What acting out legal cases on TikTok has taught me about the potential of social media

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By Annabel Field on


Annabel Field, a graduate in history and currently pursuing her PGDL studies, shares her thoughts

One of the most overwhelming things for new law students is the sheer number of cases they are expected to learn. The idea of having to memorise what feels like a million cases for an exam is incredibly daunting. Understanding both facts and principles is only half the battle with applying them to questions, incorporating statutes and understanding exceptions a separate battle. It is important therefore to make committing cases to memory as easy as possible.

One of the best ways to understand case principles (and subsequently remember them) is to also know the facts. The phrase, “the dead snail in the bottle which led to liability,” is a lot easier to commit to memory than, “Donoghue v Stevenson, you must take reasonable care to avoid acts which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour”. To attempt to understand facts and principles, I decided to make short videos ‘acting out,’ the facts of legal cases, and subsequently stating the vital principles. I kept these on my phone to watch back during less formal study days and after passing my exams I posted a number of these clips on the social media platform TikTok.

@annakbek Trying to finish all the basic cases 💅🏻💅🏻🫡🫡 #law #lawstudent #fyp #study #lawrevision #tortlaw #alevellaw #pgdip ♬ original sound – Annabell

The response to my videos has been amazing, lawyers, students, teachers and even those with no connection to the legal profession have expressed interest in my content. Whilst the original reason for making these videos was to make case law more memorable for my own personal studies, it has been amazing to see that I am both helping other students and providing entertainment. It was the responses from others which made me understand the true value of using social media as a tool for networking. The chance to speak to students with similar interests and share advice has been invaluable. A number of those with more established legal careers have also reached out offering advice and expressing support for the content I am creating.

Most people are familiar with LinkedIn, with many firms branching out onto Instagram to share information regarding job positions, insight days and relevant news topics that can be consumed in a more welcome and user-friendly way. Many students follow firms’ social media pages to get a better understanding of what the firm does. The informal nature of social media encourages interactions which perhaps would have been omitted during an in-person interaction.

It is true that many are sceptical of apps like TikTok — with its famous algorithm known for causing hours of scrolling. However, the often-overlooked part of not only TikTok, but social media as a whole, is the positive impact it can have.

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Although it is true that the apps we use nowadays can harbour content to feed our procrastination (because who doesn’t love a cat video), they can also help people learn. From languages and skills to acting out legal cases, the positive potential is large.

In a society where most people are consumers of social media there is potential to use this as a tool. Many students, firms, and lawyers are aware of podcasts and an increasing number of law firms are now producing their own. As the population becomes increasingly online there is merit in utilising social media.

From the engagement I have experienced as a result of using social media I have connected with dozens of like-minded individuals. Many of whom aren’t law students themselves but are still engaging with the content and wanting to learn more. Despite the original purpose of my account being to assist in my own understanding of cases, I am excited that my content has reached more students like me and helped them on their own studies. This is a genuine example of how utilising the potential of social media apps is beneficial to consumers, and creators.

Annabel Field is a first-class History graduate from the University of Kent. She is currently a PGDL student and her TikTok handle is @annakbek.

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