@HyperionLaw

May 31st, 2011

Cynthia Gilbert

Entrepreneurial Patent Attorney

Founder of Hyperion Law

Author of the Hyperion Law Blog

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Today we’re tweeting Boston IP lawyer, passionate technologist, and founder of her own law firm @HyperionLaw

  1. @HyperionLaw, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @HyperionLaw?
    I’m a technologist, early adopter/geek, patent attorney. I passionately do outstanding work for clients I really believe in.
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    It’s a radically different law firm focused on translating complex patent-ese into strategic business advice for tech companies
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I love working w/ emerging tech companies – any company with software tech, eg 2 computers & internet cloud, is right up my alley!
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  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Understanding case law’s impact on software #patents & how to draft claims satisfying legal reqs while remaining useful to business
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  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Patents are a critical tool – or tragic waste of $. Let’s discuss business goals to understand whether you benefit from filing one!
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  6. Interesting. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    A diabetes co had new glucose tools for useful, fun data interaction; it was satisfying to help them go from hard- to soft-ware IP!
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  7. I’ll bet it was. Why do your clients hire you?
    An experienced, personable attorney & unabashed geek w/ solid tech background, I keep us focused on business benefits of IP
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Software #patents for tech companies with some friends-and-family or angel funding. It’s what I love so I hope it remains typical :)
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  9. You spent 5 years in a big firm before starting your own. What led you that decision? Are you meeting your objectives?
    Normal fee & firm structures reduce/kill interaction between experienced attys & clients. I saw a different way. Totally successful!
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  10. That’s great! How are your small / med-sized tech company clients doing in this economy? Is the crisis over for them?
    If you’re cash-constrained, I suspect there’s always a crisis! But these clients are adaptive and smart; they create ways to survive
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  11. What’s the next big frontier of IP law? Who will be most affected by it?
    The biggest battle is always over growing fees. A new biz trying to preserve IP options will find it harder to afford key advice.
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  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    “I help companies protect their world-changing technology via strategic use of IP. And run a radically different law firm to do so.”
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  13. Nice. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    2008. I wanted to continue developing relationships w/ favorite clients. Now I also want to get to know others working w/ tech cos
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  14. You blog at Hyperion Law (http://bit.ly/mMg8lK). Who do your write it for? Why should they read it?
    Anyone who has to deal w/ US software #patents: CxO, GCs, entrepreneurs. I provide useful & jargon-free info, which is hard to find!
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  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Absolutely. One of my clients hired me after reading my posts on Quora; others decide to hire me when they read the blog.
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  16. Congrats on that. Let’s change gears now: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    We *could* tell clients we see their biz realities and will revamp the biz of law to forge even closer ties with them. But will we?
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Cynically, I suspect it will look much the same as it does today! Some going w/ tried & true; some working creatively w/clients.
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    An astrophysicist or an anthropologist. Or maybe an anthropologist who studies humanity’s obsession with the universe ;)
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  19. :-) How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone who lived and loved passionately and joyfully, gave back to the community, and was fun to be around.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I read fascinating non-fiction, check out new restaurants with my friends, travel the world with my husband, and spoil our two cats.
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Take the time to do some serious soul searching about what you really want and gather info on how to get it. Don’t despair!
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  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Talk to many lawyers, get as much work experience in a law practice as you possibly can; work hard to understand the path you’re on

Great advice. Thank you very much for today’s interview. I enjoyed getting to know you and your practice

Thank you! I really enjoyed the discussion!

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@ljanstis

May 24th, 2011

Laurie Anstis

Employment Law and Business Immigration Lawyer

Associate at Boyes Turner

Author of the legal blog Work/Life/Law

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Today we’re tweeting UK employment and business immigration lawyer, blogger, podcaster and budding drummer @ljanstis

  1. @ljanstis, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @ljanstis?
    Thanks Lance. I’m mainly an employment and business immigration lawyer in the @btemplaw group of @boyesturner
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    @boyesturner is mid-sized commercial firm based in Reading, and won Best Regional Firm in last year’s British Legal Awards
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mainly mid- to large-sized employers
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  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Last year: legal (and expected) for employers to force employees to retire at 65. This year: it’s not. That’s a big deal.
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  5. Indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Usually how to spell my name. It doesn’t bother me, but I get asked it all the time.
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  6. First time I’ve seen that answer…. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I acted for employee in one of the first UK whistleblowing claims. He won >£250k, one of largest ever awards in those days
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  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m experienced, practical, committed to their work, and I don’t pick fights for the sake of it.
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  8. A good trait to have… What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Women claiming equal pay with men (or the other way round). Not typical, but big over the past few years
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  9. Does the need for UK biz immigration practice get smaller as EU gets bigger? How is your practice evolving due to that?
    No. New member states typically have some kind of restriction on movement of workers for a transitional period …
    … plenty to advise on there. Current gov policy is anti-biz imm and makes it difficult to get good results for clients.
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  10. You spent time in-house before moving into private practice. What does that experience mean for your clients today?
    It means I know that legal problems can often be overcome by looking at the practical issues.
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  11. Interesting perspective. What’s it like sitting on the other side of the bench, as a part-time employment tribunal judge?
    It’s harder work than it sometimes looks to a tribunal lawyer – but good to be able to see both sides of the story.
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  12. I image that’s helpful to you and your clients. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    “Employment lawyer” is usually enough.
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  13. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    Just over a year ago – on the basis of trying it and seeing what happens. That’s still the plan for now.
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  14. You blog (Work/Life/Law: http://bit.ly/dQZzMJ) and host podcasts for your firm. Who are they for? Why should they care?
    Blog – for anyone interested in emp law. They should care because there are some interesting posts (and comments) there …
    … Podcasts – for busy HR managers. They shld care b/c its a free & easy way to keep up to date, and sometimes entertaining
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  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Referrals – yes. Engagements – occasionally.
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  16. Nice that it’s paying off. Let’s switch gears: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    How to respond to competition from people or organisations who don’t hold traditional legal qualifications.
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Most legal services delivered by large organisations, with a few smaller firms in specialised niches.
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    *long pause* I’d sort of like to be a cook/chef – but only on certain defined conditions that bear no relation to reality
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  19. :-) How do you want to be remembered?
    Aaaaaargh – I have no idea *immediately books long retreat to find purpose of life*
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Not much at the moment, but in quieter times I grow fruit and veg and play guitar
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Keep your knowledge and skills up to date by working on voluntary/pro bono basis (e.g. http://www.thefru.org.uk/)
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  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Make sure you have more than just a legal qualification to offer potential employers – e.g. biz experience, language skills

Great advice. Thanks very much for tweeting w/me today. I enjoyed learning about you and your practice

Thanks Lance – its been fun.

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