Thursday, 10 January 2013

From Zero to 140: the Law's Fastest Interview with Pat Ellis

This is the law's fastest cross-examination where the respondent has to posit an answer using between zero and 140 characters.

Today's first ever interviewee is Pat Ellis who tweets from @Sparty_Legal. Here it goes:

Brian John Spencer: What are you up to right now?

Pat Ellis: Monday morning in law school: lots of reading, writing, and coffee. It is also very cold here in MI today... so I'm trying to stay warm.


BJS: Why and where did you choose to read law?
PE: I am a student at Michigan State University's College of Law. A Spartan. A great law school at a great (Big 10) university.



BJS: What does the law mean to you?
PE: For me, law (hopefully) means a career, and a meaningful one. Although currently, it just seems like a LOT of time spent in the library!


BJS: What about the internet?
PE: I've never really thought about it. I have always kind of taken the Internet for granted - either a great resource or a great time suck.


BJS: When did you get online?
PE: I cannot remember. When I was very young - I can still remember the sound of dial-up. Maybe that indicates my age?


BJS: When did you jump onto Twitter, LinkedIn etc.?
PE: I have used social media since Myspace (I no longer have an account). I most recently joined LinkedIn - within the last year.


BJS: What do your friends and family make of you Tweeting?
PE: I really don't interact with too many friends or family on Twitter. I use Twitter to follow news, practitioners, etc.


BJS: Why do lawyers have such a mistrust of technology and social media?
PE: The legal services industry is a very time-honored profession and change does not come easy. However, lots of attorneys are taking to SM.


BJS: Should we encourage more legal silver surfers (older generation people)?
PE: Interesting characterization. I don't think it could hurt, but, I think successful, seasoned practitioners can get by without SM.


BJS: Are you a blogger?
PE: Occasionally - although, I have yet to start my own. I have written a few guest pieces.


BJS: Thoughts on blogging and what it can do?
PE: Thoughtful blogging is a great practice, especially for attorneys and firms. Blogging is an excellent medium for conveying expertise.


BJS: Social media and the rule of law, do they make a happy couple?
PE: I can't see why not. I would have followed A. V. Dicey.


BJS: What about social media & law practice - what role does social media have to play?
PE: SM is playing a powerful role in shaping the future of the industry. SM not only a marketing tool, but also provides greater accessibility.


BJS: The UK's head of public prosecutions has just published draft guidance for social media prosecutions - what's the situation like in the US?
PE: In terms of free speech, SM receives great protection in the US. I don't think that will change any time soon.


BJS: The French government wants to censor hate speech on Twitter - good or bad?
PE: Tough question for 140. I would prefer to see social media sites take a tougher stance on hate speech so the government doesn't have to.


BJS: Have you been trolled?
PE: Only by my roommate.


BJS: Looking forward what does the web and social media hold for lawyers & law practice?
PE: I hope and believe the Internet and social media will provide greater accessibility and transparency for those in need of legal services.


BJS: The UK has just introduced legal apprenticeships - is there anything like that in the US? First impressions?
PE: Nothing in the US, that I know of, mirrors apprenticeship programs in the UK. Alternative routes to legal careers seems like a good thing.


BJS: Should law school teach digital literacy?
PE: DL, in law, is a tremendous competitive advantage. If they start teaching it, it will become less of an advantage! Final answer: yes.


BJS: What about primary schools, should they teach coding and more fundamental computer literacy skills?
PE: As long as it does not conflict with recess.


BJS: Should law school teach commercial acumen like marketing and business development?
PE: It would be great to have some options like that, but you can only squeeze so much education (and money) into three years.


BJS: Any personal online/social media ambitions?
PE: I hope to continue learning through social media and connecting with people, especially in the legal industry.


BJS: Advice for aspiring law students?
PE: Law school requires passion (and a lot of time, effort, and money). If you don't think you can have passion for it, consider another path.

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