Asked and Answered

Public defender with Patreon for FOIA lawsuits shares her thoughts on lawyers and social media

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When she’s posting online, Beth Bourdon is not like most other lawyers, and she says that’s probably why she has more than 50,000 Twitter followers.

She is a Florida public defender who represents people charged with homicide. She also helps journalists with Freedom of Information Act requests in her spare time—and that includes a Patreon account, a membership platform that provides funds for the work.

Bourdon suspects that her large following comes in part from a willingness to be herself, rather than trying to portray what’s traditionally seen as a lawyerly like persona.

And she’s willing to go places where other attorneys may be hesitant, including this summer when she joined Parler—to see how long she could post potentially offensive materials without getting kicked off the conservative social media site.

Bourdon lasted about three days, she tells ABA Journal Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward, as part of a special Asked and Answered podcast series, which looks at the way that lawyers’ lives have changed during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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In This Podcast:

<p>Beth Bourdon</p>

Beth Bourdon

Beth Bourdon is a board-certified criminal trial attorney in Florida, where she works as a public defender representing people charged with first- or second-degree murder. In her spare time, she assists people with Freedom of Information Act requests, and that includes a Patreon account, which provides funds for the work.

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