@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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@cyberlaw

September 23rd, 2010

Kevin Thompson

International intellectual property attorney

Member, Davis McGrath LLC

Author of legal blog Cyberlaw Central

Five-time host of Blawg Review: #42, #93, #144, #213, #256

Today we’re tweeting with Chicago IP attorney, blogger and passionate proponent of Towel Day @cyberlaw

Thanks for the opportunity, Lance. I do know where my towel is! :)

  1. @cyberlaw thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @cyberlaw?
    I am Kevin Thompson, a member of the firm @davismcgrath in Chicago, IL. I am also a husband, father of 3 boys, and friend.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I practice Internet, copyright, and trademark law. I help many individuals & businesses with international trademarks too.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Our clients range from individuals to small & large businesses. We help them protect their most valuable assets online & off
  4. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those individuals and businesses?
    The hot topic is online defamation, with so many small businesses going online and getting unearned negative reviews.
  5. Imagine that’s a very big problem…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    After “Hello”, I tell them that we work with them to provide the best service in the most cost effective manner possible.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    This year we helped a small local business protect its brand against a competitor, from C&D letter to lawsuit to settlement.
  7. Congrats on a great result! Why do your clients hire you?
    Clients hire me because they trust me, they know I can help them, and that I can do so without breaking the bank.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Trademark applications and clearance of new marks keep me busy. That’s typical, as brands need protecting in any economy.
  9. Indeed…. What’s the next big frontier of IP law? Who will be most affected by it?
    As we expand into more global markets, clients will need protection in more foreign countries as well as the USA. (1/2)
    Small and medium businesses will be most affected when their brands are already taken overseas and can’t be registered. (2/2)
  10. How well do current laws (eg DMCA) protect IP rights? Are additional protections needed? How is the law evolving?
    The DMCA works well for some copyright holders, but for others it is merely protection for an outdated business model. (1/2)
    Better codification of fair use would be appreciated to eliminate some of the judicial gray area. Changes are slow. :) (2/2)
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help individuals and businesses protect their most valuable assets, both online and off.
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I joined Twitter in May of 2008. It took me a while to figure out Twitter, but now I love it. Tweetdeck helps. :) (1/2)
    My objectives are to build relationships and let people know of interesting articles in my field. Same obj. all through (2/2)
  13. You blog at Cyberlaw Central (http://bit.ly/adZ51o). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    I write for those interested in the “big picture” issues of the Internet, how it affects us, and the law. It’s fun to write.
  14. It shows…. You also have a Facebook page for your blog (http://bit.ly/drHasy). What’s your read on Facebook for lawyers?
    Facebook has been an interesting experiment. I try to keep my personal profile separate from the blog’s page. (1/2)
    I like the advice from John Jantsch (@ducttape) – Facebook is one more outpost leading people to the blog. And me. (2/2)
  15. Makes sense…. What specific impact on referrals / client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve received some good referrals from lawyers who needed local counsel, knew me and knew we were cost effective. (1/2)
    I’ve also had happier clients who knew their lawyer was a real person who could strike up a conversation about #DrWho. (2/2)
  16. Again, makes perfect sense… Let’s switch gears: What’s the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The death of old bus. models. Biglaw vs Solo/Small Firms with Alt fee arrangements & providing more cost effective services.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Small firms/solos will dominate due to their ability to be cost effective in providing tremendous service to happier clients
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be involved with computers in some fashion. Btwn undergrad & law school I worked in software sales for @UWDoit #badgers
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Thks 2 #7habits, I know I want to be remembered as a human being who did his best for his family, his clients and the world.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I enjoy Sci Fi TV (#Dr Who, #BSG, #Firefly), reading, and playing with my boys. These days, lots of soccer and scouts. :)
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Hang in there! Remember you’re in a service industry, so serve the clients you have well. It’ll get better. (1/2)
    For those without clients, consider pro bono service to get experience. Try helping the #EFF, for example. (2/2)
  22. Our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    I tell them to read Outliers by @Gladwell, put in 1000 hours and be prepared when opportunity comes. And to have a towel. :)

Yes, I’m convinced that a towel is good to have on hand. Thanks very much for a great interview; I enjoyed it very much!

Thanks, Lance. It was fun! So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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@FLSALawyer

December 8th, 2009

n20206529_30822158_8580Walker Lawrence

Chicago-based Employment lawyer

Associate, Maduff & Maduff, LLC

Today we’re tweeting with labor & employment lawyer @FLSALawyer, who also tweets as @gourmetlawyer

  1. @FLSALawyer thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @FLSALawyer?
    I am a pssionate individual w/ a drive to help people. I love to cook, and learn something new everyday.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Civil rights firm in the emp. sector. We do everything. Inc. contract negotiations 4 execs 2 collective action litigation
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Ranges from 7-figure executives to blue color, on the line, steel manufacturing workers.
  4. That is a broad range of employees. What is the single most important legal issue affecting them?
    Job security & being pd wht they R owed; Some emp. believe it is more cost effective 2 break the law, rather than follow it.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Litigation is a long, hard process. I expect every client to work closely with me to achieve their goals.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    We represent over 750 employees at US Steel in Gary Works seeking unpaid wages. We just defeated SJ. We hope to go national.
  7. Good luck with that. Why do your clients hire you?
    We’re experienced, diverse, friendly, & client goal drive. We adapt & provide affordable options 2 meet needs.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Severance negotiations and non-competes are more active than usual. Unpaid wage actions continue to be a trend as well.
  9. How is the evolution of the workplace changing the legal status of the employee / employer relationship?
    It’s becoming less of a partnership. Emp. R look 2 stretch the boundaries at ee’s expenses. Need 2 work tgthr. (cont) …
    … A happy employee is one that will be much more productive and cost less in the long run.
  10. How do you market your practice?
    Significant online presence, large network of similarly minded attys, and word of mouth
  11. And how do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help employees get paid what the law says they should.
  12. You also tweet as @GourmetLawyer. Why two accounts? How do your tweets differ?
    W/ ths acct I’m focusing on my professional, lawyer side. My other acct lets me explore my other interests w/o interfering.
  13. How does your firm’s leadership view your active Twitter presence?
    Good & bad. There’s some concerns, but it’s all about being open and frank about it. It’s a good thing.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve received clients from fantasy gaming friends and a few other attys on the web (cont…)
    I’m in a unique biz where literally every1 is a potential new client, both those employed and not
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    15/30 mins a day. We’re in the process of developing a more interactive updated website.
  16. Sounds like good ROI for your efforts…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Imo, atty conduct. So much money is wasted b/c of a ridiculously mindless and pointless atty bickering.
  17. Interesting perspective. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    More online filing. More attys crossing state lines as legal issues become more national. Possibly a federal bar.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d own and cook in my own espresso bistro on the streets of northern Italy
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I want everyone I meet to leave knowing I made a difference, no matter how small.
  20. I’m guessing I know at least a partial answer to this one…. What do you do when you’re not working?
    haha, i bet u cn. Cook w/ my wife. Prepare 4 ou new baby. I luv just being w/ my wife, family & friends w/ gd food & wine.
  21. I knew it! What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Be diligent, work hard. Never give up. Network. The attys getting jobs typically know the people that are hiring them.
  22. And our last question for you this afternoon: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Treat law school like a job. Set a schedule so you can get all your work done (e.g. 10 hour days, 5-6 days/wk). Don’t stress

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

A huge thanks and to @22twts and @lancegodard for the opportunity to participate in this unique and gratifying twitterview.

Congrats too on the baby news — one more demanding client on the way….

Ain’t that the truth.

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@steveimparl

September 29th, 2009

steveblogSteve Imparl

Internet, e-commerce and small business lawyer

Owner, Law Office of Steven D. Imparl

Author of Lawyer-Boxer’s Blog

Today we’re tweeting w/ @steveimparl who provides mindfulness-based legal services for internet, e-commerce, and small business

  1. @steveimparl thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @steveimparl?
    Thanks, Lance! I’m a son, brother, and friend—regular guy who’s a lawyer, writer, barbershop baritone, and amateur boxer.
  2. Taking fighting for your client’s rights to a new level?… Tell us about your law practice.
    Transactions & counseling for small businesses, mostly in Internet/e-commerce, trademark, & copyright, but no litigation.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Small companies operating online: retailers, IT integrators, Web hosts, consultants, content publishers, some individuals.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    In general, avoiding potential disputes of any kind; with the recession, no one wants to spend money now to resolve them.
  5. That makes sense. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “I am here to help you succeed & avoid problems. Please remember that and help me to help you. Your success is my success.”
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Helping a Web hosting company acquire a smaller one. The sale was good for both parties and went very smoothly.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    My IT background & ability to understand technology, attention to detail, and willingness to go the “extra mile” for them.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Business-to-business (B2B) agreements. It’s not quite typical; the recession is making everyone a bit more conservative.
  9. You “wrote the book” on Internet Law (http://bit.ly/3rhKJ). Isn’t it evolving faster than you can publish updates?
    Not quite, but staying current is a huge challenge! STP, my publisher is great. I get to do quarterly updates. That helps …
    Also, my editor, Christine Merriman, is awesome. She’s very supportive and enthusiastic about the book, so it all works.
  10. I’d imagine that “huge challenge” is an understatement…. How do you market your practice?
    Twitter, Facebook, blog, LinkedIn, and other social networks; staying in contact with clients & referral sources regularly.
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    Very briefly! Then I let the other person ask questions. They always do, and we have an enjoyable and productive chat.
  12. You blog at Lawyer-Boxer’s Blog (http://bit.ly/89bFk). Who is it written for? Why should they read it?
    Boxing is my main fitness activity. I’ve been boxing on and off since I was a boy. It has been a good networking sport …
    so I am integrating these activities in a blog. Anyone can read it, but it’s oriented toward lawyers and boxing fans.
  13. Interesting combo. You have at least 3 active Twitter profiles. Why separate the feeds? Doesn’t that dilute your brand?
    You must mean @ilawguide and @cloudcomplaw. I separated them at the request of some of my followers. Far from diluting …
    my brand, this approach lets me provide specific followers with information that interests them most. Also, many of my …
    followers of @ilawguide and @cloudcomplaw look me up as @steveimparl, & follow me here, too, so it works fairly seamlessly.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    It’s awesome! I’ve picked up some great work from LinkedIn & now have several promising prospects on Facebook and Twitter.
  15. That’s great! How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Lance, I spend at least 90 minutes a day on focused activities, like social networking, to keep my name visible out there.
  16. Well it seems to be working. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    To me, it’s: “How do we provide first-rate, cost-effective services for our clients, while taking good care of ourselves?”
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    In 10 years, I foresee many more lawyers using technology to help them enjoy a much greater work-life balance.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Hmm…full-time writer, linguist, historian, paleontologist, musician, professor, motorcycle racer—I need several lifetimes!
  19. Another motorcycle racer? Seems to be a trend on 22 Tweets… How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good, honest, kind man who overcame huge adversity and used his abilities to the fullest, for his and others’ benefit.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Walking, meditating, bicycling, reading, hanging with family & friends, running www.maledepression.com, and boxing.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Hang in there! This is a temporary crisis, but we live in an abundant universe and we humans have boundless potential.
  22. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Reconsider, and if you still decide to attend, have a backup “plan B” for how you can use your J.D., if you decide …
    traditional practice isn’t for you. Also, hold law school administrators accountable—they’re making a lot of $$$ off you.

That’s a useful perspective. Thank you so much for answering our questions today; this was a great twitterview

And thanks for talking with me, Lance! Your questions got me thinking about many important issues, and it’s a great format. Thanks!

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