October 1st, 2009

photoHideo Kato (加藤英男)

Lawyer in Nagoya, Japan

Owner, Hideo Kato Law Office

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.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Bankruptcy of companies and persons, family law and speaking for clients companies in their troubles in general.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    From medium & small-sized companies to ordinary people, mostly around Nagoya.
  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.
  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.”
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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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