Director and Shareholder, Dunlap Codding
Author of Phosita intellectual property law blog
Former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Spina Bifida Association of America
Today we’re tweeting with @douglassorocco, Oklahoma City IP attorney by day, crusading do-gooder by night
- @douglassorocco thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @douglassorocco?
I’m a mashup of tech geek, chemist, patent atty, photog, woodworker, husband and father. Also passionate about volunteerism.
- Don’t think any interviewees have described themselves as “mashups” before…. Tell us about your law practice.
It’s always interesting – I work with the most creative, eccentric, innovative and passionate people. My day is rarely dull.
- What type of clients do you represent?
My clients are concentrated at opposite ends of the spectrum – either very large legacy companies or start ups…
All are typically looking to disrupt status quo – either with new technologies, fresh innovations or wicked cool ideas.
- Interesting. And what’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
Predictability and no surprises – law is never predictable and that is true in IP and tech law more than anywhere. Constant change…
My goal is to be as solid as possible – no surprise bills, no surprise deadlines, nothing silly that would make life harder.
- Am sure they appreciate that. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
“It’s a partnership” and “How can I make you a hero?” – 2 things that convey my respect for what they do and my ultimate goal.
- Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
I represent @pictometryintl – the challenge of keeping up with fast paced technology and being a shepherd of their tech and brand.
- Sorry, distracted looking at @pictometryintl website…. Cool stuff. Why do your clients hire you?
I give a damn and take respons. If I say it – I do it & keep my word. I am a real person with a life outside law. Approachable.
- What’s the next big frontier of IP law? Who will be most affected by it?
Social media (what else?) – int’l enforcement. Virtual innovation. How does a constitutional principle evolve for Internet era?
- What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
Laying groundwork for end of recession – pinpoint focus on innovation and protecting it. Market differentiation…
Not historically “typical” – but in this econ, a laser focus on deriving value from the innovation and & IP is big key component.
- Tell us about your work as Chair of the Spina Bifida Association of America. What was your greatest accomplishment?
As an indiv born with spina bifida – truly rewarding to see young people growing up with hope for a better, more inclusive, life…
From a policy perspective – increasing the knowledge of folic acid in decreasing incidence of spina bifida in U.S. & abroad…
And making sure – every – woman of childbearing age knows to take that folic acid prior to conceiving.
- Kudos for your efforts. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
I help protect reputations and creativity. I work with inventors to facilitate the transition from white board to marketplace.
- When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
I believe it was in 2008 – although my tweets were sparse. Wanted to engage in the convo. Now – basically have same goal …
…to engage and converse with people I would not otherwise come into contact with. My own global “brain trust”.
- Makes sense. You blog at Phosita (http://bit.ly/f6Oe (expand)). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
Started 1/2004 – it is the “People” mag of IP info. Goal was to have fun – info, simple IP explanations, and snark. =)
- What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
Significant – i.e., meeting people, developing long term mutual friendships, and a referral network of people I trust and trust me…
Same as with a local “face 2 face” network – but everyone is spread around world. #ignitelaw talk about it http://bit.ly/aSdJvT (expand)
- How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
~ 15% – a lot of support to our young professionals to do it – e.g., @emilyecampbell – supporting @igniteokc, @swokc etc.
- Time well spent…. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
Pressure on “big firms” from smaller, regional firms – e.g., we can compete with coastal firms even though we are in OKC …
okc’s low cost of living equals lower costs and our “real people” culture makes us enjoyable to work with…
We do things big firms can’t b/c of their rigid structure. Our clients feel like we live across street and have “skin in the game”
- What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
Different! =) Boutique firms and solo attorneys will be the envy of the profession – efficient , decisive counseling – no memos!
- What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
Something in the arts –an architect or photographer. Maybe a cabinet maker etc. Useful or practical wares. =)
- How do you want to be remembered?
I cared and left world with more than I took. I loved and was loved. I had a lot of fun and I had the biggest mancave in world…
Finally – that I wore out my body and was on the last bit of energy when I waved goodbye!
- What do you do when you’re not working?
Sleep! I travel a lot (60%) – so, I enjoy my home time – reading, wrestling with toddler son, and a beer with my wife on our porch.
- What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
Do the unthinkable – if “is is always done this way” do it differently and promote the hell out of it…
Clients are looking for the “wow” – be your own boss. Read folks like @nipper, @jmattbuchanan, @matthoman, @ipstrategist…
They have struck out on different paths and created a place for themselves in the world. They provide value by being different.
- And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
Read a business book! Nothing will be easy – and someone will do what you do or want to do for less and in a better way…
If you treat law like any other business (innovate, client/customer service, good product, delight) you will succeed & be useful. =)
Great advice. Thanks very much for tweeting with me; I enjoyed interviewing you very much.Print This Post Filed under Twitterviews | Tags: Blawger, IP, Oklahoma City | Comment (1)