these social networking sites.  I envision that the level of "investigation" will differ and can range from:

(1)  Doing no search.
(2)  Doing a superficial search, just to see if they can even access your page and see some of the stuff that's available to the general public.
(3)  Full blown investigative report:  where they search your friends and see which friends have fairly unrestricted access to see what you've done.  (The ex-lover, stalker-type search.)

Netopalis

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 07:43:41 PM »
Personally, I don't have anything embarrassing on my facebook - everything that is on there is something I would be willing to share with the world...Well, save my phone number, anyway.
Mercer University School of Law '12

themanwithnoname

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2009, 04:42:08 PM »
Further, you may want to take down the pictures of you that can be quite questionable (or at least not allow for any tags to your name).

Thanks for the thoughtful response  :)  About un-tagging, would it be better to leave yourself tagged so that you at least know what unsavory pictures there are of you?  I mean, if an employer really wants your Facebook dirt wont they investigate your friends' profiles (where the tagged photos are linked from) and see them anyway?  Especially if you only have a small circle of friends, like me.

You seem to be under the impression that lawyers have all this free time on their hands with which to browse pictures of prospective hires' friends? Are you kidding me? You are lucky if you get your resume looked at before your interview. Believe me, there are embarassing pictures on facebook of many of my friends who are now at prestigious firms and clerkships. For biglaw at least, time spent dealing with recruiting is not billable and nobody is going to hold it against you if the person you thought should be hired turns out to be a sloppy drunk, so there is no incentive whatsoever to figure out if there are embarassing pictures of the person on facebook.

YouShouldFeelPrivileged

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 07:06:47 PM »
...and nobody is going to hold it against you if the person you thought should be hired turns out to be a sloppy drunk...

 ???  Really?  ???

 :D
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Special Agent Dana Scully

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 01:14:46 AM »
almost everyone here has a facebook page...it's whatever.
Columbia 3L

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 02:26:32 AM »
I deleted my post.

Nobody cares what I think about Facebook.
Birds of a feather flock together.

LSN

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Re: Facebook and Law School...
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2009, 07:34:00 AM »
Common sense applies here
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.