@tsolignani

April 26th, 2011

Tiziano Solignani

Family Law Attorney

Blogger

Author of Guida alla separazione e al divorzio

Today we’re tweeting w/ @tsolignani: Italian lawyer, writer, blogger, dad, geek, Apple user

  1. @Tsolignani, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @Tsolignani?
    I was born in 1969 in Modena, Italy, where I currently live and work. I like to innovate the practice of law whenever I can
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    A small multipractice firm, with around 12 atty’s, located in the sorroundings of Modena, powered by Apple and Ubuntu pc’s
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Several. I like family law, but also traditional estate cases and generally matters where new technology is involved.
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Well, I guess you cannot find a single one. When hiring a lawyer, people would just like to know whether or not their …
    candidate could be able to handle their issues, which are always different, as a matter of fact …
    we don’t care so much about specialization: trying to be clever, brilliant and able to work together are better skills l
  5. Interesting perspective. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Again, people just wanna know 3 things: whether you can handle their issue, how much time and money it’ll takes…
    So, this I what I usually tell them, then they have to accept my fee and other conditions and eventually we start…
    Whenever I can, most of the time, I do flat fees, so that people can exactly know the cost in advance. They like it.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    The italian code of conduct forbid to mention people you worked for as a lawyer. So that I cannot tell names. But one …
    of the most interesting experiences I had was being expert witness before the Crown Court, in the UK, into an extradition…
    case requested by the italian government, where the court denied the extradition as for my advice
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    It’s up to them and it’s always different. Someone wants a «young» firm, someone else a lawyer one can email or DM …
    on twitter. Some others are Italian but live abroad and need a lawyer in the country. There really are many cases.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    I guess family law and, yes, it’s typical, but, again, beware family could embrace every branch of the law: think …
    f.i. to a divorcing couple who owns a corporation whose main assets are intellectual goods; it’s a divorce, but you …
    surely would need to work with an IP lawyer.
  9. Indeed. How has personal (family) law in Italy changed over past ten years? What do those changes mean for your clients?
    Not as much as the society did and there would be really many things to change. Other european countries, such as Spain…
    and France did the innovation we missed, f.i. in marriages, allowing homosexual couples, but there would be much more
  10. And how is the legal profession evolving in Italy? Do you see similar challenges as we do in the US (eg fixed fees)?
    Unfortunately, the legal profession in Italy is not evolving at all: rather it is getting worse day by day, due to …
    several reasons, such as judiciary system inefficiency, huge numbers of practitioners and many others …
    fixed fees: a law was enforced about that and some laywers like me do fixed fees, but the most still do not
  11. Change is hard everywhere…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I know many lawyers create an «audio logo» to spend in such cases, but I prefer not to mention my work while partying …
    when someone insists, I talk about what I do, which is not necessarily the legal profession, but maybe a book or article
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    3 years ago. When trying some new «net toy», my aim is just to have fun and satisfy my curiosity. But I have to say …
    twitter later did the trick for me. I use it everyday, have fun and many a good clients found me over there
  13. You blog at http://bit.ly/dUDVl1. Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    For the common people, not for other lawyers. They can read to understand some basic notion and principles of the law
  14. You mentioned clients finding you on Twitter: can you quantify the new engagements you’ve got from Web 2.0?
    Well, it is far for getting near my core business but it is promising and worth keep working on it
  15. Tell us about “Guide to Separation & Divorce.” It’s a difficult subject. How do you make it less so for your clients?
    If there’s something we lawyers exists for, if any, is explaining the law to common people in an effective way. We have …
    change our language and literally translate in simpler terms what we are used to think in a more complicated form, but …
    I guess it is worth it. A lawyer is a good one only if he or she can communicate with everyone and turn simple what is not
  16. Very well put. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The fab 5? 1 get hired 2 do the work 3 get paid 4 try to save some money from bills and taxes 5 still keep smiling
  17. :-) What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    We Italians live in an idle country where, when something changes, often gets worse. I have no idea, I just know I have …
    2 children and I hope neither of them gets to be a lawyer, there are many more funny and interesting things to do, as yet
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I adore writing and sometimes I think about trying some short stories or even a novel, but I do not think I ever will :-)
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a man with whom you could talk to and get some answer, some advice, some suggestion or even comprehension. A man who …
    helped someone, sometimes.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    As of today, mostly playing with my children. But I like «creative idling» too and «practice» whenever I can
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    First off: choose whether you still want to practice or not. There are many other interesting things to do and where you …
    you can earn the same or even more money. If you decide to stay a lawyer, then prepare to do much more the marketing side
  22. And our final question of the interview: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Try to get the best from the school experience and, once out, choose very carefully the career, maybe trying with stages

Very good advice, for both groups. Thank you for tweeting with us today; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice

I have learned so much too. Thank you for interviewing me. Have a nice day.

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@mksinghlaw

April 12th, 2011

Madhu Singh

Seattle Small Business and Start-up Attorney

Owner, MK Singh Law Office

Legal Blogger

Today we’re tweeting with Seattle small business / start-up / entrepreneur lawyer @mksinghlaw

  1. @mksinghlaw thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @mksinghlaw?
    I’m an entrepreneur stuck in the stereotype of service professionals…
    MK Singh is out there just like any other solopreneur trying to grow and learn from others.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    the practice is about relationships. Relationships is about doing more than just legal work…
    We offer educational seminars, invite clients to networking events, make introductions, and even suggest ideas for their business.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Entrepreneurs, creative professionals, small to medium size businesses, and start ups.
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Intellectual Property – do they have it? and how do they protect it?
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I don’t believe in billing for the initial time we spend getting to know each other so ask questions or email me later.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    That’s a tough one. I’ve represented a variety of clients from the window cleaner to the next group buying concept…
    right now i’m enjoying helping a client with her new yoga studio. I guess they are all significant to me in one way or another.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I think its because they feel comfortable with me. I think of myself as an entrepreneur so we have something in common right away…
    I always make time to get to know the person and their business so that I can refer business or suggest resources…
    The best compliment I’ve received: ‘it doesn’t feel like i’m working with an attorney.’
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Business formation. Yes its typical. People are constantly innovating and i’m thrilled to be part of the momentum…
    I can’t tell you how many of my clients are microsoft, boeing, amazon, etc. employees by day and entrepreneurs by night.
  9. Hmmm…. How are your small business / start-up clients doing in today’s economy? Are things improving in Seattle?
    I think they are doing quite well. They are finding a need or a problem and striving to solve it…
    I feel like Seattle is a great place to be a start up. There are endless resources and the vibe is just incredible. Just today…
  10. How do the legal needs of your small business and start-up clients differ from those of other companies?
    Legal needs for startups and small businesses are more focused on governance, contracts and intellectual property…
    while companies tend to have more employment, non-compete and policy concerns
    Most of the work is done fixed fee or on retainer. It makes it easier to budget when you know what your costs are going to be..
  11. It looks like you offer a number of fixed-fee options. Is all of your work done on that basis? Why?
    I’m fairly flexible and its very important to me that legal costs don’t get in the way of building your business.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I’m a small business and social media attorney. I work with those who who want to work with a knowledgeable innovative attorney…
    offering a new perspective and take on the legal profession.
  13. You write a blog, at http://bit.ly/i9LVaf. Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    The blog is for people thinking of starting their own business. I strive to provide practical information in lieu…
    of reviews of recent case law. I get suggestions from clients and the community so its tailored for them.
  14. You’re also active on Quora. Has that been an effective marketing channel for you? Doesn’t it carry additional risks?
    Not as much as I would like. I think quora is bigger in California just based on some of the questions on there…
    Quora has done a good job of mitigating the risks by offering lawyers an option to automatically add a legal disclaimer.
  15. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Quite a bit! Its been extremely useful in building relationships and getting found…
    People check more than just your website these days and…
    if you want to attract the clients you want to work with then you need to make yourself visible I try to accomplish that via web 2.0
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears here: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Legal outsourcing. Is it being used? is it effective? why aren’t client costs lower as a result of it? Lots of debate in this area.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Probably a lot of outsourcing which will hopefully lead to more innovation in the profession.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was 12 so I haven’t thought about much else…
    I think I would work on some of my other ideas: foodtruck, bags, shared space, phone app, or maybe go to bollywood and try my luck!
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone you could truly count on and who you knew was doing their best for you. And as an active member of the community!
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Exploring Seattle. I only moved here 2 years ago from KS so the whole hiking, camping, biking thing is still relatively new for me
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Network with lawyers who practice in the area you want to be in. Network in communities you would like to work with..
    I also recommend seeking out contract work and volunteering in the community and with the local bar association.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    As long as you work hard and make the most of the opportunities available you will do great and you won’t have as much debt!

Thank you! I really enjoyed this tweet-erview (we need a better word for this).

Thank YOU very much for tweeting with me today. I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice.

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