June 24, 2020
Palo Alto partner Carrie LeRoy was inspired by tragedies in her community involving cyber bullying and other forms of harassment via social media. Recognizing the disconnect between the practice of victim-blaming – which appeared to be rampant on social media – and the reality that the law strives to protect survivors and punish perpetrators, she developed a program now known as Cyber Dignity. The program trains pro bono attorneys to educate thousands of young people in the Bay Area and beyond, with a focus on teaching teenagers their rights and responsibilities in the areas of social media, cell phone use, and other technology. Its primary goals are deterrence of sexual assault and cyber bullying, empowerment of survivors, and engagement of bystanders. The curriculum addresses First Amendment rights in the social media space, accomplice liability via texting in the case of a suicide, documenting sexual assault online, and other timely and important issues.
The Practising Law Institute (PLI) recently digitized the program as part of its pro bono curriculum, and in June 2020, Carrie was featured on Pro Bono Net’s Connecting Justice Communities blog.