@rossamcmahon

May 25th, 2010

Rossa McMahon

Solicitor, Patrick G. McMahon Solicitors

Author of “A Clatter of the Law

Registered Trade Mark Agent (Ireland) and European Trade Mark and Design Attorney

Today we’re tweeting with @rossamcmahon, a general practice solicitor from West Limerick (and the first Irish lawyer on 22 Tweets)

  1. @rossamcmahon Welcome to 22 Tweets and thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @rossamcmahon?
    A young blogging lawyer who left Biglaw & the city (Dublin) almost one year ago. So far so good!
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    It’s general & covers everything: personal, family, property & business issues. I tend to focus on court & business work.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Local residents, businesses & farmers. Also anyone unlucky enough to be in court for an unpaid parking fine.
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Without doubt, money. The economy has affected everything: whether to buy, to sue, to separate, whether to even “go to law”.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Every situation different but often I’ll say: “I don’t have a magic wand.” This is not a negative: it’s a call for realism.
  6. Certainly makes sense…. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    A gargantuan copyright case; but lately: getting dom.violence order for parent against kid. Small job, v.important 2 client.
  7. Important indeed. Why do your clients hire you?
    I have broad experience of different types of law & different ways of doing a job. I listen & think through the practicals.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Debt. Typical of where Ireland is at right now & a good example of law coming up against reality. http://is.gd/coFOL
  9. You write regularly about privacy law. What are the biggest challenges to personal privacy in today’s wired world?
    Volunteering info online, not thinking how it might be (ab)used in future or how net might change (eg. Facebook policies).
  10. You practiced at a large corporate firm before moving to your current firm. What led to the change?
    Life! I loved law at a big firm, but this practice was set up by my late father. It felt like the right time for a change.
  11. Must have been a big change. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Cliché, but: “I solve problems for people. Or, I try my best.” That’s general practice! It can be a long conversation.
  12. You blog at A Clatter of the Law (http://bit.ly/93jwAw). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    At first, I wrote for myself. I enjoy writing about the law, it affects us all. That’s why people should read my blog!
  13. I enjoyed your Blawg Review. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    Joined 2006, active 2009. No objective. It’s like a water cooler, can be just chat or can be great source of info/debate.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Has produced some leads that just would not have arisen otherwise. Important in helping make a name for yourself these days.
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    All day! But probably average an hour/two every day on specifics (blog, presentations, etc.) Mostly outside office hours.
  16. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Reform. Long overdue & is sleeper issue that will eventually have to be faced up to. Might seem technical, but is important.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    In Ireland: fewer, larger, firms & stronger competition. Huge amount of new law means very difficult to hang out a shingle.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Architecture. Prospect of seeing ideas physically manifested is very attractive. Though could easily be unemployed now!
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a decent individual. Decency is undervalued; I think it’s important.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I have a 12 week old daughter & new house mid-renovation, so it’s all about family when not at work. Busy all day & love it.
  21. Congrats for both! What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Get up to date & share views. There’s a lot of new law, not many legal bloggers. Use time to make a name for yourself.
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Don’t be disheartened by all the bad news. Make sure law is for you, then go for it. With right attitude, you’ll get there.

Thanks for that great advice. I enjoyed tweeting with you today and learning about you and your practice.

Thanks for having me. Good questions & it’s a good exercise for a lawyer to practise giving concise answers!

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@jonathanlea

May 19th, 2010

Jonathan Lea

Business lawyer, adventurer, communicator and relationship builder

Solicitor, Follett Stock Solicitors LLP

Today we’re tweeting with Cornish corporate and commercial lawyer, adventurer, communicator, and relationship-builder @jonathanlea

  1. @jonathanlea thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @jonathanlea?
    An enterprising lawyer based in the UK south western extremity that is Cornwall. Used to work in big law firms in London and Dubai
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    We are Cornwall’s leading law firm for businesses with a new second office in Exeter, Devon (county next door) – rapidly expanding!
  3. Congratulations. What type of clients do you represent?
    SMEs, IT entrepreneurs, family run businesses, start ups, subsids of foreign parents. Increasingly from ‘upcountry’ (non Cornish)
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    With new govt there is lot of talk abt increasing capital gains tax which will start people thinking how to protect their interests
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    To look at my web profile and testimonials + that won’t get billed anything unless they’ve agreed to the work in writing beforehand
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    As a trainee in Dubai I found myself advising largest French oil exploration company on a JV with Saudi state oilfield services co
  7. Now that’s trial by fire…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Bright, take interest in client’s biz, advise not just on law, responsive, don’t over-complicate things, see humorous side of life
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Asset and share sales and investments are still what I do most of, but seen rise in angel investors + also deferred consideration
  9. What’s the mood in the UK? Is capital continuing to flow in spite of the European financial crisis?
    No, clients are still scrapping around for capital, but hopefully with a new government their policies will bring confidence back
  10. We touched on this but what does the recent change in government mean for your clients?
    In the short term, more pain, with public sector cuts and tax rises, but over time consensus is they’ll rebuild UK economy again
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I make people successful (grabs attention!), then say something along the lines that I structure, negotiate and document biz deals
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I registered in Feb 2009, but only really started using it abt 6 months ago. Now use it to learn and network/socialize more widely
  13. What does your firm’s leadership think of your Web 2.0 activity? Was it difficult to get their buy-in?
    They are gaining an interest in the potential. As a small(ish) firm, its easier. We are now going to establish a facebook page!
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I have received client instructions on facebook and have had a few interesting calls and emails that have led from twitter use
  15. Interesting. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Probs average 1-2 hours, but this also inc. planning seminars and attending events etc. Twitter and FB fun for otherwise downtime
  16. Time well spent… Let’s switch gears now: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Globalisation – outsourcing legal work to cheaper labour markets (hopefully gd for Cornwall!) combined with IT use + fee certainty
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Very different! More small firms, hybrid models, outsourcing, diff owners/investors, commoditization, social media, online delivery
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Thought abt journalism, teaching, army and investment banking (in no order), although hope to develop non-law interests in future!
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone who was positive, embraced newness, helped a lot of people, achieved things, had fun and enjoyed an interesting life
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Play tennis and soccer (correct word = football), surf, spend time with family and friends, read, travel off beaten track and tweet!
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Keep busy + network, offer to work on freelance basis, do volunteer work. I don’t necessarily see value in further formal education
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Do your research and fully! Do lots of work experience and make sure you develop your interests and skills widely, not just in law

thanks very much! I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice. Good luck with that Facebook page.

Many thanks to @22twts and @lancegodard for interview – hope is of interest..

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@douglasreiser

May 11th, 2010

Douglas Reiser

Founder, Reiser Legal LLC

Author, The Builders Counsel Blog

LEED Accredited Professional

Today we’re tweeting with LEED AP @douglasreiser, a Washington state construction lawyer and blogger

  1. @douglasreiser thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @douglasreiser?
    So glad to be here today, thank you for having me on…..
    1st a husband, then a worker, idea monger, brewer, sportsman & worst of all – a Cleveland sports fan. these define me from 12 to 12
  2. Well this just might be your year…. Tell us about your law practice.
    a 24 hour shop in my head. i built a remote practice that follows wherever i go. goals = access, comm., efficiency & understanding
    ……and i hope you are right about the Cavs (presumably you didnt mean the Browns or Indians!)
  3. Very interesting. What type of clients do you represent?
    those inundated w. construction concerns. the focus is on the business, their risks & protection. I also rep breweries, my hobby
  4. Nice hobby…. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Risk. businesses dont understand its extent; it comes at all angles, in all they do. I locate those risks and eliminate/reduce them
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That im here when you need me. you can find me 24hrs/7 days a week. i’ll clear my table to help you, because i love the challenge.
  6. Am sure they appreciate. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    significance is in the eye of the beholder. i think its green builders that i help wade through liability. new challenge for all.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    im a person, like everyone. im tangible; im understood. i lived/breathed construction on & off the job. people feel comfort in that
  8. What’s the busiest area of your practice right now? Is that typical?
    public contracting. today’s only fish in the pond 4 builders. i help obtain jobs & preserve rights. its atypical; recent explosion
  9. Tell us about your LEED AP certification. What does it mean? Why is it important to your clients?
    LEED AP isnt a gold key 2 green building; attys should never hide behind it. A step to learning what should be uniform in building
  10. What’s the next big legal battleground in green construction law? How is it expected to play out?
    field is set to determine performance liability + GBCI LEED challenges & the Int. Green Const. Code could spawn work for attorneys
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    im myself. lawyers drink wine – i drink beer (Stout/IPA). Im approachable in that image. sports are the best icebreaker in building
  12. You blog at The Builders Counsel blog (http://bit.ly/aWm9R8). What’s your strategy? How do you decide what to write?
    i heard @kevinokeefe say “listen” is key word in social media. 100% agree. I found the best group of talkers; i listen + add my bit
  13. Indeed. Besides Twitter and your blog, what other Web 2.0 tools do you use to market your practice?
    I have two blogs + @Avvo, @LinkedIn, @legalriver, Plaxo, Justia, @consupo, LawyerLink, Legal Guru, etc. – i try & be everywhere.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    People want an answer. Any atty can say you should consult an attorney/I need to see more. we’re transparent online; people like it
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing and enhancing your brand / marketing your practice?
    way too hard to quantify; its all the time. i try to listen to the online community all day & respond when i have a worthy thought.
  16. Understood. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    progression v. ethical restraint. A lot of attys are afraid to go Web 2.0. They are missing out and i feel its not fair to them.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    trans. tasks by legal biz’s w/o malpractice, billable hr., the office & a suit. Court battles: less formal, less paper & less fight
  18. Interesting perspective. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    your easiest question. own a brewery, create a web of distribution 4 craft brewers around US & fight the 3 tier system. retirement.
  19. What do you do when you’re not working?
    go outdoors w/ my beer writer wife (@beerblotter). travel around the world. check out new buildings in SEA. agonize over CLE sports
  20. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a worker. someone who worked hard to find answers & innovate. dont need my name in gold; dont need a plaque. just happy clients
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    reinvent what you know about law. be innovative. find something you know and advocate for it loudly. people will find your voice.
  22. Our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    dont look back at law, look ahead. At school, find a job/opp that gives you a 1st hand look at practice. go Web 2.0 now! dont wait

good advice, Doug. Thanks very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning more about you / your practice.

Thanks so much for having me on today. Your questions were great!

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@Sobk13

May 5th, 2010

Natasha Phillips

Founder of Divorce Manual, Researching Reform and Pod It Forward

Ichthyomaniac and crocodile lover

Renegade Lawyer

Today we’re tweeting with renegade lawyer @Sobk13, who mediates between order and chaos.

  1. @Sobk13 thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Sobk13?
    A mythical gatekeeper to Divorce Manual.In his spare time he terrorises tweeters & takes his pet Goblin Shark for twitstream swims..
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    It’s legal research & journalism based, working with families, pressure groups & politicians to help create dialog & offer solutions
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mothers and fathers with contact or financial disagreements but ultimately I represent the best interests of the children involved.
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting all of those clients?
    The issues seem interlinked but usually start with a breach of one of the Human Rights Conventions & involve prohibitive legal costs
  5. What do you tell your new clients before you start working for them?
    Well, there are no explicit by-lines; I just ask what it is I can do to assist and then I try to listen, as carefully as I can.
  6. Makes a lot of sense…. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    They’re all significant in their own way; briefs can seem identical at first but all are multi-layered so no 2 cases are the same.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Usually because they’ve lost faith in the legal system and can’t afford to pay more fees; I work pro bono as a McKenzie Friend.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Ongoing dialog with pressure groups & families in the system; it’s not typical but really ought to be standard government practice.
  9. What’s the hardest part about working with parents and children going through divorces?
    Staying focused on the various forms of suffering each party’s experiencing. They’re all relevant & need to be treated with respect.
  10. You work with groups seeking reform in the English Family Justice System. What is that system? Why is reform needed?
    A legal forum 4 family matters like divorce & adoption; it needs reform because our understanding of the human condition has evolved
  11. Interesting notion. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tend 2 reserve those occasions for a little mischief; one evening I might be a Spanish biologist & another, a secret agent for MI5
  12. So perhaps we’ve met and I didn’t know it… When did you join Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    Quite possibly :) & 2009, I think. I’m a Techno Bimbo trying 2 rise to the challenge & learn 2 engage with families on social media.
  13. :-) You blog at Divorce Manual (http://bit.ly/btNeW7) & 2 other sites. What are your blog objectives? Are you meeting them?
    To expose the real problems in the system & to involve lay people & professionals. I really hope the blogs meet these objectives.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’m grateful to the net for providing me with a platform, it’s very good for referrals but word of mouth still pips it to the post.
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I don’t believe in brands; they make me think of sheep & wool..! I prefer to be open about my views & be myself, for better or worse
  16. It seems to be working fine… Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In Family Law, I think it’s about the working legal culture in place and its need to evolve so that it can offer a relevant service.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    To my mind for UK Family Law, a more humane place, with families beginning to trust the system a little more.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Become a mermaid and play in the sea, eating pralines passing sailors threw me or work for UNESCO on matters relating to children.
  19. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I have a lovely son; he is currently learning to Death Roll. When I’m not parenting, I love to swim in pools or ponds.
  20. Congrats. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a scaly little crocodile with mischievous nostrils.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    For UK Family lawyers, it’s a great time to re-invent their practice. There’s a huge demand for ethical, family-friendly services.
  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Hold on to your ideals, let go of fear, practice with compassion. And never underestimate the power of the whoopy cushion.

Thanks for that great advice! And for tweeting with me today–it was a real pleasure learning about you and your practice.

Thank you very much for having me on ; it was lots of fun being interviewed and I wish you all the best :-)

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