Editor’s Note: BC Law is launching a TikTok channel! Follow us @bclawonline.
You can’t BeReal if you’re in law school.
Wipe your social media — make a pseudo Instagram handle, private your Twitter, and maybe even delete your Facebook if you’re feeling up to it. This is the advice commonly distributed to incoming law students and applicants alike across online law school forums.
This advice is understandable these days, since employers Google everything, and law students have character and fitness standards to follow in order to be eligible to graduate and take the bar. This privatization movement strikes at the heart of #LawTok, though.
#LawTok is a TikTok hashtag categorizing videos dedicated about — you guessed it — the legal field. #LawTok videos range from videos about navigating On Campus Interviews, networking tips, the latest Supreme Court case to hit the docket, and more. #LawTok boasts 1.7 billion views as of this article’s publication.
To place things in perspective, the TikTok hashtag #haul boasts 26.9 billion views, and recipe has 50.3 billion. #LawTok isn’t at the top of everyone’s for you page (and thank goodness for that), but it’s certainly batting in the same league as some of TikTok’s most popular hashtags.
Clearly, there’s an audience of lawyers, law students, prospective applicants, and more who consume and enjoy this content.
#LawTok helped Averie Bishop land her role at LVLUP Legal in New York. #LawTok encouraged Cecie Xie to pursue writing, legal content creating, and a career path outside of Big Law. And for me, #LawTok helped me find note taking tips, law school application advice, and a steady stream of entertainment outside my casebook.
#LawTok shows that social media isn’t just a tool for memes and sharing photos of your slightly soggy, yet very edible law school lunch. It can be a force of good for your career.
Leveraged correctly, social media can be a platform where you can develop your brand as a legal professional. Whether you choose to share application advice for marginalized communities or post your own writing posturing the ramifications of judicial decisions, social media can be a platform for your voice.
Maclen and Ashleigh Stanley, for example, leverage their TikTok account as an educational tool. Through their skits and rapid-fire explanations of the legal status of marijuana, R. Kelly’s jury drama, and Andrew Tate’s social media ban, the Stanelys demystify law, one ruling at a time, for a general audience.
Even if you’re not interested in content creation, developing a social media brand can serve as your digital business card. And we’re not just talking about LinkedIn.
Of course, networking on LinkedIn is an excellent way to research alumni from our institution at the firms and organizations where you want to apply for a job. But, Twitter, TikTok, and even newsletter publishing platforms or blogs (like this one) can help you connect with the legal community as a whole and sharpen your niche in the industry.
Take Twitter for example — you can accomplish a lot with 280 characters on the platform. The application is designed to push bite-sized posts across city, state, and national boundaries. Because Twitter promotes this range in audience size, you can create a legal network that extends far beyond Boston or the city you’re aiming to package in.
Newsletter distribution platforms, like Substack, allow writers to self-publish. Long-gone are the days where writers need a publishing house to distribute their words. Substack distinguishes itself from WordPress and other blogging platforms because it’s more personal: posts land directly in subscribers’ inboxes, and users can subscribe to a host of newsletters without even making a Substack account. Your writings can start with a personal audience — your friends, families, and colleagues — but once you find your footing, a weekly muse on domestic news and its ramifications on the law can amass thousands of followers. That’s an instant writing sample on its own.
It’s important to note that no matter where you develop your identity and voice, you should post with a grain of salt. The internet is ripe with security concerns, and you should never reveal personal information. Post your school, but there’s no need to post your exact class schedule and the high school you attended.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, don’t post content that you wouldn’t want your employer — or any stranger — to see. Think carefully about everything you’re about to post, and how people might perceive it–either intentionally or unintentionally. Your posts should be content that you can confidently and proudly discuss in any professional setting.
We’re making the foray into TikTok ourselves at BC Law. @bclawonline will feature your favorite professors, tips for navigating 1L, frequently asked admissions questions, and even the definitive ranking of Chestnut Hill area pizza.
Give us a follow. See you on TikTok!
Kristie Hoang is a first-year student at BC Law and brand new Impact blogger. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.