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Michael J. Yelnosky became the dean of Roger Williams University School of Law on July 1, 2014.

Dean Yelnosky is a founding member of the RWU Law faculty. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for four years, and he was named Distinguished Service Professor in 2011. He has also...



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Why I Tweet Every Day

Posted by Michael Yelnosky on 12/21/2015 at 08:30 AM

I know that lots of people hate Twitter, and I know many of the reasons.  

Too many tweets are inane (“I am having an awesome grilled cheese for lunch”); there are too many abbreviations and symbols used on Twitter (what do @ and # mean anyway?); the 140-character limit makes it impossible to convey anything meaningful; and Twitter is accelerating the destruction of written English. Young people cannot write elegant prose, and they would not be able to recognize it if they saw it. #OMG!

Nevertheless, I tweet.  Enthusiastically. Every weekday (and often on the weekend).  Prior to becoming dean in July 2014, I had only the slightest familiarity with Twitter.  My nephew, who is much younger and cooler than I, told me a few years before that it was a great way to get interesting and real time information from countless sources.  So I began to “follow” some Twitter feeds.  My nephew told me to “curate” the kind of information I wanted to receive.  I did, but I did not tweet anything out.  I was listening, but I was not talking. 

That all changed when I became dean because I suddenly had a lot to share.  In fact, I recall telling someone during the run up to taking on my new role that RWU Law was such a dynamic and innovative institution that “I could tweet something meaningful about the law school every day.”  I was right.  In fact, after almost a year and a half, I have averaged more than two tweets a day. 

My tweets fall roughly into five categories. I tweet about:

1) the accomplishments of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff;  

2) the numerous events that take place at RWU Law that enrich our students’ experience here -- events that are planned by the law school faculty and staff, and events planned by our students;  

3) the law school’s new programs and other initiatives;

4) media coverage of the law school; and

5) occasionally, something that catches my eye on our campus in Bristol or Providence. 

Here are some examples from each category:

CATEGORY 1

CATEGORY 2

CATEGORY 3

CATEGORY 4

CATEGORY 5

I never imagined that I would engage in a real time Twitter conversation with a group of prelaw advisors and students considering law school.  Karen Graziano, prelaw advisor at Villanova University, is a prolific and influential tweeter.  This July she invited me to participate in a Twitter chat group about legal education and the program at RWU Law.

The questions I answered during that chat allowed me to describe many of the details of our program, including, for example, our clinical guarantee. 

The chat was a most interesting exchange because prelaw advisors are intimately familiar with law school costs and programs. They are a well-informed and discerning audience, and I found them on Twitter.

Put simply, I will continue to tweet every day because it is one of the best ways I have found to spread the word about the leadership role of RWU Law in legal education.