@dgvelaw

January 26th, 2010

cimg9282Danielle G. Van Ess

DGVE Law, LLC

Adoption, Estate Planning, Residential Real Estate Attorney

Author of Massachusetts Wills, Trusts, and Estates

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Today we’re tweeting with @dgvelaw, a Massachusetts lawyer who helps people add to, protect, and move their families

  1. @dgvelaw thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @dgvelaw?
    Thanks for having me – very excited about this!
    Deadhead feminist Atty-Mama (5, 3 & 5 mos), fun wife, big sister, DD, loyal friend, clients’ trusted family advisor for life
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    DGVE law helps pp add to, protect, & move their families: adoption, estate planning, residential real estate
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    most DGVE law clients are in their 30s-40s, own homes in the Greater Boston area & are parents of minor children
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  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    legally protecting their kids- naming guardians & ensuring kids’ $ is protected until they’re mature enough to receive it
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  5. Important matters indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    we date b/f we get engaged- I tell prospective clients a little about me, ask about them, then we can see if rel. would work
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  6. I like that analogy. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I’ve had the privilege of becoming the trusted family advisor to an extended family, helping each of them…
    Also very excited about clients who started w/me for estate planning & are now in the process of adopting!
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  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m genuine, friendly, deeply empathize w/my clients & want to help them in as easy a way possible- they can sense that immediately
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, Guardians for Kids, Living Wills) though Real Estate & Adoption have been picking up lately
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  9. What’s the most common mistake people make with respect to estate planning. How can they fix it?
    Avoid/delay. No certainty but death/taxes but never know when disability/death will come, what cost, or how old kids’ll be…
    always better to plan calmly than react in crisis. DIY estate planning = close second- that’ll be big news going forward.
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  10. Heard it here first…. You charge flat fees for your work. How long have you done that? How has it changed your practice?
    did some hrly billing as I was taught when I first went solo. It was awful for me & the clients. I decided never again &…
    everyone’s happier this way. It fosters more & better communication & engenders more good will all around.
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  11. That makes sense. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help pp add to (adopt), protect (plan for disability & death), & move (homes) their families in empowering, friendly way.
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  12. You blog at MA Wills, Trusts, and Estates (http://bit.ly/SXyj1) What objectives drive your blog? Are you meeting them?
    I aim to educate & motivate in easy nonthreatening way to plan NOW/spare families later & believe I’m meeting those goals.
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  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    FB Fan Page where I regularly interact w/others & also post items related to real estate & adoption. http://bit.ly/4ArcgA
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve had a # of clients via FB & met wonderful colleagues nationwide & found great referral partners locally via Twitter…
    referred to me or Googling, Clients often say they checked out my website & blog & “liked my vibe”
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  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I enjoy connecting w/pp on deeper level, find my friendships on & offline personal & professional in origin lead to the best…
    word-of-mouth “brand enhancement.”Also 1 day/wk on my biz & mkting plans, learning what they didn’t teach in law school!
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  16. It seems to be working well. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Mistrust of lawyers nothing new, but fear of being “taken” financially exacerbated right now. Disconnect I’m seeing w/…
    clients who feel can’t afford all legal services need, so gamble instead trying DIY approach or w/less comprehensive plan…
    don’t like it but I get it. Something’s better than nothing, so I do what I can to make high quality affordable & accessible
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    not clairvoyant but I’d love to see more respect for less conventional e.g. dedicated home offices & flex hrs enabling more…
    atty-parents to be happier being w/their kids & continuing to serve pp as we worked so hard for so long to learn to do.
    & lots more DIY legal attempts – yikes!
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Spanish Literature Prof. at forward-thinking U. teaching a series of classes from El Quijote! Makes me happy just thinking about it!
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    positive role model/loving, safe harbor for daughters; still-fun-to-hang-out-with wife & friend; clients’ trusted advisor for life
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    5yo 3yo 5mo 2 cats house & DH, but we make time for great TV (recorded to watch when we can), friends & family. I don’t sleep much.
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  21. I can imagine…. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    As Mama Odie tells Princess Tiana u gotta dig down deep/figure out what u REALLY want, then work hard to make THAT happen.
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  22. Wise words. Our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Make sure heart’s really in it/know why or don’t go. Do what’s always worked for U. Avoid fearful dramatic competition like plague.

Thank you for a very interesting interview; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice very much.

It was my pleasure – thanks so much!

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@richardjaffe

January 14th, 2010

me-and-the-kidsRichard S. Jaffe

Partner, Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Volunteer Paramedic

Firefighter

Author of Medic Interrupted blog

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Today we’re tweeting with @richardjaffe, who is “living life as a paramedic beneath the epidermis of an attorney”

  1. @richardjaffe thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @richardjaffe?
    Tx for having me Lance. A father, son, medic, firefighter, attorney, and soulful insomniac.
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I rep injured accident victims, and doctors against ins carriers who try to deceive them.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    healthcare providers- doctors, chiros, dentists, etc. and accident victims- anyone cheated by insurance industry.
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  4. What’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    the insurance industry threat of bending the law to kill healthcare
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  5. That’s an issue of importance to all of us…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I make sure they know I will tell them what they need to know, which is not necessarily what they want to hear.
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  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Pro-bono millions 4 extended family whose sole income was the salary of a young woman who died in 9/11. we cried alot.
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  7. Wow. That must have been a great moment. Why do your clients hire you?
    my grasp of medical nuances as both art and business , my notions of sympathy, corporate accountability n responsibility
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    insurance companies, especially no fault carriers, R refusing 2 pay doctors more aggressively lately.
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  9. It must be extremely challenging to balance an active legal career and work as a volunteer paramedic How do you do it?
    lots of coffee, no sleep, heartfelt ‘thank yous’ from clients, and the adrenaline from my medic calls
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  10. How does your work as a paramedic help you be a better lawyer? Are you a better paramedic because you’re a lawyer too?
    i revive my adversaries after I anhiliate them in court. Lol
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  11. Job security…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tell them I speak softly and carry a big stick in one hand, and trauma shears in the other.
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  12. You blog at Medic Interrupted (http://bit.ly/514b9r). Who is the blog for? Why should they read it?
    theres some atty, medic and dad in each post, blend of which I hope helps readers contrast life’s ironies with its realities
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  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    avvo, list serves, and linkedin. I also like skype and email w/old hi school classmates. we are a small closely knit bunch
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    after seeing me on the web, clients seem much more decisive in retaining me. they feel good talking about EMS w/me too
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  15. Others have said the same (not the EMS part…) How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I get brand epiphanies randomly. Im always looking and listening for new ideas to incorporate into my practice
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  16. Let’s switch gears a bit: what do you think is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    State Court system inefficiency and court administration red tape, and the govt’s apathy towards both.
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    mostly product of the age of internet- less handshake deals, faster transactions, more international jurisdictional issues
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  18. Maybe we already know the answer to this one? What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Medic or kids summer camp director by day, inventor of Ralph’s Ices flavors by nite. Luv Ralphs! http://bit.ly/51XPA8
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  19. Now I’m hungry for a snack…. How do you want to be remembered?
    An inspirator of connection, compassion and humanity who gave my kids more life opportunities than I ever had
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    family time, EMS, and occasionally I smoke a nice cigar with close friends in a clandestine location
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Learn to speak at least one new language- clients and opportunities will increase exponentially
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  22. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    to quote my talented, esteemed attorney colleague Anthony Collelouori (….)
    “Go ‘cuz U R called 2 the law. Don’t go 2 get rich, or 2 help others, Go ‘cuz it’s vital 2 U! If U do, the rest will come”

That’s valuable advice. Thanks so much for answering our questions today; was great to learn about you & your practice

thanks for the privilege of being your guest. Loved it.

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