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Riley Institute co-hosting law symposium in Charleston

Last updated January 24, 2014

By Furman News


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The role of social media involving law is the focus of a wide-ranging Jan. 31 conference involving legal scholars and leaders from around the country.

The day-long “Social Media and the Law” symposium at the Charleston Music Hall on John Street is hosted by the Charleston Law Review of the Charleston School of Law and the Riley Institute at Furman University.

Among the subjects that 19 panelists and moderators will tackle are the impacts of social media on employment law, privacy and legal ethics.  There also is a panel that will look at social media’s legal after-life—who owns it years down the road?

“Just as social media has fundamentally changed how people interact with friends, family, governments and business, it has had a significant impact on how the legal profession approaches a variety of issues,” said Charleston School of Law Dean Andy Abrams.  “This symposium will get behind the headlines and help participants better understand how social media may affect their work from the boardroom to the courtroom.”

Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute at Furman, added, “Not only is the topic of social media and the law relevant to all of us, we at the Riley Institute are also excited about the continuation of a series now in its sixth year that has meant so much to the legal community and the people of South Carolina.”

Ryan Garcia, legal director at Dell, Inc., will deliver the keynote address.  Garcia, who is an adjunct law professor at the University of Texas, was a multimedia programmer and video game developer before he became a lawyer.  At Dell, he represents social media and communities, consumer indirect sales and gaming teams.

“Social media touches every part of our lives,” said Charleston School of Law Professor Sheila B. Scheuerman, who is coordinating the symposium.  “According to Facebook’s statistics, 40 percent of all Americans log into Facebook every day.

“This day-long symposium looks at the intersection of social media and the law.  Panels will focus on employment issues, privacy concerns and property rights.  A final panel examines how social media impacts the legal ethics of attorneys.”

The symposium, which will be at the Charleston Music Hall (37 John Street), qualifies for 6.0 Continuing Legal Education credits in South Carolina, which includes 1.25 CLE credits for ethics.  Walk-in CLE registrations will be accepted at the door for a tuition of $150.

Attendance without the CLE credit is free.  The event is open to the public.

The full symposium agenda is available online.

For more information, contact Andy Brack at 843.670.3996 or


About the Charleston Law Review

The Charleston Law Review is the flagship journal of the Charleston School of Law.  In its past issues, the Charleston Law Review has published significant public figures ranging across the political spectrum from President-elect Barack Obama to John Yoo, former presidential legal advisor to President George W. Bush.  The Law Review will publish a companion issue to the symposium that may be ordered at

About the Charleston School of Law

The Charleston School of Law offers students the unique opportunity to study the time-honored practice of law amid the beauty and grace of one of the South’s most historic cities, Charleston, South Carolina. Students at the Charleston School of Law study law as a profession and find a faculty focused on using the law as a calling in the public interest.  Faculty members devote their full attention to excellent teaching and scholarship, both in and out of the classroom.  Where traditions meet opportunity—that is Charleston and the Charleston School of Law.

About the Riley Institute at Furman

The Riley Institute, named for Furman graduate and former S.C. Gov. Richard Riley, offers an array of programs designed to engage students and citizens across South Carolina in the various arenas of politics, public policy and public leadership.  It is associated with the university’s Department of Political Science.

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