@leannahamill

October 29th, 2009

mypictureLeanna Hamill

Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorney

Co-founder of Women Attorneys Network of the South Shore

Author of Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Today we’re tweeting with Massachusetts Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney and aspiring yogi @Leannahamill

  1. @Leannahamill thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Leannahamill?
    She is the woman you are interviewing – Auntie, yogi, dog owner, attorney, business dev. manager, among other things.
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I have a 4 yo estate & elder law firm in a small town south of Boston. A solo practice, but I share space w/ another attorney.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    People who want to plan for the future, or need help dealing with a crisis.
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  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    The ability to protect their choices about their health care, their family, their property, & end of life wishes.
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  5. Important issues indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That they need to pay me before I start working for them. And that they made the right decision deciding to put a plan in place.
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  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    One of my first clients – helped her write her estate plan, a few years later met her at the hospital when she fell…
    …helped her friend serve as health care agent & power of attorney, helped her sell her condo to pay for assisted living…
    …made sure her last wishes were honored & went to her funeral after she passed. She was an amazing woman & great client.
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  7. That’s a great story. Why do your clients hire you?
    I think I make them feel comfortable, they feel confident that I know what I’m doing & usually someone suggested that they hire me.
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  8. That’s a good reputation to have… What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Right now lots of guardianship matters. Not typical, but not usually something that can be put off if it’s needed…
    And lots of estate planning, which is more typical. Mostly folks nearing retirement age.
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  9. How are your clients managing the crisis? Is it a matter of meeting financial needs or are consequences much greater?
    Some laid low, put off planning for a bit. Younger families held onto their money. Probate work & Medicaid planning continued….
    Most clients came through ok, although those who were saving for retirement in stocks have less than they had planned on.
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  10. That’s good to hear. How do you market your practice?
    Mostly through my blog, which brings about 50% of my business. Also thru seminars, quarterly newsletter & mentions in the media…
    I also have clients who act as my own little marketing dept, telling their friends & family about me. That is my favorite way to mkt
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  11. Absolutely! How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I don’t have an elevator pitch. I usually just say “I’m an estate planning & elder law attorney”…
    Networking events are my least favorite & least productive way to get clients. But I go to the fun ones & where my friends are.
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  12. You blog at MA Estate Planning and Elder Law (http://bit.ly/nq4wv). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    I write for potential clients, their children, other attorneys & professional. They should read for useful information.
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  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    I am on Avvo, JDSupra, Justia, Linked In. I have a Facebook Fan page: http://is.gd/4HtFg.
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve gotten at least 1 client from each. Blog brings about 50% of my business & media inquiries. Twtr strengthens relationships.
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  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Hopefully the whole time I’m at work I’m strengthening my brand…keeping my name out there & doing great work for clients.
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  16. Well it seems to be working! What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Having to adjust to clients wanting new types of billing & having to learn to market beyond yellow pages & newspaper ads…
    I think we forget that many attorneys still rely on those old ways of marketing & don’t use blogs, and other online tools.
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    smaller firms, more “virtual” services, only those people who really want to be attorneys will go to law school….
    It won’t be the “get rich quick” career it was.
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Live in a cabin in the mountains, sew, cook, raise goats & have a couture clothing line for children.
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a fabulous Auntie, wonderful sister, great friend & fantastic attorney. Hopefully I won’t need to be remembered for a long time.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Cook, knit, sew, hike, swim, read, yoga, & chant kirtan when I can find it around here. Hang out with my family.
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  21. Busy…. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t settle or wait for something to fall in your lap. Be proactive and market yourself, and ask for what you are worth.
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  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Don’t worry about your friend’s study habits. Find what works for you & stick w/ it. Not everyone needs to be at the library @ 1am.

That’s very useful advice. Thank you very much for tweeting w/me today; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice

Thanks for having me!

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@AndrewMcRoberts

October 22nd, 2009

arm_twitter1Andrew R. McRoberts

Local Government Lawyer / Litigator

Counsel, Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, PC

Today we’re tweeting with Richmond, VA, local government lawyer / litigator and former county attorney @AndrewMcRoberts

  1. @AndrewMcRoberts thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @AndrewMcRoberts?
    Local govt lawyer/litigator w/ Sands Anderson, blogger at VaLocalityLaw.com, W&M football fan, theater-goer, lover of life!
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Sands Anderson is large firm for Va, financially sound, with excellent lawyers that actually have a life. …
    … I joined its local government team after 15 years as County Atty in various Va localities.
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  3. Congrats on the move. What type of clients do you represent?
    Represent Va local govts, officials and their interests.Occasionally businesses needing govt solution. Do not sue localities.
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  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Community change: growth/development/redevelopment. Non-legal issue? Lack of money: flat assessments/state budget cuts.
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  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I am the local govt-friendly choice. Here’s my approach: I seek either a win for govt client or win-win for business client.
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  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I will share two in my next two tweets! …
    As County Atty: West Creek Assoc v. Goochland, 8yr tax litigation w/ 259 sits, 144 parcels, 2 trials, 2 Va Sct appeals.
    I serve as counsel to the Board of Zoning Appeals in Stafford County, Va, bsy and fast-growing suburb of DC in Northern Va.
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  7. Wow. And congrats, the second must keep you on your toes…. Why do your clients hire you?
    My experience in serving local govt legal needs for over 15 years, record of success in court, reputation as local govt atty.
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Zoning area, BZA work, vested rights issues, land use. It is typical. This area of practice will get even more active.
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  9. How are your local government clients responding the economic crisis?
    Many not hiring outside counsel as much. Budget cuts. Some seeing tax assessment lawsuits; surprised I have not seen more.
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  10. May still happen before things get better…. How do you market your practice?
    I personally speak to local govt groups, meet one-on-one, blog, tweet and help local govt attys informally in many ways.
    Law firm marketing team also supports me in various media.
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  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I am a Va local government atty; represent Va local govts, officials and their interests. Do not sue local governments.
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  12. You blog at Virginia Local Government Law (http://bit.ly/3rB0EZ). Who is it written for? Why should they read it?
    I blog for Va local govt lawyers, chief admin officers, local officials, staff and citizens interested in Va local govt law.
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  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    Linked in, firm website. Don’t use Facebook because it is more social and not as focused (for me) as Linked in and Twitter.
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    None yet; just started. Local govts slow in adopting. Gained visibility among non-local govt folks including media outlets.
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  15. There’s certainly value in that. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Just starting my private-local government practice; spend at least an hour or two each day on various marketing activities.
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  16. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Negative impression of Lawyers. I support the Va State Bar President’s “Va is for Good Lawyer’s” project. http://ow.ly/vO5O
    VSB president Jon Huddleston is responsible for this brainstorm. http://twitter.com/VA4GoodLawyers
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  17. Looks like a very interesting project. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    More lawyers needed to assist govts and people, as govt is asked to do more & more, and regs get more and more complicated.
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Maybe a writer, or a history professor. Always wanted to be a lawyer, though; I emulate my Texas grandfather.
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Big thinker, good lawyer, good man, who helped government do great things that benefited their citizens.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Hiking/camping; Pres of non-profit related to College of William & Mary; W&M Tribe football fan; Lover of wine and theater.
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Find a practice area related to your skills that’s not suffering. For ex, my firm has RE attys who double as top bankr attys.
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  22. And finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    The economy will turn and more lawyers will again be needed. I’ll share a story about my Dad …
    In economic downturn yrs ago, he advised me not to go to law school. I told him, “There is always a need for a good lawyer.”

That’s thoughtful advice. Thanks for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed it very much.

Enjoyed the Twitterview! Thanks for asking me. Here’s more info and how to reach me: http://ow.ly/w1sw

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@anthonybushnell

October 15th, 2009

bushnell_biopicAnthony Bushnell

Criminal defense and civil litigation solo attorney

Managing attorney, The Bushnell Law Firm, LLC

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Today we’re tweeting w/ crim def & civil lit lawyer @anthonybushnell, who provides smart legal representation – for real people

  1. @anthonybushnell thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @anthonybushnell?
    Thanks Lance! Attorney, dad, believer in a good and merciful God, thus trying to treat others & clients the way I want to be treated
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I do criminal defense and litigation, which varies from helping homeowners with contractors to dealing with unpaid wages.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    A lot of individuals and small to mid-size businesses. Most people are ordinary folks who get stuck with legal problems.
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  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Cost of legal services and access to legal help. Most people are slow to seek #legal help; they think they can’t afford it.
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  5. Indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I can’t guarantee the results in litigation or a criminal matter, but I will work my hardest and get the best I can for you.
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  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Represented a guy pro bono who had a court order put on him with no notice or process. Had to go to appeals court to fix it.
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  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I provide high-quality legal work and personal attention, but keep my rates very reasonable so real people can afford it.
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Litigation right now. It varies, but seems to average 60% litigation / 40% criminal. I also do some prosecution on contract.
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  9. You tweet a lot re work/life balance. How do you maintain the right mix in the face of time-sensitive client needs?
    I remind myself that clients get better service when I’m balanced and healthy. Taking my family time is serving them too.
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  10. That does make a lot of sense. How do you market your practice?
    Thanks. Relationships with other attorneys – trying to help each other and genuinely invest in each other. Websites and SM.
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  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I provide legal services regular people need and make a priority to keep it affordable. I can help people who some can’t.
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  12. What were your goals in becoming active on Twitter? Have they changed?
    I started tweeting to connect with clients. I’ve found best & fav use is keeping up on legal news & building relationships.
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  13. Besides Twitter, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    LinkedIn. I also post about my practice on Facebook, but use it primarily for friendships. Just remind people what I do…
    …Minnesota Bar also has a website called www.mypracticelaw.org – like LinkedIn/Facebook for lawyers.
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Honestly, I haven’t identified any. But it’s made me better at connecting and improved staying on top of law developments.
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  15. There’s a lot of value in that, of course. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    1-2 hours on weekdays. I also think a lot and try to keep track of good ideas. Building something worthwhile takes time.
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  16. Absolutely. Let’s switch gears: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    We have way too many lawyers (many out of work) but not enough people get legal help. That’s broken. 1+1 should = needs met.
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    I expect we’ll have a lot of part-time and contract lawyers/solos. Hopefully apprenticeships for grads & practical training.
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I would pastor or teach. Often feel the law doesn’t let me help people with their whole need. So I tweet @be_fullyalive too.
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As sincere and genuine and as having helped people. People said Winston Churchill was same man in public and private. …
    …Reason I sometimes mention my faith even in professional area is I believe being healthy means being integrated. No masks.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Spend time with my kids and give them as much of me as I can. Try to remember they’ll learn most on life from my wife & me.
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t need a job to be an #attorney. You ARE one. Go find clients and offer yourself for contract work. That advice made me.
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  22. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Meet all the real lawyers you can. Make sure it’s for you. Do the math and live on a budget. Get practical experience. …
    … Don’t be shy about calling lawyers to meet. They’re glad to. Work to develop yourself as a lawyer and get things done.

All very valuable advice. Thanks for your thoughtful responses today; I enjoyed tweeting with you very much.

Me too. Thanks, Lance! This was a great experience. Thank you for creating this idea for lawyers to get to know each other.

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@tessashepperson

October 13th, 2009

tessapicTessa Shepperson

Residential Landlord and Tenant Law Solicitor

Owner of Landlord Law, an online legal information service

Today we’re tweeting w/ UK solicitor @tessashepperson, who specializes in residential landlord and tenant law

  1. @tessashepperson thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @tessashepperson?
    Thank you for twitterviewing me! Who am I? Solicitor, wife, mother, blogger, author, Dr Who fan, the list is endless
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I am a sole practitioner, and work through my website service www.landlordlaw.co.uk – a 1:many service
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mostly private residential landlords, some tenants and letting agents, occasionally other solicitors too
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  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Hard to single out one issue. The credit crunch has affected us here, as it has everywhere, & caused problems eg with rent
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  5. That’s understandable. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    As I practice via the internet I rarely meet clients face to face. I send them my standard ‘client care’ email
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  6. Interesting; I hadn’t thought about that. Tell us about one of more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Alas I have had no big cases. However I am a trail blazer in the delivery of legal services via the internet
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  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Because I really understand my niche. Although I do less casework now, the subscription service is more important
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Just now I’m doing a lot of writing, blogging, talks at landlord events & wkg towards a web-site upgrade. Fairly typical
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  9. You offer legal info via subscription for landlords & tenants. What are benefits of this model for clients?
    a 1:many service is more efficient than 1:1, so it is less expensive. I help people do to things for themselves
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  10. How do you market that practice?
    A few ads, writing articles for relevant journals, my blog , twitter, but most people seem to find me through Google
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  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I run an online legal information service for residential landlords and tenants
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  12. You blog at Landlord Law Blog (http://bit.ly/qLRGh). Who is it written for? Why should they read it?
    I started it 3-4 years ago as somewhere I could comment on issues + I thought it wd be fun. Readers can learn a bit & ask Qs
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  13. Interactive approach (like service). What’s the general sentiment in the UK regarding lawyers using social media?
    I recently mentioned Linkedin at a lawyers mtg & got asked if it was an online dating site! A few eg @BrianInkster get it
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  14. Wow. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Blog: My stats show that many visitors come to my website from my blog & it has helped raise my profile. Twitter: its early days
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  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    My husband tells me, too much! But it is always in my mind, say 25/7?
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  16. 25/8? A lot of time either way…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In England we have a new Legal Services Act. But above that I think the internet/web 2 will have a profound effect
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    People will expect to do business online as a matter of course. Most legal sources will be freely available online, but …
    … people won’t understand it so will still need us. More work than lawyers now care to think about will be commoditised
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  18. Interesting. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I really enjoy writing so would probably have ended up as some kind of writer.
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    An innovator who pioneered the online delivery of legal services for ordinary people
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I enjoy reading detective novels, cooking, watching Doctor Who, and spending time with my lovely family
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Decide what you really want from life, then work out how to achieve it. There is usually a way, you just have to find it
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  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Try to get some wk experience in a law office first, if you find you enjoy law, then go for it, otherwise do something else

That’s valuable advice to close this interesting twitterview. Thanks so much for staying up late to tweet with us!

It was a pleasure! Best wishes from across the pond!

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22 Tweets Roundtable: Work / Life Balance

October 9th, 2009

Welcome to the first 22 Tweets Roundtable, where we tweet with 5 lawyers and legal professionals around a single theme

Today we ask our panelists 12 thought-provoking questions on work / life balance provided by the law students at WVU

We’re very pleased that @beckyandhollee –H @taxgirl @lisasolomon @jaynejuvan and @jayshep have joined us today

Welcome, all, and thank you very much for participating. I look forward to your perspective and insight. Let’s get started.

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1.  What sacrifices have you had to make in balancing work life and family life? Do you regret them?

@lisasolomon: None. I love my career as an independent contract atty & developed my practice w/my personal life goals in mind

@beckyandhollee: Sacrificed money and status to leave firm and join academia. Never missed the firm and love being there for my family.

@taxgirl: Sacrifice is a loaded word. But I’ve def made choices that slowed my career in favor of spending more time w family. No regrets.

@jaynejuvan: Thanks! We’ve faced perhaps the most severe economic downturn since Great Depression & are in the midst of a jobless recovery…

We have soldiers in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m the fortunate one. I haven’t truly made sacrifices yet.

@jayshep: My wife (a working-mom lawyer) and I hurry home most nights early enough to have dinner with kids. Then work late at home.

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2.  What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in transitioning from law school to practicing law?

@beckyandhollee: Wish we’d learned more practical research and writing skills. That’s why I’m so tough on my students – they thank me later.

@taxgirl: You mean besides giving up my social life? Learning to be accountable to the client & firm for my time and choices.

In law school, you could work on a memo for weeks – that doesn’t happen in the real world.

@jaynejuvan: Not being able to jump directly from Law Review Editor-in-Chief to Managing Partner! …

Moving up through the ranks takes a certain amount of “grit” and hard work…

I try to pay my dues as others have, respect those more senior and persevere.

@jayshep: Trying to learn the business skills law school doesn’t teach: sales, marketing, management, organization. Law school prep? Fail

@lisasolomon: Gaining practical experience in nuts & bolts of practice

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3.  How do you see the practice of law evolving over the next decade to allow greater work / life balance?

@taxgirl: The recession has forced many to work more for less. But it’s also intro’ed many to alts to being a billable hr slave.

@jaynejuvan: New technologies may allow greater work/life balance, but the level of responsiveness can’t change …

Client issues often do not arise between 9 and 5, but when our clients need us, we have to be there for them …

Prove your mettle, then ask for an accommodation if needed & work w/ colleagues to ensure clients’ interests are well-served.

@jayshep: Firms are going to have to kill the billable hour. We have. It’s the biggest hurdle to work-life balance, esp. for women

@lisasolomon: Growing popularity of small/solo firm practice & move away from billable hr 2 alternative billing

@beckyandhollee: Technology means freedom to work from anywhere. The downside is you’re always on call.

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4.  What did you not learn in law school that you wish you would have? How can students get that knowledge?

@jaynejuvan: Market realities. School doesn’t teach agility. Anticipate change, reinvent yourself & act BEFORE a shift. http://tinyurl.com/5o4jva

@jayshep: Practical business skills. Law schools don’t understand that this is a business, not a priesthood. Students: work in biz.

@lisasolomon: Practice mgt skills. Press schools 2 offer those courses; in meantime, educate self by reading relevant bks/blogs

@beckyandhollee: The only test that matters is the bar!:)

@taxgirl: Being right doesn’t matter as much as doing the best job that you can for your clients. Those are often diff things.

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5.  Turning the last question around, what skill acquired in law school was most helpful when you began practicing? Why?

@jayshep: Refining argument and persuasion skills. Everything we do involves trying to convince someone of something. It’s sales

@lisasolomon: Getting quickly to the heart of the issue & anticipating opposing arguments.

@beckyandhollee: Absolutely 100% writing. I became known as a go-to writer in a big firm and got good assignments early becuz of that skill.

@taxgirl: Editing my thoughts and thinking on my feet. It’s a fast paced profession and brevity can count for a lot.

@jaynejuvan: The art of persuasion and clarity, diligence and work ethic. I loved the challenge & the intellectual stimulation of law school!

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6.  What was the most beneficial advice you received in law school? How did it help you?

@lisasolomon: I don’t remember any specific “advice” from law school re: succeeding in practice.

@beckyandhollee: If you’re nervous, don’t show it. Find a game day face and wear it. BigLaw can be macho, even though I’m not really tough.

@taxgirl: Tax prof said: do what you love. My lowest grade in law school was in a tax class. She convinced me not to give up. She was right.

@jaynejuvan: A friend reminded me as I was painstakingly cite-checking a Law Review article at 2:00 a.m. that…

“everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” T. Edison I still fondly ponder the dialog and the quote.

@jayshep: Best law school advice? “Say hi to Heidi. She’s in our section.” Been married to her 13 years with 2 beautiful daughters. FTW

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7.  How are your clients influencing the evolution of work / life balance in your firm? Should they play a greater role?

@beckyandhollee: Academia is inherently flexible — no emergencies. -H

@taxgirl: Clients are important: they pay the bills. But you have to manage expectations and work smart. Nobody wants a burned out lawyer.

@jaynejuvan: Clients recognize diverse teams challenge assumptions, tend to be more creative & aren’t as likely 2 fall victim 2 group think…

In my experience, this causes firms to be more open-minded when crafting policies or making case-by-case decisions.

@jayshep: They’re not. We set limits, manage expectations. Serving clients’ best interests ≠ dropping everything else at their whims.

@lisasolomon: Not at all. That’s an internal firm matter that firm controls by, e.g., setting reasonable client expectations

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8.  How many hours do you spend on work each week on average? Is that typical of your peers? Is stage of career a factor?

@taxgirl: I work very long hrs but I manage my time and I’ve learned to delegate. Legal work, I can pass on. Being a mom, not so much.

@jaynejuvan: Let’s just say that a friend asked for my bona fides when I said I was participating in a roundtable about work/life balance! …

I work long hours – it’s my choice (but many of my colleagues do as well) – and I hope that it won’t change anytime soon.

@jayshep: About 80 to 90 hrs/wk. For me, it’s more a function of running my own law firm than being a 16th-year lawyer

@lisasolomon: 60+. I have 2 businesses (law firm & coaching/consulting practice) & 1 w/my husb (gifts/cards for legal prof’ls)

@beckyandhollee: Probably 40-60, in chunks, if I count my blogging and writingLots of early mornings, late nights, and w/kids mid-day.

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9. Several of you have already answered this in some form or another, but how much personal satisfaction do you get from your job?

@jaynejuvan: LOVE the intensity of a legal practice. Nothing beats heated negotiations & the minutes leading up 2 signing or closing a deal.

@jayshep: I love creating and growing a brand from scratch. I love helping companies run better. I hate worrying about $

@lisasolomon: Enormous. Work intellectually stimulating & my clients appreciate importance of my work 2 success of their cases

@beckyandhollee: I was born to be a legal writing professor. I have the best job — freedom to write, the fun of teaching, and time w/family.

@taxgirl: I love what I do. I don’t always love the profession – those are diff things. But my work is interesting, I work w great people.

I also love that my girls see that I’m valued and that I like my job. It’s imp to me that my girls know they can do anything.

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10.  Where do you draw the line between your personal and professional lives?

@jayshep: Our firm rule is “Family comes first.” Work is to support our families, not the other way around.

@lisasolomon: Practically, it changes daily; philosophically, I believe in work/life integration http://twurl.nl/hyqokt

@beckyandhollee: It’s hard bcuz I often want to tweet or network during family time. I try to “chunk’ my time and turn off the computer.-H

My kids are very proud to say that both mommy and daddy (@johntemplebooks) are profs who write books. That matters to me. -H

@taxgirl: Sometimes it’s blurry since I practice w my husband. But we make it work. My kids have their own space at my office. And…

I’ve been known to take calls on the school playground. But when it’s family time, that’s an absolute: no work.

@jaynejuvan: I don’t draw a firm line. I’m always a lawyer, even when I’m not in the office. If my work concludes, I’ll attend kickboxing…

If I’m busy, I don’t fret about missing my workout. If it’s 11:00 p.m. and a client or colleague calls, I answer.

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11.  What was the biggest challenge you faced when you graduated and started practicing?

@lisasolomon: I graduated in last legal recession (1993) & had no offer from my 2L summer. At NYU Law, that makes U untouchable

@beckyandhollee: I lacked confidence because I didn’t feel competent. Also worked in a cut-throat environment that was the wrong fit for me.

@taxgirl: That law wasn’t like it is on TV. I was neither as skinny or as well dressed as Ally McBeal.

Believe it or not, I had met only 1 lawyer in real life before going to law school…

@jaynejuvan: I learned victory would not come easy when a plaintiff’s lawyer refused to return repeated calls in a case we took pro bono…

We elevated the intensity ever so slightly by filing 14 counterclaims. She called us back – pronto! Empowering! MAGICAL, really!

@jayshep: Creating a successful career path from scratch that didn’t follow the conventional BigLaw model w/o someone to show me how

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12. What honestly is the impact of having children on career progression? Are women the only ones to sacrifice? How can this change?

@beckyandhollee: Women make more sacrifices. We off-ramp and take detours. Re-entry plan is key. We talk re: this in our book & ABA J Column!

@taxgirl: Having kids def affects your career in the law. I was asked in my first 2 interviews if I was getting married and having kids.

Interestingly, though, folks tend to be more understanding of “mom time” than “dad time.” Just ask @jcerb

But I don’t think of it as a “sacrifice” – it’s not kids OR legal career. It’s about finding ways to make both work.

@jaynejuvan: Life events can impact career progression for all of us, but only if we let them. We can instead choose to stay on course…

Pursue your passion, stay focused on your path, and you’ll find you can excel even during the most difficult of circumstances.

@jayshep: Billable hours mean women must choose b/w kids & career. Working moms most effective at time mgmt. Why punish them?

@lisasolomon: Depends how it’s handled. I’ve seen some evid. of changes (e.g., more dads w/flex hrs or working from home)

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Wow! Thank you so very much @beckyandhollee –H @taxgirl: @lisasolomon @jaynejuvan: and @jayshep: for your candor and insight today!

@lisasolomon: Many thx 2 @22twts, @lancegodard 4 asking me to participate, RTing my responses (Twitter search not indexing my tweets)

@beckyandhollee: My pleasure. My only regret is that the students did not save me any pizza.:) Seriously, it was great to be w/all of you.-H

@jayshep: Big thanks to WVU law students for their pizza-induced help. “Take me home, country roads …”

Special thanks to @lancegodard for being all about the 3 C’s of social media: connecting, contributing & community

@jaynejuvan: Thx 2 all RT @22twts: Wow! Thank you so much @beckyandhollee –H @taxgirl: @lisasolomon @jaynejuvan: and @jayshep: for candor & insight!

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@Hideo_Kato

October 1st, 2009

photoHideo Kato (加藤英男)

Lawyer in Nagoya, Japan

Owner, Hideo Kato Law Office

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Today we’re tweeting with Nagoya, Japan-based lawyer @hideo_kato who also tweets in Japanese as @BengoshiKH

  1. @hideo_kato thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @hideo_kato?
    Apart from his job, 90% of his mind possessed by family and world peace☺, 5% by baseball, 5% by music.
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Bankruptcy of companies and persons, family law and speaking for clients companies in their troubles in general.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    From medium & small-sized companies to ordinary people, mostly around Nagoya.
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  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    I may say it is in a word, “Default”. Broken contracts or promises damage and annoys them financially and psychologically.
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  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That is, “Tell me the whole story” ”Or I can’t give you a best practice.”
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  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    A man 1year older than I, he owns 5~6 companies & his business is expanding every year. He has been my client for ten yrs.
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  7. It’s very satisfying to help clients like that! Why do your clients hire you?
    Yrs ago they hired me just because I was fast. Now some of them from web kindly say they like me and trust me. My pleasure.
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  8. “Trust” is key around the globe…. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Bankruptcy and divorce. They are typical. I wrote a paperback for each subjects (altogether 2 books) 5yrs ago.
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  9. What will be the impact of the new government on the legal and regulatory environment in Japan?
    It’s said they might change their idea on producing 3000 successful examinees every year. But no big change, I suppose.
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  10. Change is hard, especially change like that. How do you market your law practice?
    I have HP, blog and ..Twitter! And I will write some paper backs again. I love ordinary people and small company owners.
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  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    Learning from people I meet, giving what help I can. Great thing is we are living on the earth now at the same moment.
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  12. You blog at kato_hideo.com (http://bit.ly/105R0n). Who is your blog written for? Why should they read it?
    For future clients to let them know abut me, and my clients to encourage them. I like writing about what I think & feel.
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  13. You have 2 Twitter profiles, 1 English & 1 Japanese. Do you post the same tweets or completely different messages? Why?
    Japanese one has the same purpose as my blog. English one has more, I mean to learn about what is happening in overseas.
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from your Web 2.0 activities?
    Focusing on how many cases I get, I say the number of cases I handle from web goes higher than from other routes.
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  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Actually I only can have time before going to bed or at early in the morning. So a half ~1 hour may be.
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  16. Time well spent if building your practice…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    We need to change, we serve clients first. Stop being a “Sensei”=arrogant teacher, and be a coach always with them.
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    May be we are going to trace the history of US lawyers in the past. Specialization, consoliditation of law firm may go fast.
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    If I can keep my experiences and knowledges, I would be a novel writer or statesman. If not, I ‘d be a cook of Japanese food.
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a person who gives clients a small hint or chance to make the history of their companies or to re-build their lives.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I play baseball game for amateur folks or play with 5yrs old daughter. And, Tweet.
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    In an old American movie a guy said, ”Find your boss, or you be a boss yourself.” Believe in you, you can do it.
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  22. Wise words. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Now 3 persons out of 10 pass in the bar exam but 3 times failures makes you expired. A narrow gate! Be strong and get it!

That’s great advice. Thank you so much for staying up late to answer our questions. This was a fabulous twitterview

Thank you so much for spending time for a local Japanese lawyer tweeting. I appreciate Mr. Lance Godard and kind staff.

Thank you all tweep again. Have a nice day. I will keep learning from you.

Thank YOU very much for your time and wise words. It’s exciting to learn about you and Japanese law practice via Twitter!

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