Social networking sites and the legal profession : Balancing benefits with navigating minefields

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Avnita Lakhani

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-174
Journal / PublicationComputer Law and Security Review
Issue number2
Online published24 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


The purpose of this article is to review the impact of social networking sites on law, the legal profession and dispute resolution. Within a very short period of time, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, combined with social networking hardware platforms, such as iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android, have infiltrated the profession of law and dispute resolution. Many legal professionals now have a social networking profile, use information on social networking sites as evidence, and interact with other lawyers and judges through such forums. This increased interaction in a publically accessible and viewable medium presents a challenge to the legal profession's traditional ideas of independence, confidentiality, and rules of evidence. Social networking mediums are here to stay. Therefore, this article looks at how this trend affects law and the legal profession, what issues it presents to lawyers and judges, whether new laws are necessary to take into account the impact of social networking sites and the benefits of such technology in fostering access to justice and helping parties achieve justice.

Research Area(s)

  • Admissibility of evidence, Dispute resolution, E-discovery, Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC), Social media, Social networking