The Legal Impact of Social Media

Social media has made waves in the legal landscape over the past few years and this week a new lawsuit came about that raises an interesting question–how should the law handle social media sites that enable crimes to be committed? In January, Twitter announced that it would block messages that contravened laws if governments requested, but made clear that they would support the free flow of information and resist censorship as much as possible. Brazil has now filed a lawsuit requesting that Twitter block tweets that report the locations of speed traps and roadblocks, claiming that it enables drunk drivers to elude police. How should the law treat social media hosts who must moderate the information its users post to the web? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

International Opportunities

The Law School’s Center on the Global Legal Profession offers various opportunities for students to study abroad.  This past summer, The Center provided students the opportunity to intern at various firms and NGOs in India and Brazil.

Eli Roberts, a 2L, spent his summer in two of the most prestigious legal departments in Brazil.  Here’s what Eli had to say about his experience:

“Interning in Brazil was the most singular experience of my academic career.  I began my internship in the corporate and contracts division of Demarest & Almeida, one of Brazil’s largest law firms. My projects included international acquisitions, business cooperation agreements, and sale agreements, among others.  I also spent time in the corporate counsel department of Votorantim, one of Latin America’s largest industrial conglomerates. I learned a good deal about several different kinds of corporate financing and the reasons why businesses would be interested in such financing. Furthermore, I gained an appreciation of how in-house counsel operates and what they expect from the law firms to which they outsource.

View from the Cristo Redentor overlook

Finally, Brazil offers a rich cultural experience. I was able to travel several times during my stay in Brazil, spending a week in Rio de Janeiro just before the program started and another weekend in Belo Horizonte during the program. But no matter where you are within the country, the Brazilian people are always friendly and gracious hosts. I made a great many friends in both professional and social settings. These are friendships I intend to cultivate and maintain quite possibly for the rest of my life. I would encourage any student seeking a unique internship with potentially life-changing experiences to apply for one of the CGLP’s internships. Brazil is an incredibly important market where there is significant opportunity, and I imagine India is as well. I consider these internships to be among the most rewarding and impressive in which a law student could participate.”

Nick Haering, a 2L, spent his summer in India.  Nick also describes what an amazing summer he had:

“I worked for an NGO called Jagori, which is based in Delhi. Jagori works on a variety of issues impacting women’s rights, from domestic violence to access to essential services. I worked with their lawyers to study and compile information on the various forms of alternative dispute resolution used by women’s collectives throughout India. I also worked on Jagori’s access to essential services project, traveling to impoverished areas of Delhi and drafting concept notes about the project in order to apply for funding from the Gates Foundation.  We took a trip every weekend, and I stuck around for 10 days after the program ended. I went to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and traveled to the India-Pakistan border to watch the nightly ceremony. We visited Dharmsala and Nainital in the foothills of the Himalayas. I stayed a few nights in Mcleod Gunj, which is the seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan monks in exile. I also traveled to the desert state of Rajastan, and saw some incredible forts and palaces in Jaipur. And of course I took the mandatory trip to the Taj Mahal. There was a lot of fun stuff to do in Delhi as well, so I spent my weekday nights just wandering the city and exploring.  I recommend the India program for anyone interested in a unique summer experience. You will get the opportunity to work on projects that you may have never even considered, and do some traveling while you’re at it. The trip will change your world view and offers a ton of adventure. Furthermore, every time I interview for a job, employers always want to know about India.”

Interested in learning more about these programs? Attend the informational session this Wednesday at noon in room 124.  You can also read more about each student’s experience here.

Special thanks to Nick and Eli for sharing their experiences and some photos from their travels.