February 1st, 2011

Erin Russell

Atlanta and Chicago-based personal injury lawyer

Owner, The Russell Group

Author of law and foodie blog LegallyErin

Today we’re tweeting w/Atlanta & Chicago-based attorney @legallyerin: litigator, counselor, foodie, amateur photographer, gadget nut

  1. @Legallyerin, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @Legallyerin?
    I’m Erin Russell. I’m a litigator, foodie and amateur photog. I’m licensed to practice in both Illinois and Georgia.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I recently launched The Russell Group. We focus on wrongful death, injury and business litigation & women’s legal issues.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    We represent people who have been injured, their families, business owners and victims of domestic & sexual violence.
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    My injury clients need fair compensation. My business clients need to protect their assets while they grow their dreams.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That our relationship is based on trust and on truth. Both are essential to a successful attorney-client relationship.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I recently handled a wrongful death case involving a man killed in a trucking accident on a snowy road. Really tragic.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    They hire me because they trust and like me. They know I am smart and qualified, and that I really care about their cases.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    My injury practice is growing, but my corporate practice is, too. So many smart people are starting new businesses now.
    Typical, hard to say. But entrepreneurship is definitely on the rise.
  9. That’s a positive sign…. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of being a personal injury lawyer?
    Gathering, quantifying and assigning $ value to my clients’ suffering. It is the nature of the practice, but it is hard.
  10. Can only imagine. You represent attorneys on ethics / malpractice. What led you to that work? Have you always done it?
    I love representing fellow attorneys, and advising them on ethics issues. Been doing it 3 or so years. …
    I started doing legal mal defense work in Atlanta. Now advise on social media, advertising, conflicts, all areas of ethics.
    I love representing fellow attorneys and am very active on ethics matters.
  11. Tell us about the women’s legal services you offer. What do they entail? Who are your clients? How do you help them?
    I’m excited about the women’s legal services part of my practice. It is really two-fold. First, I represent female entrepreneurs…
    and assist them in starting their businesses. Second, I represent women who are victims of domestic or sexual violence…
    on a pro bono, flat fee or sliding fee basis depending on income. Finances should not dictate whether a woman can be safe.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tell them I do litigation and talk about my corporate practice. People like talking about their dreams and goals…
    The best way to engage them is to talk about what they need, and what I can do to help them get it. It’s a lot of fun.
  13. Indeed. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    About a year ago. My objectives were then as they are now: To engage people, know them, and learn about them. …
    Marketing rules for attorneys are tough. More so in some states than others. Social media presents challenges. …
    But if you show a genuine interest in people, and form real relationships, social and business opportunities follow.
  14. Makes sense. You blog at Legally Erin (http://bit.ly/blQqsG). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    Lawyers, people who like law, people who are curious about law. It’s no accident that so much of what we see on tv…
    film and on the news relates to law. It captivates people. It’s important and affects real people every day. …
    I write to inform, entertain and engage people. To create dialogue. They should read my blog because it is fun, accurate…
    heartfelt and engaging. I love suggestions and comments. It’s a way to open discussion and share.
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Absolutely. The Web is how people come together now. I get calls, messages on Twitter and Facebook and emails often…
    from people I meet online asking for legal advice, seeking representation, or seeking to refer someone to me. …
    It’s all about the relationships, and about letting people discover that you’re sincerely concerned about their issues.
  16. Congrats on that. Let’s switch gears: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Economics, to be sure. The billable hour is no longer king. People are attracted to alternative menus of services …
    as well as alternative payment arrangements. Flat fee representation is becoming very popular, and is antithetical …
    to the old-school law firm model of practice. People are becoming more savvy consumers of legal services, and that’s good…
    In order to really thrive, firms will need to keep that in mind going forward, & continue to innovate delivery of services.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    It will be leaner, more flexible. Though traditional practice will continue, there will be more room for creativity. …
    There will be a much greater presence of virtual practices, and more accessibility for the average person.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    That’s so hard to say. I love being a lawyer and feel so proud and privileged to be able to do so. If I couldn’t do this…
    maybe I’d try to be a chef or a photographer. But this is what I truly love, and wouldn’t want to do anything else.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I hope to be remembered as someone who did good, who gave freely, had good intentions, and forgave easily. …
    I hope I eased someone’s suffering, helped someone prosper, and made a difference in someone’s life.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I try to create something beautiful. It balances the stresses of litigation. I cook. I take photographs. …
    I undertake art projects of varying degrees of difficulty to varying degrees of success. I read voraciously.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Remain visible in the profession. Volunteer. Be active in bar association events. Align yourself with other lawyers. …
    Also, try to remain positive, at least publicly. Things will and do turn around, and you have more control than you think.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Work hard. You’re going to love doing this if you do it right. Get real experience. Clerk. Volunteer. Ask questions. …
    Also, be sure to examine many practice areas so you end up engaged in one you truly enjoy. And always be honest & ethical.

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

Thank you for having me! I enjoyed it very much! Cheers!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


June 11th, 2009

business_20contractsThomas L. McLain

Corporate, M&A and International Attorney

Shareholder at Chorey, Taylor & Feil

Secretary and Executive Committee member of the Board of Directors of the World Chamber of Commerce

Today we’re pleased to be tweeting with Atlanta-based international corporate / M&A lawyer @tommclain

  1. @tommclain Thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @tommclain?
    Recovering litigator now focused on helping businesses succeed. In August, I will complete my 25th year of practice.
  2. Congratulations. Tell us about your law practice.
    Basically 3 overlapping areas – corporate/M&A/international. In better times, I’d have at least 1 M&A deal going always.
    My international is mostly “inbound” and is deals + corporate. As for corporate, I essentially act as a general counsel.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Typically, businesses and business owners from startups to middle market. I’ve also done work for Fortune 500 companies.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    “Show me the money.” Ok not a legal issue, but tight credit drives all sorts of decisions which evolve into legal issues.
  5. That makes sense. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Besides that I actually expect to get paid for my work??
    I’m”all-in.” I often dream up ideas for your business. The more successful you are, the more you can afford to pay me ;)
  6. That too makes a lot of sense. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Picking 1 is hard. Most would point to a Fortune 500 client or their largest deal but to me significance=problem complexity.
    A JV between a Canadian and Mexican company that took about 12 months to negotiate or combining 5 smaller business into 1.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Dashing good looks? I think they discover I will invest time to understand their business & combine legal&legal common sense
  8. How has the economic crisis affected your clients’ ability to do business?
    Startups can’t find $. Established businesses can’t find growth capital. Customers and suppliers failing. How depressing!
  9. Are you seeing a greater demand for alternative billing arrangements as the crisis continues?
    Not really. But we froze our ’09 hourly rates at ’08 levels. + when I joined my firm a year ago, I trimmed my rates by 10%.
    Still, most clients want a budget amount which more or less becomes a flat fee. Proper communication is quite critical.
  10. What’s the international M&A scene going to look like over the coming 12 months?
    I Keep predicting the same thing & eventually will be right. More acquisitions of US business by foreign business/investors.
  11. So we’ll see an increasing number of foreign companies buying US assets, like the Chinese group that is buying Hummer?
    Exactly (China now wants Volvo). But I think lots of things will be attractive. Real estate, manufacturing, you name it.
  12. How do you market your practice?
    Traditional ways 1st:Face2face contact,Community work (World Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee).Then Internet “stuff.”
  13. Why did you decide to join Twitter? Has it proven to be a valuable effort?
    I just kept reading/hearing “you have to.” I haven’t been here 2 months yet, so its too early to tell, but i think it will.
  14. Perhaps you can come back in a few months and update us. Beyond Twitter, what other Web 2.0 tools do you use? Why?
    Sure. I’m invested in LinkedIn & run a corporate lawyer group there, thanks to @barrettdavid. Nothing else has traction.
    I tend to lump all Internet “stuff” together So blogging, SEO for our website. Avvo Lawyers.com LawLink.com RSS as resource
    The point of it all is to let people learn about your skills, experience and personality.
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities had any affect on referrals or client engagements?
    LinkedIn is beginning to get traction. Its hard to track: I’ve seen convergence between Web 2.0 and traditional efforts.
  16. Indeed. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    My goal is meal with a client or referral source every day, but its probably 3 a week + other direct personal interactions.
    Throw in my work at the World Chamber Commerce and the “Internet stuff” and its at least 10-15 hrs a week.
  17. With client work makes for busy a week…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Communicating why lawyers are valuable at whatever billing basis is used. How do you value the lawsuit not filed?
  18. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    You’re kidding! A continuing tension between commoditizing legal services & recognizing a personal touch is often required.
  19. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d love to be an entrepreneur, but I know too much about risk and am way to risk adverse. Maybe a cowboy!
  20. I ask everyone this question, but know that for you it has a particular relevance: how do you want to be remembered?
    I admit thinking about this lately due to recent events. A great husband/father/friend. A guy who visibly lived his faith.
    I guess I should explain the “particular relevance”. On 5/28 I found I have a brain tumor. Had a biopsy last Thursday.
    Anybody know any good jokes about lawyers with holes in their head?
  21. See you’re keeping sense of humor…know many tweeps have you in their thoughts. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Keeping up with 3 daughters (21,19&16) & 1 wife. Living, laughing & loving. Working in yard, being in the woods, praying.
  22. That brings us to our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    DON’T DO IT!! Just kidding.
    Don’t succumb to the pressure – it’s a great time to learn how to balance normal life with the demands of law practice.

This was a great twitterview, thank you so much. Know that 22 Tweets followers everywhere are sending you positive vibes

Cool. Thanks, I enjoyed it. And, it didn’t hurt one bit! Now I guess I have to go back to work.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter