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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Communication

This short post is an update on a few recent-ish information sources I want to share.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the LIV criminal law conference, and participated as member of a panel discussing social media and the law. I mentioned there that the LIV had a good social media presence, with the Institute’s incumbent president tweeting from @LIVPresident, as well as the Law Institute Journal from @theLIJ, and a President’s blog.

And I had to say that in contrast, the Bar didn’t have much of a social media presence. Happily, that’s all changed.

About then, the Bar’s president opened an account, and just last week the Bar launched a whole raft of social media, accessible on its website here.

So, the VicBar now has its own twitter account @VictorianBar, and a blog at http://bloggersatthebar.com. (Although keeping up with twitter can sometimes be like trying to sip from a fire hose, it’s a great source of information. I find I get more useful material than there any other single location: it’s like your own individually curated information stream. If you’re not on twitter, I really recommend you dive in.)

The idea is for the Bar to offer a platform for itself, and for barristers who don’t have a blog and might want to make an occasional post. It’s not quite as expansive as the American Bar Association’s social media pages — which are just staggering in their scope! — but it has the potential to work in a similar way, where bloggers either cross-post, re-post or post particular contributions every so often, on top of the regular or in-house contributors.

Victorian Bar News has also undergone a revamp, and is available in a flipbook format as well as PDF. The latest edition is a really good read, and the new format looks very schmick indeed

In a similar vein, the Criminal Bar Assocation has revamped its website and changed to a blog format. I used to get some great info from their site in the past, but in recent times more stuff has come by email. Hopefully the new format will make it easier for information to go online too.

Meanwhile, our northern brethren in Queensland recently launched the free weekly email service, the Queensland Law Report. It lists new legislation, major appeals listed and decided, digests recent significant cases, publishes public notices, and other general information useful for the legal industry.

Last, one of my twitter followings led me to a UK website, the Advocate’s Gateway. It has a number of toolkits aimed at advocates dealing with vulnerable witnesses in courts, and links to other resources and training. I think we’re likely to see something similar here in the future, but unless or until that happens, this is a great help.

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