@humanracehorses

February 23rd, 2010

Harold Goldner

The Law Office of Harold M. Goldner

Author, HumanRaceHorses blog

Second Oboe in the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra

Today we’re tweeting with employment lawyer @humanracehorses, who may well be the first 22 Tweets interviewee to play the oboe

  1. @humanracehorses thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @humanracehorses?
    I solve workplace issues for employees who have been treated unfairly & for employers looking to improve their workplace.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Mix of employment discrimination claims & defense work; human resources; w/a smattering of PI and estate work here & there.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Big mix on employee side; on employer side, clients tend to be businesses where the bookkeeper is still the “HR director”
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    People spend about half their waking hours at work; if there are going to be conflicts, they’re likely to be on the job.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    If you hire me, you get me, not a lower level associate. I am much easier to reach by email (or Twitter!) than by phone.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Settled 2 cases alleging race, gender and retaliation against an airline. Came very close trial on the 2nd case.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I ask the “Harry Potter” question at the very first consultation. “If I were a wizard, what could I do for you” (cont’d.)
    I make my focus getting what the client wants; not what I might want if I in their shoes. It’s all about the client.
  8. Indeed. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Retaliation claims are big now. E/ees are aware of their rights & more likely to complain about discrimination.  (cont’d.)
    Also handling several non-competes where departing employees looking to be freed up to find better positions.
  9. How has the economic crisis changed the relationship between employers and employees? Are the changes permanent?
    For now employers have upper hand; employees are desperate to keep jobs even under bad conditions. Benefits more important. .
  10. What’s the next big battleground of discrimination in the workplace? How will it be resolved?
    1) Gender identify/affinity; acceptance of LGBT issues. 2) More anti-retaliation and whistleblowing laws.  (cont’d.)
    3) Genetic information. 4) Leave policies. As baby boomers age, more expansive family leave protection will be needed.
  11. Looks like conflicts to continue a while… How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I solve employment & workplace problems, or as I like to say “We take the heartache out of HR”.
  12. You blog at Human Racehorses (http://bit.ly/cYQlbm). What are your blogging objectives? Are you meeting them?
    Much of my work comes from other lawyers; I think (at least I hope) the blog helps raise my “brand awareness.”  (cont’d.)
    I try to focus on the quality of my blog posts rather than the frequency. I hope that’s not a mistake. It shouldn’t be.
  13. Agreed. Besides your blog and Twitter, do you use other Web 2.0 tools to market your practice? Which ones?
    I answer lots of questions on Avvo (http://is.gd/90y5A) & “My Employment Lawyer” (http://is.gd/90ygi). I’m on LinkedIn too.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Neither LinkedIn nor Facebook generate any business (I don’t use FB that way); Avvo has generated several paying clients.
  15. Congrats for that! How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Not enough. I try to blog more often. I’d like to do a podcast. But I try not to ‘waste’ my tweets.
  16. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    You can’t be a worker bee without clients any more. Without a clientele, you are soon to be or are already unemployed.
  17. Interesting perspective. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    1) Expanded use of referral networks for solo/small firms; 2) Diminished use of billable hour  (cont’d.)
    3) More virtual versus in person clients. 4) More of a national or regional practice than archaic state-based model.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Playing in an orchestra or band (I play alto sax & piano, too). Writing; composing. Maybe studying/teaching Shakespeare.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    My role model is George Bailey of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I’d like to be remembered as somebody who helped others.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Listening or playing music; playing tennis; walking or hiking. Reading (at least when I’m on vacation). Watching soccer.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    a niche or expertise and be really good at it. Find clients you can help. Everything else will follow. Avoid mediocrity.
    Last answer, I mean FIND a niche…..  (thank Twhirl for the unwanted edit.)
  22. And our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Be sure it’s what you *really* want to do. Expect to find fulfillment outside of law practice – it’s a jungle out there.

That’s good advice. Thank you for the twitterview: I enjoyed it very much.

Likewise; thanks for the opportunity to chat. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your future “Twitterview.”

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@beej777

February 11th, 2010

Jon Bloor

Corporate solicitor, Lees Solicitors LLP

Social media enthusiast

Author of Peninsulawyer

Today we’re tweeting with corporate solicitor, social media enthusiast & the 1st 22 Tweets interviewee from the Wirral, UK

  1. @beej777 thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @beej777?
    My pleasure…Corporate lawyer, husband & father, Apple geek, real ale fan & outdoors enthusiast (not necc. in that order)
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I help my clients buy, sell and invest in businesses and companies and advise them on company law and commercial contracts.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I act for a wide range of business clients from sole traders to listed companies, but mainly Wirral and Merseyside based
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Managing tension between a seller (who wants a clean break) and a buyer (who wants seller to underwrite their legal risk)
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    the exact scope of the work I will do and what it will cost them. Sounds obvious, but many solicitors don’t.
  6. That certainly makes sense. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    To me they are all significant – for the clients I represent their deal is usually a huge (or once in a lifetime) event
  7. Good point…. Why do your clients hire you?
    According to their feedback because I am “personable, trustworthy and cost effective” & give “professional, creative” advice
  8. You spent several years at a top global firm before joining a small regional firm. What led you to make that change?
    At @LeesLLP we focus on <£5m transactions so my clients are owner managers, not acquisitions directors. It’s more rewarding…
    … and it is easier as a smaller firm to embrace social media & web 2.0. The big firms over here frankly don’t understand it.
  9. Interesting. How is the economy affecting your clients? Are you seeing any signs of recovery?
    Instructions are up, but lack of credit from banks is stifling transaction volumes and forcing more creative deal structures
  10. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Web 2.0 st/ups (Wirral = silicon peninsula?!) and businesses sold 2 management instd of trade buyer. V diff fr 24 months ago
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I usually say that I am a corporate solicitor. Most people don’t know what I mean and we move on to something more exciting!
  12. Another good point…. You blog at Peninsulawyer (http://bit.ly/cbqPp). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    Hopefully not just lawyers! For inside view of how social media & tech are changing legal practice (& my sparkling prose!)
  13. Besides Twitter and your blogs, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use?
    LinkedIn, Facebook, FourSquare, StumbleUpon and Delicious mainly. Can’t see Google Buzz making the list at the moment!
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    We have gained new clients from Twitter and LinkedIn, but the biggest benefit is in relationships, authority and reputation
  15. Indeed. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    At least an hour, but much of it slots into spare moments throughout the day and evening. More than that today!
  16. And we greatly appreciate that! What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    in UK, a perfect storm:- recession, 2012 deregulation under LSA (http://bit.ly/bzHg2X (expand)) and enterprise 2.0 / legal tech
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    To answer that I will (loosely) paraphrase Bill Gates:- …
    in 10 yrs the way solicitors work now will be obsolete. Only question is whether we make it obsolete or if someone else will
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I nearly became a soil scientist b4 I chose law, but if money was no object ski bum in winter, liveaboard sailor in summer!
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Not necessarily for my legal career or as first Wirral solicitor on Twitter! Hopefully as a good father
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Try and spend time with Leo (our little boy), run & sail when I can (but promised my wife no marathons this year!)
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Focus on relationships w/ clients and other lawyers – when the market improves those networks will be critical
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    You have to call where the profession will be in 10 years and how you will fit. Focus on this as much as your law books.

Very valuable advice. Thanks very much for tweeting with me today.

thank you – it’s been great fun. First interview I have done with a beer in one hand!

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@paulhajek

February 9th, 2010

Paul Hajek

Solicitor of the Senior Court of England and Wales

Principal, Clutton Cox Solicitors

Blogger on Conveyancing and the Housing Market, Wills and Probate

Today we’re tweeting with @PaulHajek, Solicitor of the Senior Court of England and Wales and prolific legal blogger

  1. @paulhajek thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @paulhajek?
    A Croatian father, a Belfast Catholic mother, and now a sole practitioner I have been an oppressed minority virtually all my life
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Clutton Cox is a traditional non contentious high street practice with 3 solicitors with emphasis on residential property.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Your average man and woman in the street, and a few company clients
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    In Conveyancing, our legal system from time immorial(1189) is robust enough for clients not worry about too many legal issues
  5. Yeah, guess 800+ years of precedent could do that… What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Don’t worry about a thing. Some even take this advice
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    From my sporting background, some Olympic athletes and international rugby stars
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Reputation and repeat business and referral from realtors/estate agents. And increasingly from the internet
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Property or Conveyancing always has and always will be our main focus
  9. How has the economic crisis affected your clients? Have you seen any signs of improvement in the UK?
    Job loss and mortgage rationing are main culprits. Slight improvement but still uncertainty over strength of recovery
  10. You bill all your work on a fixed-fee basis. Is that common in the UK? How do UK clients react to fixed fees?
    In Conveyancing and Wills yes, rare in Probate work. My experience clients much prefer it. Total peace of mind and guaranteed
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Property Lawyer, Home Information Pack Provider and Legal Services Marketer, Internet Marketing Evangelist. Nice Bloke
  12. You host ten different legal blogs on your website (http://bit.ly/drlVFK). Why so many? Who are they written for?
    Whatever takes my fancy. All are property based with Wills and Probate. Written to help and inform clients and potential new clients
  13. Besides Twitter and your blogs, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use?
    I do not think my demographic is Facebook, but I remain open minded. Have dabbled in LinkedIn. Do a lot of article marketing
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I am just beginning to get benefits of internet marketing. My client income from the web alone this year should be around $100,000
  15. Wow, that’s fantastic! Congrats. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    70% development with 30% fee earning. I have 2 other solicitors in the practice. I research and prepare my blogs in the evenings
  16. Sounds like the right mix. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Without doubt Deregulation in 2012, allowing non legal entrants into the legal services market so called “TescoLaw”
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    A few big national and regional brands, with many more sole practitioners than now,after the fallout in2012 and onwards
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I love legal marketing. My company ActionMove, + new company internet marketing for solicitors as a JV with marketer @boydbutler
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Cor Blimey , he was good lawyer. What was his name again?
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    With my wife,2 daughters, Sports,TV(Mad Men, 24) Music. My favs are Spurs, BathRugby ,Chicago Bears and The Who (pre Superbowl!)
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Blog and tweet, better than CV and you will get found. Very few solicitors with social media skills, create your niche.
  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    If lucky enough to get training contract great, if not, use law degree to open other doors. There is so much more to choose from now

That’s great advice. Thanks very much for the interview today; I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice.

and thank you, as my Floridian cousin would say it’s been a blast!. Now who ‘s winning the football?

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@rushnigut

February 5th, 2010

Rush C. Nigut

Iowa Business Lawyer

Shareholder, Brick Gentry P.C.

Author of Rush on Business

Today we’re tweeting with Iowa business, franchising and employment lawyer @rushnigut

  1. @rushnigut thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @rushnigut?
    Thanks for the opportunity. My son says I am a “lovable, sporty guy, that can’t cook.” That’s a direct quote.
  2. Hmmm. Tell us about your law practice.
    I’m a shareholder with Brick Gentry, P.C., a 25 person law firm in West Des Moines Iowa. I’m primarily a business lawyer.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I represent a wide range of business clients as outside general counsel and handle business litigation cases.
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Employment claims and lawsuits are the number one issue faced by most of my business clients.
  5. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I represent Lloyds London in defending a $100 million claim to pay for the clean up of old manufactured gas plants in Iowa.
  6. Significant indeed…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I am not going to bill you for each and every phone call. If you have a problem, call me. Clients can’t be afraid to call.
  7. Smart policy. Why do your clients hire you?
    I hope they recognize I am passionate about going above and beyond to provide value and obtain excellent results.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Currently business litigation is taking up most of my time. Not typical but may be this way for a while.
  9. What major regulatory changes can your clients expect from the Obama administration over the next three years?
    I am hopeful his recent $30 billion small business loan proposal spurs employment and growth with business clients.
  10. How has the economic crisis affected your clients’ ability to do business? How are they adapting to survive?
    Many business clients are really struggling to obtain credit and funding. They cut costs at every corner. It’s rough.
  11. Let’s talk about your marketing efforts. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    It’s better to be interested than to be interesting. I try to focus the conversation on the person I am talking with.
  12. You blog at Rush on Business (http://bit.ly/9U5YNy). What are your blogging objectives? Are you meeting them?
    I provide info about business legal issues in an easy to understand format. I want to improve the image of lawyers. It’s working.
  13. How are your Web 2.0 activities perceived by your firm’s leadership? Are there others in your firm as active as you?
    My firm is incredibly supportive. My success has helped. Others aren’t as active as me but a couple are blogging routinely.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    It’s been amazing! Too many referrals to count over the past 3-4 years. The blog has helped to elevate my reputation.
  15. Congrats for that. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Recently not as much due to the demands of certain cases. But I usually try to spend an hour or so each day.
  16. Sounds like you’re getting real ROI for it. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Accounting firms beating law firms to the punch. Business lawyers need to develop methods to serve clients more effectively.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lawyers from nimble boutique firms will have the most success. Intellectual property law will continue to explode.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’m looking to take Tony LaRussa’s job if he doesn’t win the World Series so there’s still a chance I’ll be a MLB manager.
  19. Good luck with that! How do you want to be remembered?
    That I was a positive role model for my children, loved my wife and gave it my all in my endeavors.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I spend time with my wife and kids. I coach baseball and football. We’re home bodies on the weekends with no games.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Think creatively. A law degree is useful in many ways besides practicing law. Explore options outside a law practice.
  22. And our last question for you today — what advice do you have for people going to law school now?
    Consider your reasons for going to law school. Is it to make lots of money? You might be sorely disappointed upon graduation.

Wise advice…. Thanks very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice.

Thank you very much for the interview today. I enjoyed it! Keep up your great work.

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@ksuzan

February 2nd, 2010

suzankKenneth D. Suzan

Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP

Trademark, Copyright and Internet Attorney

Social Media Blogger

Today we’re tweeting with trademark, copyright and internet, social media and new media law attorney @ksuzan

  1. @ksuzan thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @ksuzan?
    I am an explorer and an intellectual property attorney and help companies and brands protect their names worldwide.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I protect brands from all angles. Trademarks, copyrights, domain names, social media and all IP matters non-patent.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Large companies, start-ups, individuals – all seeking to protect, defend, license, and develop their IP portfolios.
  4. and what would you say is the single most important legal issue facing those clients?
    Acquiring and maintaining their exclusive rights in brand names, logos, slogans, and other brand indicia in the USA and worldwide.
  5. What do you say to every new client before you start working for them?
    I advise them of the process of obtaining IP protection including the estimated fees and costs for obtaining the protection.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I’ve protected a famous children’s dinosaur and his friends from infringement and dilution. The exhibits were memorable.
  7. Hmmm. I wonder which dinosaur that could have been…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Primarily to protect their IP; whether it be a new brand name, social media campaign or artistic work needing copyright protection.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    We have been filing many new marks; there are new products in the pipeline and it is important to file ITU trademark applications
  9. You’ve written on legal strategies in the age of social media. What do IP rights holders need to worry about most?
    Social media has the potential to make or break a brand; brand owners need to be proactive by using and monitoring these new tools
  10. How then can companies find the right balance between the risks of active social media engagement and the rewards it brings?
    Experiment wisely with multiple tools; Check your ROI on a monthly basis and view it in chart form; it is an evolving landscape
  11. What are your own social media strategy and objectives? How well are you meeting your goals?
    To tweet and post useful content on a regular basis. I also enjoy expanding my network of professionals throughout the world…
    I am meeting my goals. I have established connections with people and have developed valuable writing and speaking opportunities.
  12. How are your Web 2.0 activities perceived by your firm’s leadership? Are there others in your firm as active as you?
    That remains under review for the time being. However, I continue to tweet and have integrated Web 2.0 tools into my practice…
    Others in my Firm are embracing LinkedIn and Facebook, but I am probably the most active with Web 2.0 tools.
  13. If your clients are active in that space…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Think about the aisles in stores. There’s a trademark lawyer behind every brand on the shelf. Trademarks are part of life.
  14. A lotta lawyers…. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Many lawyers indeed!… Web 2.0 has yielded numerous requests and potential engagements from artists and brand holders
  15. That’s great to hear. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    My fiancee would say too much! — About 1 hour a day; from posting new content to reading and listening to the content of others.
  16. Sounds like it is time well spent…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Proper mentoring of the next generation of lawyers. Law school can only do so much for the newly minted lawyers.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lawyers will meet clients in virtual spaces and we will have lots of case law where Web 2.0 evidence is deemed the “smoking gun”.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    A few things come to mind – TV newscaster, journalist or a teacher.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    A great leader, a trusted advisor and a loyal friend to many.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I enjoy travel, music, the arts, and reading. My next big trip is to Athens and the Greek Islands. I’m a photographer too.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Use Web 2.0 tools to make critical connections and use the time to coordinate personal goals and aspirations with reality.
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Think about ways to help others by serving your community. Our institutions need great thinkers!

That’s good advice. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts and perspective with me today.

Lance, it has been a pleasure. Many thanks for this opportunity.

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