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If you've graduated from law school in the last five years, chances are you spent many a class on Facebook. And you can deny it all you want, but we all know that class time was not spent catching up with far-flung friends. Nope. It was spent perfecting the art of Facebook stalking.
As law students, job applicants and now (hopefully) associates, we all took on the role of Facebook stalker. Want to learn about your interviewer? Facebook stalk them. Want to get in good with your professor or partner? They've all got Facebook these days. Want to take down the suck-up stealing all your glory? Take 'em down with Facebook.
It turns out that Facebook's positive uses aren't limited to helping you carry out your nefarious plans or digging up dirt in a divorce. It's actually the next big thing in jury selection, and you already have a leg up.
Reports that lawyers are now Facebook stalking jurors are apparently true. Lawyers across the country are signing on with hopes of finding information about jurors that a voir dire session just can't extract. Some even build elaborate spreadsheets with information culled from Facebook, MySpace, and Google, reports Reuters.
Some legal experts are resisting these efforts to bring jury selection into the 21st century. Facebook stalking jurors nets valuable information--political beliefs, if It's Complicated, if they worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and most importantly, whether they have hot friends. But the old fashioned sect still thinks that any out-of-context comments should be used with caution.
If you have no qualms with putting your Facebook stalker tendencies to work, here's a suggestion:
Grab your laptop and offer up your services to the next partner with a trial date. The judge may bar you from using the Internet during court, but at the very least you'll be there.