December 17th, 2009

fl000006Dan Canon

Clay & Adams, PLLC

Employment and civil rights litigation attorney

Author, Conflicts Check law blog

Today we’re tweeting with @Dancanon: employment and civil rights lawyer, musician, yogi, cancer hater and more

Hi tweverybody.

  1. @Dancanon thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Dancanon?
    One of the guys I practice with is always calling me an evil genius. The “evil” part is a fair cop, so I’ll go w/ it.
  2. Could be worse, I suppose…. Tell us about your law practice.
    Mostly civil rights litigation, mostly plaintiff-oriented. Lots of race & sex discrimination, lots of 1983 cases.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    We try to stick with the little guy: individuals, some small businesses, the underdog. Good for the conscience.
  4. Good for those individuals, too, I’d wager. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Generally – abuse of authority and/or the sheer ignorance of people often in charge of your job, housing, freedom, etc.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I’ll do my best, but no guarantees. (And if you hear guarantees from a lawyer, run.)
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Probably this one, which is still going: http://chronicle.com/article/Judge-Orders-U-of-Louisville/47925
  7. Wow. That’s significant indeed. Congrats on the win. Why do your clients hire you?
    You’d have to ask them. I think I’m pretty down-to-earth, reachable, & I try to explain risk/benefit every step of the way.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Unemployment. Also some really bad race discrimination cases right now for some reason. Not typical. ADA & sex cases more common.
  9. Is unemployment the biggest challenge your clients facing due to economic crisis? How are you helping them get through it?
    Yes, I think so. I try to work on a contingency-fee basis as much as possible. Ppl w/o jobs simply cannot pay $xxx.xx/hr.
  10. Indeed. How do you market your practice?
    Not very well, I’m afraid. But hey, there’s this interview, so *someone’s* heard of me…
    But seriously, I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in some kinda media-hyped stuff, so that helps.
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Usually just say “I’m a civil rts lawyer.” Most ppl get that, and don’t immediately hate you like if you say “trial lawyer.”
  12. Hadn’t thought of that. You blog at Conflicts Check (http://bit.ly/7VH8hH). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    I dunno, still trying to find my legs w/ that thing. I just hope I’m writing stuff that is relevant to someone, somewhere.
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what other Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    Just Facebook, I guess. I’ve been trying to get a @ProjectAiko as a receptionist, but I don’t know if that counts.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve had a lot more opportunity to let people know what I do. So, of course, you’re more likely to get the right clients …
    I’ve tried to run a really transparent practice, letting tweeps know what kind of cases I’m working on, etc.
  15. A sensible approach for sure. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I know Twitter lawyers are all into that, but who has time? Practice cases right, let ppl know what you do, & they’ll come to you.
  16. Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    No idea. It probably has something to do with the @btannebaum and @nikiblack feud.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Probably even more confusing, because there’s a big technology gap that is widening. …
    Hopefully more state courts will do online filing, but that can be bad for luddite lawyers, and there are lots of them.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Worry less, but probably beat myself up about not doing something more meaningful.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I’m not prepared to answer that, but I hope I’ve got a few decades to think it over.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Always have been a musician. Teach guitar. A little theatre. Drink lots of coffee. Beat myself up for not working enough.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Use free time to develop a niche, & tell ppl about it. But go after something interesting, not just lucrative. #clicheadvice
  22. And finally, our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Don’t go unless you’re sure you want to practice. And try to be nicer than I was. I was grumpy the whole time.

Solid advice. Thanks for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed it.

Thanks for having me!

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