What You Need to Know about #AppellateTwitter. #AppellateTwitter can be more than a place to 'nerd out' about legal writing or the law

AuthorScott R. Larson
Appellate Practice
Summer 2021, Vol. 40 No. 3
© 2021 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be
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of the American Bar Association.
May 30, 2017
What You Need to Know about
#AppellateTwitter can be more than a place to “nerd out”
about legal writing or the law.
By Scott R. Larson May 30, 2017
Increasingly, Twitter has become a means of networking and communicating about the law
for lawyers and judges. Many of these lawyers and judges have formed a community using
the Twitter hashtag #AppellateTwitter. Below are some of the benefits of this community
and why you may want to get involved.
Before proceeding, a quick primer on Twitter terminology might be helpful. First, a
“handle” is how people find or identify you on Twitter. Your handle begins with the “@”
symbol and is followed by the name or title you’ve chosen for your identifier. A “tweet” is
an individual message of no more than 140 characters, posted by a Twitter user. To
“retweet” means to forward or repost someone else’s tweet. And a “hashtag” is a subject-
matter identifier that is included in a tweet. Every hashtag is comprised of two parts: the
hash (#) followed by a word or phrase (the tag). If the tag is a phrase, then the words are
not separatedhence, #AppellateTwitter.
Hashtags function as user-generated card catalogs. Users can enter a hashtag into Twitter’s
search bar, and Twitter will produce a list of all the tweets using that hashtag. If a user
wants to participate in a conversation about a topic, the user can include the appropriate
hashtag in a tweet, and the tweet will appear to anyone searching for that hashtag.
Entrepreneurial Twitter users craft new hashtags of their own devising. The
#AppellateTwitter hashtag was created in the summer of 2016 by Raffi Melkonian
(@RMFifthCircuit), an appellate lawyer in Houston, in reference to a group of appellate
lawyers who had met each other through Twitter and were meeting in person for the first
time. Since then, #AppellateTwitter has become a network of hundreds of lawyers and
judges nationwide. They even have their own coffee mug.
“Nerding Out” in a Digital Law-Review Office
#AppellateTwitter has become an increasingly popular (and sometimes authoritative
see here at footnote 26) hashtag for appellate lawyers to discuss everything from Supreme
Court nominations to the proper location of a signature block in a brief.

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