The Twitterverse can at times seem like a vast wasteland, especially when you're looking for important law-related tweets. Hashtags can help.
Adding hashtags to tweets can help facilitate conversations and increase your visibility, a recent article in MedCity News points out. Users who search for specific hashtags (like #Prop8 for the Ninth Circuit's recent ruling on California's same-sex marriage ban) can call up all recent tweets that include the hashtag in question.
As a general rule, the shorter the hashtag, the better. Also, watch out for punctuation -- Twitter automatically ends a hashtag at the first sign of punctuation (so the tag #Bob's will show up in searches for the hashtag #Bob). Capitalization, however, does not matter.
Here are 15 hashtags that legal professionals may find helpful:
General legal hashtags
A quick search of Twitter reveals some of the more popular general legal hashtags: #law and #legal direct you to a wide variety of tweets from attorneys, law firms, courts, and news sources. Hashtags like #lawsuit and #attorney are also quite common.
Hashtags by practice area
For more specific tweets about a particular field such as intellectual property law, try searching for hashtags like #IP or #patent. Other popular practice-area hashtags include #personalinjury, #divorce, and #bankruptcy.
Courts are also in the hashtag game. #SCOTUS tags your tweets as relating to the U.S. Supreme Court, while #NinthCircuit (and similar circuit-court hashtags) bring up discussions about federal appeals cases. The Department of Justice also tweets, and is tweeted about, with the hashtag #DOJ.
For students and educators
In fact, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) attempted to spearhead a standardized system to assign unique hashtags for every U.S. law school; CALI's list of suggested law-school Twitter hashtags can be found here.