Well think again. Although the social media site can be used to follow the antics of the Made in Chelsea stars, it can equally well be harnessed into a useful professional tool to keep you up-to-date with developments in the law. It’s all about who you follow. Don’t worry, there is no need to Tweet your own thoughts. You can, instead, simply consume the thoughts and information of others. And it can be a very effective way of keeping informed.

With a little bit of initial searching through Twitter, you can find legal bloggers and commentators who contribute on legal topics from criminal, family, housing and human rights to property, tax and even party walls. Once you’ve found your niche, you can develop further connections to other legal contributors. Based on those you follow, Twitter will also start suggesting other people that you might be interested in following.

If the relaxation in the CPD proposed by the BSB is implemented, consuming legal education and topping up your professional awareness via Twitter will become a realistic way of keeping on top of your game. It is particularly useful as a grazing resource whilst waiting at court or on a train. You can add material to a reading list for further review later.

Another increasingly important role that web blogs and Twitter plays is the opportunity for lawyers to explain contentious areas of law or headline news in ways the conventional media often do not – or will not – report or just get wrong. Just recently, it was the howls of protest from Twitter users that led to the mainstream media’s correcting of its erroneous reporting of Andy Coulson’s acquittal of a perjury charge in Scotland. The acquittal was not, as the Legal Twitterati pointed out, clearing Mr Coulson of lying. That was because perjury required not only proof that someone had lied, but also that the lie had had a material outcome on the relevant proceedings. How many of us knew that? Hat tip (as Twitter users say when acknowledging the work of others) to Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) amongst others who were persistent in getting this error corrected and adding valuable insight into an important case.

In this social media series, Counsel is going to be featuring profiles of some of the more prolific legal commentators who blog and Tweet. We begin with 1 Crown Office Row barrister Adam Wagner (@adamwagner), founding editor of the UK Human Rights Blog and who not only Tweets in a personal capacity but who, through @rights_info, is also bringing accessible information about human rights law to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

On the Counsel website we’d like to hear of legal Twitter users that you find useful. Join the debate by visiting www.counselmagazine.co.uk. Or tweet @counselmagazine with your favourite bloggers/twitterati.

Contributor Matthew Nicklin QC