@omarharedeye

March 30th, 2011

Omar Ha-Redeye

Student-at-Law

Ontario Bar Association Articling Student Ambassador

Blogger at OmarHa-Redeye.com

Contributor to Slaw and The Lawyers Weekly

Today we’re tweeting w/ Articling Student Ambassador, HazMat respondent, and author of the Blawg Review of the Year @omarharedeye

  1. @omarharedeye, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @omarharedeye?
    Remember the Shaft theme song? I’m a complicated man, and finally resigned myself to this fact. Just trying to have my type of fun.
  2. Well, your bio reads a little like a spy novel, making it hard to know where to start…. What are you currently doing?
    I’m in the last stage of becoming a lawyer in Ontario, Canada. We work under another lawyer in a process called “articling.”
  3. You finish your articles soon, don’t you? What’s next for you? Part of a firm or your own practice?
    No plans for my own practice any time soon. Litigation is highly leveraged, and cost consequences here make group practice prudent.
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years? What type of practice, what type of firm, etc.?
    That really depends on the opportunities. The legal profession here is still hesitant with social media, and I’m extremely visible.
  5. Indeed. You are the Ontario Bar’s “Articling Student Ambassador” for the Toronto Region. What does that role entail?
    Mostly meetings with exec. Advocating student interests. Encouraging participation in the OBA. Meeting lots of interesting people.
  6. You’ve seen how others do it. How well does the CA system stack up in preparing students for “the real world” of law?
    We balance strengths of US and UK systems; previous education, and practical experience. But only practice prepares for practice.
  7. You have a very storied past: nuclear medicine, health admin, corporate comms and PR. Why did you become a lawyer?
    I still do all of those careers in some capacity, even today. Law is just the newest layer in the skills and interests I’m pursuing.
  8. And how will your passions of the past shape your practice of the future?
    It’s the reason I engage in social media, I’m involved in the bar and teach. Life experience taught me to give back and value input.
  9. Nice philosophy. What lessons did you learn doing communications for a provincial cabinet minister?
    Politics and law are intricately related, there’s no escaping it. Any lawyer interested in reform or advocacy must become political.
  10. Tell us about going to South-East Asia after the 2004 tsunami. What did you do there? Where?
    We set up a medical clinic in a small rural area called Panton Labu. Only possible because of diplomatic relationships we developed.
  11. Must have been very satisfying to help that way. How do you describe yourself to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Just Omar. Then find commonalities with them; there’s almost always something. Everyone ends up knowing a slightly different Omar.
  12. You blog, for your site http://bit.ly/f9zjmk and these http://bit.ly/em4ZpG http://bit.ly/8sA3xP. Why do you do it?
    I have a lot to say. It’s fun, and I meet people. And dozens Google my name every day. I have to give them something to talk about.
  13. :-) Congrats on winning Blawg Review of the Year for BR #278 http://bit.ly/g2wput. Will it be your last BR?
    Unlikely. We all need to engage in more online projects that refer to other sites, across jurisdictions. Builds stronger community.
  14. What’s the role of social media for lawyers today? Mktg tool? Relationship tool? Info tool? All of the above? None?
    All of the above. Few lawyers thrive in isolation/obscurity. People, including clients, are online. Let’s join them in a classy way.
  15. But you were “social” before social media (eg, Pres of 3 student clubs). Is online different or just diff channels?
    Exactly. Online activity should continue in person. Continuity is important, & I’ve always been pretty sociable before social media.
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    How effectively can a service-based industry efficiently adapt to a rapidly changing economy without compromising client quality?
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Similar to today, given our resistance to change. But technology is a game changer, allowing firm growth we haven’t seen in decades.
  18. The answer to this one is probably pretty easy, but what would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Probably work on my other half dozen careers. Surprisingly not much different than now, i.e. writing, teaching, pro bono, comm work.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    The guy who figured out how to clone himself. Or work without sleep. The story isn’t over yet, and many memories to come, I hope.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Seems I’m always working these days. Family, friends, like everyone. A few eccentric reading hobbies. Lots of movies for down time.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    No job doesn’t mean you can’t work. Write a book, build a blog, volunteer in community. Stay busy, jobs will come if you’re positive
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Play the long game, starting today. Don’t succumb to negative behaviour. Nice guys do finish first, so keep giving to your peers.

That’s useful advice. Thank you for an interesting interview today; I enjoyed getting to know you better

Thank you, Lance. It was my pleasure.

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@aligeary

March 22nd, 2011

Ali Geary

Anti-fraud, bribery and corruption Litigation Solicitor

Associate at Taylor Wessing

Today we’re tweeting w/ London litigation anti-fraud, bribery and corruption solicitor @aligeary

  1. @aligeary, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @aligeary?
    I’m an Associate in the commercial disputes group at international law firm @TaylorWessing. Author of http://bit.ly/htQe8e
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    my caseload involves white collar crime, fraud, asset tracing, money laundering and corruption as well as tech disputes
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    my firm represent lots of large public and private organisations as well as high net worth individuals
  4. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    in my field the Bribery Act is significant. It is also part of a wider trend of increasing regulation
  5. I want to talk more about the Bribery Act in a bit. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Great. I ask “Is there anything else I should know?” Knowing all the facts is essential to getting the best result
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    A high point so far was recovering £32 million in connection with one of the UK’s largest ever pension scheme frauds
  7. Wow – that’s a lot of money…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Indeed. I think our clients appreciate our frank, tailored and commercially focused advice
  8. Let’s talk about the Bribery Act then. Why is it so important? How does it differ from pre-existing legislation?
    It is a regime change. Most significant is the new strict liability offence for organisations that fail to prevent bribery
  9. How will it affect the business operations of companies active in the UK?
    It will most affect companies not currently required to comply with similar legislation i.e. the FCPA, however…
    all companies will need to reflect on their current policies and internal culture
  10. How big of a problem is fraud, corruption and bribery? How widespread is it?
    a recent survey of FTSE 100 Co.s by KPMG found 39% had conducted at least 1 internal corruption investigation during 2007-9
  11. Finally, is the Bribery Act expected to set the new global standard for fighting fraud and corruption?
    We await publication of the government guidance on the Act. This will be a good indicator of the UK government’s…
    commitment to fighting fraud and corruption globally
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    That I am lawyer and, if they haven’t already backed away, that I work in the field of anti-fraud, bribery and corruption
  13. First part never happens, I’m sure… When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives? Have they changed?
    I joined in March 2009. I spent a long time listening at first and slowly started to engage…
    there’s lots of talk abt the need to engage but I think some undervalue the benefits of listening to clients &contemporaries
  14. Excellent point. What does your firm’s leadership think of your social media presence?
    Thx. It’s v.positive. Our Managing Partner sent an email to the whole firm about @22Twts and this interview this morning.
  15. Nice! No pressure then…. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Absolutely.Next month, I am presenting to the legal team of a large multinational Co- all activated through Web 2.0 activity
  16. Congratulations on that. Let’s switch gears now: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Well,the Legal Services Act will change things a lot.I know this is something my firm is investigating http://bit.ly/hN5iMs
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Technology will play a much greater role. I see this as great opportunity….
    lawyers will be involved in increasingly creative and interesting work at the earlier stages of their careers
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be pointing out the emergency exits on a 747. I wanted to be an air stewardess as a child. They all looked so glamorous
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good lawyer who was passionate about her practice and a good bet when looking for a nice cup of tea and a chat
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    As well as the usual, trying new things. Recent projects include cupcake baking, falconry and tai chi – not at the same time
  21. Phew. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    I think it’s important to take stock of who you already know in the industry & how they or their contacts might assist
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    I would say -make sure you end up working in an area of law you are passionate about and all your hard work will be worth it

That great advice brings to close a great interview. Thank you so much for tweeting with us today; I enjoyed it very much

Me too. Thank you.

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@LegalBizzle

March 15th, 2011

Legal Bizzle

In-house commercial / contracts lawyer

Author of The Bizzle blog

Relatively ordinary person with a sense of perspective and a social conscience

Today we’re v excited to be tweeting w/ @legalbizzle, in-house commercial & contracts lawyer who’s been “saving your ass since 1999”

  1. @legalbizzle thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @legalbizzle?
    I’m a commercial contracts lawyer who trained and works in-house. I’m probably not as good as I think I am
  2. Can you tell us about your company. What does it do?
    We do outsourced customer contact and back office processing for private and public sectors. Service, sales, collections etc
  3. How do you describe your role at that company?
    I negotiate contracts and provide general advice. I also manage the legal team incl contentious work, reporting to the GC.
  4. Beyond the in-house services you provide, what are your company’s typical legal needs?
    Specialist contract advice (e.g. public procurement) and also regulatory advice, employment and debt litigation
  5. How many outside firms do you generally work with? Is that the right number?
    Two each for commercial work and debt lit, one for employment, and ad hoc for specialist. We don’t send much outside, so yes
  6. Let’s talk about your selection of lawyers. What type of sales / marketing pitch do you respond well to?
    One that recognises our difference from other clients, in terms of the nature of our business and our legal needs
  7. Makes sense…. And what sales talk is guaranteed to send you running? How often do you hear it?
    One that ignores our in-house capability and assumes that we need advice on basic issues. Too often, unfortunately
  8. Does social media enter into the equation when you’re selecting outside counsel? How?
    (1/2) Not historically, but there’s lawyers showing expertise on Twitter that would lead me to them if I had a specific need
    (2/2) We’ve done that recently, based on responses to a question that I tweeted. My boss now thinks I’m a social media guru
  9. What about fee arrangements? Hourly billing, alternative fees, etc: what’s typical for your company?
    We want caps or fixes on transactional work. Firms won’t ditch hourly billing for contentious work – this needs to change
  10. Couldn’t be more clear…. How important are perso relationships in hiring process? Do you hire lawyers you never met?
    Essential for core work (see my blog). For specialist work expertise has more weight but there’s still a personal dimension
  11. What does the Legal Services Act mean for you as a client? Better service? Lower costs? Something else?
    Very little so far. But the nature of our business means that there might be conflicts that stop us instructing some ABSs
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    (1/2) In May 2010. My aim was and is to have fun, but it’s been amazing for news, expertise, support, friends and much more
    (2/2) It has so many facets, why rule any of them out? So I’m happy to let it take me wherever it leads
  13. Great approach…. You blog (http://bit.ly/flEYxg) and tweet anonymously. Why the secrecy? Is it a burden or a relief?
    I prefer anonymity because I’m self-conscious about my writing, so it gives freedom in that sense. I try not to abuse that
  14. But in spite of your anonymity, your writing is often very personal. Is there a line between public & private? Where?
    (1/2) I don’t have much to say about actual law that others can’t say far better, so I blog about my work and my experiences
    (2/2) But there is a balance between being interesting and being responsible. I don’t know if I always get that right
  15. It certainly seems you do. You give out a lot of advice in your blog. Who is it for? Do you know if they’re reading it?
    I write for myself but I appreciate it a lot when people read or share a post. It’s exciting to contribute to a conversation
  16. We’re glad that you do….. What would you say is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    It seems there’s pressure on revenue, from legal aid cuts to ABSs. But the in-house sector is somewhat insulated from these
  17. What are the biggest legal issues facing in-house lawyers & how do they affect their employers’ ability to do business?
    In my work, the rise of coercive procurement practices, which leads to an imbalance of risk between buyers and sellers
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I studied philosophy at university, so if I wasn’t a lawyer I’d probably be sitting at home in my pants watching daytime TV
  19. :-) How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good lawyer, and someone who made a contribution to the success of the business that employs me. And as a good husband
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Sorry, I don’t understand the question… But sometimes I’m allowed out to see bands and spend time with my amazing wife
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Look in-house – we may hire more as we look to cut our external spend. But you need to show the right skills
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Read my blog? More seriously, knowing the law is standard, so develop your non-legal skills to differentiate yourself

Solid advice and yes, your blog is very instructive re real life as a lawyer. Thanks so much for the great interview!

Much thanks to @22twts and @LanceGodard for great interview – really enjoyed doing that.

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