@AKunkel_GPLaw

October 26th, 2010

Anne Kunkel

Commercial real estate, agriculture and transactional lawyer

Partner, Givens Pursley LLP

Board Member, Sustainable Futures

Today we’re tweeting w/ Idaho RE lawyer, foodie & winie, & Mountain States Super Lawyers “Rising Star in real estate”

  1. @AKunkel_GPLaw, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @AKunkel_GPLaw?
    Second year partner at a mid-size full service firm, in Boise, Idaho, married to a State Appellate PD, 3 cats, 1 dog.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Commercial real estate, ag law and biz/corp transactions, lending, with a good measure of liquor licensing thrown in
  3. Everything is better with a good measure of liquor licensing…. What type of clients do you represent?
    Entrepreneurs, banks, restaurateurs, business folks, farmers, you name it, no one kind of client, peeps who want to do deals
  4. That’s a diverse group. What is the single most important legal issue affecting them?
    Lack of available financing. Deals there, pple want to them, but finding $ is impossible, multifamily sector is strong tho
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    It may seem expensive but it’s a lot cheaper to do the deal right first than litigate about it later. Sorry litigator tweeps
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    BoDo, mixed use prjct w/ enviro, bond, reg, city development participation, finance elements. gr8 exp 4 then baby lawyer
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    being dealmaker instead of dealbreaker. Clients don’t want lawyers killing deals, think outside the box to get things done
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    REO properties, smaller one off transactions, business restructuring. No, practice was 80% finance before Gr8 Recession
  9. You touched on this briefly: how is the economic crisis affecting your clients? Are you seeing any signs of recovery?
    Lack of financing stopped deals. Yes, creative financing helping deals 2 get some traction. Non RE biz and HC pretty strong
  10. You’re on the Board of Sustainable Futures (http://bit.ly/bmYue4). How does that experience make you a better lawyer?
    Important to realize its not all about making $, but helping people. It humbles you, puts even the bad times in perspective
  11. How is real estate law evolving in response to the growing demand for green building and sustainability?
    lot of uncertainty b/c of differing standards. Hinders decision making, a great time for RE attys to counsel and advise.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I am a “dirt/business lawyer” with a niche specialty in liquor, liquor licenses that is.
  13. How do you generally market your practice? Does social media play a big part in your marketing efforts?
    Good wrk, word of mouth, prof org m-ships/r-ships, community involvement. Still getting handle on how 2 best use FB & Twtr
  14. How long have you been active on Twitter? Has your Twitter strategy changed over that time?
    bit over a yr. Use more actively for info; thought sharing, communication, connection with community, no longer on sidelines
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    some based on website 411, but rly allows me 2 keep in touch w peers leading 2 referrals. Relationships bring clients
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears here: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Maintaining quality standards in a super fast communication world. Good work still takes time, clients need to understand
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Billable hour will be exception, more flat fees, lifestyle choice will structure practice instead of $ no hard offices
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    independent wealth, no really, I’d love to go to culinary school, or event planning, using management skills I’ve learned
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Prof: a person who gets things done, trustworthy. Personal: the most positive pessimist ever met, more than my job, sincere
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Worry about not working. Seriously, watch a lot of sports (Go UK!), golf (badly), volunteer, garden, search out delish food
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Its just $, don’t get lost in the stress, maintain r/ships, pple survived worse economy. Need to follow own advice at times
  22. Finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Think of JD outside of the trad’l practice. JDs open lots of doors, not just law & Econ will get better, always does

Thank you so much, Anne, for your good advice and a great interview. I enjoyed learning about you and your practice

Thanks. This was good fun.

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@hampshirelawyer

October 19th, 2010

Gabor Kovacs

UK Litigation / Disputes Lawyer

Author of Hampshire Lawyer: Seeing the Wood for the Trees

Podcaster and Photographer

Today we’re tweeting with Hampshire, UK-based litigation / disputes lawyer, blogger, photographer, and podcaster @HampshireLawyer

  1. @HampshireLawyer, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @HampshireLawyer?
    a 51 year old husband and father who happens to earn his living as a lawyer
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    now in a small country town, mainly representing private clients, soon to move to a small commercial firm in a larger town
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    private individuals and owner-managed businesses
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Private clients – the value of their property, protecting that value, leaving something for their kids …
    … Biz clients – it all boils down to keeping head above water
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    litigation is expensive; consider alternatives; don’t go to Court unless committed to the time hassle expense
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    11 years ago instructed by 3 guys with small co. Engineers with no business sense. Small case but to lose would kill co…
    …8 years later they sold for £m+. I still represent one of them (others retired)
  7. Wow, that’s great. Why do your clients hire you?
    reputation of firm, recommendation to me. I try to cut to the core issues to achieve cost effective outcomes
  8. I’m sure they appreciate that. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    no 1 thing, but sadly a lot of neighbour disputes, boundaries; often caused by car parking space needs. All take, no give
  9. You recently announced a move from a private client practice to a commercial practice. Why the change?
    litigation for private clients is dying on its feet. Process too expensive and risky. Best advice not to go there…
    … So with diminishing workload/fee income I had to look for the work where it is. That means focussing on business clients
  10. Do you think you’re alone in changing your approach? Will access to lawyers eventually be limited to wealthy elite?
    I doubt I’m alone. If I am, there will be some extinct dinosaurs out there. Access to justice is a real issue …
    … I think there needs to be a “simple cases” track with a slimmed down procedure for disclosure etc, 1/2 day trial …
    … Fixed costs awarded to winner. Possibly rough justice, but a product I could sell
  11. Interesting. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I used to say I play sax at Ronnie Scotts (jazz club in London). Until I met someone who did! …
    … Often still flippant, something like fat cat lawyer manqué.
  12. How do you market your law practice? How has it changed over the past five years?
    stop waiting for work to come through door. Work the contacts. Visit clients (esp biz) at their place. I don’t believe …
    … in offering freebies or loss leaders to new clients. Prefer to say meter not running till we agree I can achieve something
  13. You’re very active on Twitter (as @hampshirelawyer and @gaborelectric). What’s your Twitter strategy?
    strategy, moi? If anything, it’s about engaging, being known, profile raising. If a strategy, it’s still being worked out
  14. :-) You’ve got 3 blogs, including one on law (http://bit.ly/9iRKu9). Why do you blog? Why should others visit them?
    Legal blog started as part self-promotion, part to sell blog idea to firm. Rely on others/twitter to spread word…
    … I guess others visit following links with reference to subject matter of post as of interest …
    … music podcast a hobby so visitors have common interest. Ditto photo-blog. 2 other blogs r for me don’t care if no visitors
  15. I’d say they’re worth visiting. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    surprised but yes. Instructions both via twitter (lawyer referral) and anonymous participation in online legal advice forum
  16. Very interesting. Let’s change gears now: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    finding and maintaining the quality work justifying realistic fees; pressures impacting ability to deliver quality service
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    at my level, more smaller niche specialist expert firms. Fewer high street generalists. Black hole areas of no legal service
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    No idea! Law was the one idea for Uni course my parents never talked me out of! Possibly teacher, probably languages?
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    other than for my striking resemblance to Bryan Ferry? As someone who made a difference, someone who cared
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    indie music; photography; garden & enjoy home grown fruit & veg; support parents (dad had bad stroke April); family stuff
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Stay active; keep brain engaged; consider pro-bono type work; blog and tweet; network network network
  22. Last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    not enough just to be a good lawyer (although a given). Understand the business of law. Make, nurture, keep contacts …
    … especially your non lawyer contemporaries: when you are senior they will be too. Do favours; pay it forward

That’s very good advice. Thanks so much for tweeting with us today; enjoyed learning more about you & your practice

You’re welcome, I enjoyed it. It’s a challenge to fit something worth saying into 140 characters! Good evening.

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@jcelaw

October 5th, 2010

John C. Edwards

Wellington, NZ Barrister and Solicitor

Information and Privacy lawyer

District Inspector for Mental Health

Today, we’re tweeting with public law and privacy barrister and solicitor @jcelaw, the first Kiwi lawyer to be featured on 22 Tweets

  1. @jcelaw, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @jcelaw?
    A 44 y.o NZ lawyer with two kids, one cat, one partner, own law firm, – advocate, adviser, educator, commentator
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Its a mix. My main speciality is “Information Law” which is privacy, IP & FOI/RTI, I also do investigations & inquiries
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Whoever pops into my inbox or shows up at the door-Govt agencies, individuals, corporations, charities the lot
  4. A diverse group…. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Doing what they do in a lawful & ethical way that is not going to lose the trust of their clients + getting the best representation
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    How lucky we are to have found each other ;-)
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I once took a class action for 100 psychiatrically abused clients (from the ’70s). They ended up being paid millions
  7. That must have been tremendously satisfying. Why do your clients hire you?
    It was – Specialist knowledge, straight talking, winning smile – also, I can access influence for lobbying
  8. Always good to have an ace in the hole… What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Just now I’m doing lots of work on how to balance privacy against better delivery of govt services – that’s pretty typical
  9. How does one go from information lawyer to District Inspector for Mental Health? Is it a logical progression?
    No not logical, but I like the mix -there but for the grace of God etc. I’m a watchdog, and work with real people in that role …
    It kind of lead on from that class action I was talking about – got me a bit of credibility in that community
  10. You represent both private clients and governmental organizations. Do you find that they have differing objectives?
    Everyone wants their point of view put as powerfully as possible.Here -govt *usually* wants 2 know how 2 do the right thing
  11. What’s at the center of the name suppression debate in New Zealand? What does it mean for NZ online privacy?
    Perceptions of privilege & inequality depending on your side of the tracks-constant tension btwn privacy &accountability…
    plus a blogger’s campaign to breach suppression lead to a rethink of internet regulation
    Some of the proposals are pretty short sighted, and could adversely affect open internet & privacy
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    It depends who I’m talking to – I’m either a champion of the underdog, or a safe pair of hands for your organisation #cynicalIknow
  13. Practical, perhaps. How do you generally market your practice? Does social media play a big part in your marketing strategy?
    Word of (my big) mouth mostly -as for SM- no marketing value yet IMO, but I have used SM for building support for a case…
    marketing value will come & I hope to be ready – that’s what I’m focussing on positioning for it could be huge
  14. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I ws innocent of Twit til early ’09, but wanted to garner sympathy for a client.Now I like to engage, share, inform, connect, amuse
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    I have always kept a fairly active media presence, and web 2.0 is a natural extension of that. More will come I’m sure
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Hmm -tough one -keeping up, remaining credible, enabling, rather than profit draining, working with clients, being creative
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Far less litigation orientation, and more facilitative, enabling advice. Fewer & fewer can afford to litigate
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    If I wasn’t a lawyer I’d probably write a great novel, blog, in other words, be unemployed haha
  19. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I love the outdoors, hanging with my family, with friends, movies, reading, arts, theatre, travel & a nice single malt
  20. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Cut your rate, work pro bono, get involved – its all experience, and good things will come of it, learn to paint,read poems
  21. How do you want to be remembered?
    That’s an easy one – As a great dad
  22. That brings us to our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Pass your exams but keep your perspective, the law is about human interaction, it does not exist separate from people

That’s great advice. Thank you very much for an informative and enjoyable interview!

Thanks @22Twts that was fun – excuse the pomposity – I don’t usually give advice to people at law school, or underemployed lawyers :-)

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