@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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@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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@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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@legallyerin

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!

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@RachRodgersEsq

January 11th, 2011

Rachel Rodgers

Owner, Rachel Rodgers Law Office

Author, My Lawyer’s Name is Rachel legal blog and Adventures of a Gen Y Solo Practitioner at SPU

Founder, Gen Y J.D.

Today we’re tweeting with Gen Y attorney @RachRodgersEsq, founder of Gen Y J.D. and The Cashflow’s “Entrepreneur of the Week”

  1. @RachRodgersEsq thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @RachRodgersEsq?
    I’m a biracial New Yorker living in Cali, biz lawyer to GenY entrepreneurs, caffeine addict, traveler, dreamer, blogger, etc
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I have a business law practice dedicated to GenY entrepreneurs. Also have an Online Law Office that I am developing @ the mo
  3. Exactly what type of clients do you represent?
    Most of my clients are twentysomethings w/ businesses/non-profits in a whole range of industries incl tech, film, agro, etc.
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Not sure if its “legal” but ignorance. They get themselves into trouble trying to DIY their legal services. They need access
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That I’m always available to answer their Q’s & concerns and that my goal is to protect their interests so their biz is successful.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Helped a GenY’er buy her 1st biz. Seller was trying to screw her. I made sure she didn’t get screwed & still got the deal done.
  7. Congratulations to both of you. Why do your clients hire you?
    They hire me to help them make their dreams come tru. From forming a biz to resolving disputes, I’m on their team. Its pretty sweet!
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    New trend is Disputes w/ vendors or clients. Mainly b/c initial deal was done without a lawyer or proper contract.
  9. Your law firm is designed for Gen Y biz owners and entrepreneurs. How does it differ from traditional firms?
    Flat fees, online law office, free consultations, great customer service & me. I’m young like my clients so its not intimidating.
  10. And how do the legal needs of Gen Y entrepreneurs differ from that of other clients?
    Well, they need instant access to their lawyer & different levels of service to fit their varied stages of business & income
  11. Makes sense. Why did you decide on flat fees for your legal work? How is that working out for you and your clients?
    I chose flat fees b/c tracking billable hours sucks for me & not being able to control legal costs sucks for clients.
    Its a win-win! Everyone is happy!
  12. Win-wins are always good…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Exactly! I help GenY start and manage their own businesses. And I write a blog to inspire them as well.
  13. Let’s talk about your blog (http://bit.ly/ehc5Zl) & site for Gen Y lawyers (genyjd.com). What drives that activity?
    I love to write, love to help ppl & it lets clients get to know me;
    GenYJD came about b/c many Gen Y lawyers were contacting me about how I started my practice.
    Also, that link was wrong for my blog. Here’s the right link: http://bit.ly/hFFxZ0. I’m in the process of moving it. Sorry!
  14. Useful info on both sites. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I joined twitter to follow @carolynelefant & @scartierliebel so I could learn how to start my own practice;
    Now I share resources & learn a ton from twitterville. Its an awesome little community that I love interacting with everyday
  15. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Most of my clients find me after reading articles I wrote on sites like @Under30CEO & @the_cashflow. And also my own blog;
    I’ve met strategic business partners on Twitter & FB. And its how I got a column on Solo Practice University.
    Social media and Web 2.0 activities offer an amazing ROI.
  16. Sounds like a successful effort…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Access to legal services and overpriced law schools.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Flat fees only and all law firms offering services online if I have anything to do with it. Less expensive law schools, too.
    And hopefully no silly restrictions on lawyers use of social media. ;)
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d find some other way to help people live their best life. Its my calling. :)
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone who helped others and left the world better than she found it. Oh, and rich. I want to be remembered as rich, too. ;)
  20. I wouldn’t mind that either :-) What do you do when you’re not working?
    I read voraciously, sell things on Craigslist (for fun!), travel, cook & cheer on the Jets in the playoffs (woo hoo!).
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Be an entrepreneur! Don’t be all “woe is me” Take control of ur life & recognize that you have the ability to make a living.
  22. And finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Ignore the rankings! Get the best grades possible & accept the fact that you may have to start your own practice to be a lawyer.

Solid advice for both groups. Thanks very much for tweeting with me; I enjoyed learning about you / your practice.

The pleasure was all mine! Thanks so much for creating ! Great way for us lawyers to learn and connect! :)

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@mirriam71

November 23rd, 2010

Mirriam Seddiq

Criminal Defense and Immigration Lawyer

Founder, MSZ Law

Author of Not Guilty law blog

Pro Bono Associate at Afghans for Civil Society

Mother of maniacal twin boys

Today we’re tweeting w/ criminal defense attorney, mom of maniacal twin boys, former Ass’t Attorney General and Ass’t DA @Mirriam71

  1. @Mirriam71, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Mirriam71?
    I’m a mom, lawyer, wife. I have a blog called notguiltynoway. Just coming back after a hiatus at home with the twins
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I’m a solo practitioner w/ an office in Takoma Park, MD. Opened in May of this year. So far, so good.
  3. Congratulations! What type of clients do you represent?
    immigration and criminal defense, and frequently both at the same time. I toyed with gp, but I know what I’m good at and this is it.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Freedom. They want to stay in U.S., not go to jail or have liberty impeded. Is it a legal issue? I don’t know.
  5. Critical issue either way…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Google or their bff’s cousin isn’t their lawyer, I am. Their case is unique. They have to trust me and not the internet.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Drug client. Went into drug court, came out the other side. Got invite to 40th bday, invite said “he’s 40 because of you”
  7. Wow. That’s powerful. Why do your clients hire you?
    not bc of my website! Maybe bc I’m honest? I’m trying to figure that out so I can add it to my website. : )
  8. Tell us about Afghans for Civil Society. What do they do? What do you do for them? Why?
    they do charitable work in Afghanistan. Dad is in Kabul so I help w/getting medical supplies to the hosp where he works.
  9. You spent several years as an Assistant DA before joining a criminal defense firm? What led you to make that change?
    when I realized justice isn’t really blind. I was incredibly naive. 9/11 changed that for me. And, I’m much better at this.
  10. What are the biggest challenges facing criminal defense lawyers? How do you respond to them, day in and day out?
    people don’t get what we do. We can give them the right answers, but its hard to explain how we can do it.
    also, the CDL bar is divided and bc of that, the govt is able to get away with a lot of shit.
  11. Wish I had 23 Tweets; would love to hear more…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I tell them I’m a CDL and imm lawyer. They say “wow, that’s cool” I say “yeah, it really is” I tell them I fight the Man.
  12. You blog at Not Guilty (http://bit.ly/9V5Mjb). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    I write for myself & for @ScottGreenfield. & for folks who think this stuff isn’t their problem. Read it bc it’s awesome.
  13. I agree 100%. Your blog posts are often very personal. Where do you draw the line between your public and private life?
    in 2004 when I started I was anon & had 4 readers. It was never intended as mktg. Now I have to think more about that line.
    the infertility posts are very personal. But they are searched a lot. I leave them up bc it gives people hope. Stay tuned!
  14. Why did you decide to become active on Twitter? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?
    @MarkWBennett told me I’d find like minded people. I thought it was stupid & a waste of time. Twitter! Ha! I was wrong.
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any referrals or client engagements?
    I don’t really understand web 2.0 but I’ve gotten referrals from folks I’ve initially ‘met’ online. Not twitter though.
  16. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    We still get a bad rap. Too many lawyers still doing bad work. It needs to stop. We need to regulate ourselves better.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    If you’d told me 3 yrs ago it would be like this now I would’ve called you a liar, so I have no idea what 10 yrs will bring
    I hope we go back to having real offices though. I’m old fashioned like that.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    go to culinary school. Or a professional break dancer. A breakdancing chef? There’s nothing else I’d rather do, honestly.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    as someone who doesn’t suck, who did good work and who gave a shit. That’s not a lot to ask, right?
  20. Not at all. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I run, chase my kids around, listen to records (the vinyl kind) plan vacations I never go on and hang out w/friends
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    volunteer, get experience. Catholic charities always needs help. Don’t fall into the contract atty trap. It’s a dead end.
  22. And the final question of our interview: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    If you don’t want to practice law, don’t go. It’s hard work. Don’t do it half assed.

Thanks so much for this great interview. I really enjoyed tweeting with you and learning about you and your practice

thank you! It was pretty fun actually.

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