April 9th, 2009

yindDina J. Yin

Associate at Baker & Daniels (Beijing and Indianapolis)

International transactions and patent / trademark lawyer

Author of Indiana China Lawyer


Today, we’re tweeting with @DinaYin, a transactional lawyer currently based in the Beijing office of an international firm

  1. @DinaYin, thank you for joining us today at 22 Tweets. Tell us: who is the person behind @DinaYin?
    Thanks for having me. In no particular order, int’l business lawyer, foodie, traveler, blogger, creative thinker.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    cross-border transactions, IP enforcement, U.S. import & export controls.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Fortune 500 to startups. Clients come to B&D for international service at reasonable midwest rates.
  4. What is the most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    At the moment, how to handle downsizing operations in China yet still work with the recent Chinese labor law changes.
  5. Sounds like uncharted territory…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    When it comes to China, I always tell clients to be VERY patient. Focus on relationship building, not the result….
    You’d be surprised at how a change in focus will help in obtaining results.
  6. What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Setting up my first subsidiaries in China and India for a client.
  7. Why was it significant?
    It was my first substantive “international business attorney” experience….
    It had all the right ingredients: cross jurisdictional legal issues, players from different countries, time zones…
  8. Why do your clients hire you?
    Lawyers at my firm have a reputation for being practical, cost-effective problem solvers…
    But as a “China lawyer,” you have to understand the problem from both a legal and cultural perspective and EXPLAIN it.
  9. How is the economic crisis affecting your clients?
    Not much. It’s made them more creative in finding business opportunities worldwide and not focus on the U.S.
  10. Have you and your firm had to respond to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    Tailor fee structure to legal budget, provide set quotes if necessary, work with the client’s time line for payment.
  11. How do you market your practice?
    Twitterviews! Web 2.0, seminars, face to face meetings. But most of all, continue doing quality work for existing clients.
  12. Can never go wrong with that! How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Sometimes all day… and now all night… No, probably 3 to 4 hours a day on average.
  13. What value have you seen from being on Twitter?
    It keeps me connected to my Indy network, meet new tweeps re China law, updated on developments on China and Int’l matters.
  14. Your blog, Indiana China Lawyer (http://bit.ly/jJDsA)=your China experiences. How did U sell a non-legal blog to your firm?
    The firm approached me! The blog is about my experience in China from all facets (legal and non-legal)….
    Clients want to know how to do business in China. That’s the day-to-day, networking, AND legal. My blog=all those views.
  15. Interesting take; had not thought of that – How important are your Web 2.0 activities to the marketing of your practice?
    It’s increasingly important to use new mediums for networking and potential clients, especially in an international setting.
  16. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    I agree with @Jayshep on this. There’s an increasing need for the legal profess. 2 think abt alt. fee arrangements.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lower billing rates, more regional firms rather than gargantuan firms. Stronger networks amongst firms to cross-sell.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    At this moment: probably be a traveling journalist and spend at least a month in Yunnan, China.
  19. I liked your blog post on Yunnan; makes me want to visit. How do you want to be remembered?
    Wow. That’s a loaded question. I think for now, just someone who can adapt to any challenge.
  20. You’re no doubt getting a lot of practice at that these days. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Trying to see as much of China/Asia as I can this year!
  21. What’s been the most difficult thing about the move to China?
    The night vs. day time zone change is the biggest challenge for effective communication….
    Local system works better 4 u when here.. But a Chinese solution for American clients can be hard for them to accept.
  22. One last question: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Don’t let the rat race in school bog u down. Connect ur life skills to ur legal knowledge when interviewing — all 1 package.
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