@priyalawyer

November 4th, 2010

Priya Marwah Doornbos

Founder and Member at PMD Legal, PLLC

Virtual General Counsel for Entrepreneurs

In-House Contract Attorney

Adjunct Media Law Professor at Lawrence Technological University

Today we’re tweeting with @Priyalawyer, Virtual GC for entrepreneurs, In-House Contract Attorney and adjunct media law professor

  1. @Priyalawyer, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @Priyalawyer?
    I am a Business Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Media Law, Wife and Mother. I enjoy music, dance, politics and travelling.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I help entrepreneurs start businesses. I draft, review and negotiate business contracts . . . .
    . . . and I advise on legal issues using social media.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I represent mostly solo-preneurs and entrepreneurs, but also small businesses with less than 10 employees.
  4. And what’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    An important legal issue for entrepreneurs would be protecting their assets and limiting their liability.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I offer a free half-hour consultation with new clients to assess their legal needs and outline a legal plan and strategy.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Helping a startup client oppose a confusingly similar trademark and then get their trademark registered.
  7. That must have been very satisfying. Why do your clients hire you?
    It was. Clients hire me because of my large law firm experience but with affordable rates, and my ability to work virtually.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts because those are the daily needs of a business.
  9. Tell us a little bit more about a Virtual General Counsel. How involved do you get in your clients’ businesses?
    I get very involved. Just as lawyers in law firms serve their clients from their office, so do I. Skype helps too.
  10. You teach Media Law at Lawrence Technological University. How does teaching make you a better lawyer?
    teaching makes me learn, improves my legal research skills and my client communication skills.
  11. You’ve practiced at some pretty big firms. What led you to strike out on your own?
    Started out of necessity after losing the big firm job in the economic downturn, but it was a blessing in disguise.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help businesses stay out of trouble.
  13. Nice…. How do you generally market your practice? Does social media play a big part in your marketing efforts?
    I market through traditional forms of networking as well as online. Social media has expanded my network.
  14. And how long have you been active on Twitter? Has your Twitter strategy changed over that time?
    I’ve been tweeting since March 2009. It has changed over time as the number of people I follow grows.
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Twitter led me to the Adjunct Professor job. Facebook and Twitter has also led to referrals, but no new engagements yet.
  16. What would you say is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In this economy, billable hours is hurting law firms. Alternative fee arrangements like mine are more attractive to clients.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    I see a consolidation of big firms, more small and solo firms, but more work kept in-house at large companies.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I always said that if I was not practicing law I would want to work at Nordstrom’s . . .
    . . . But I would like to run for political office one day
  19. We’ll watch for that! How do you want to be remembered?
    I want to be remembered for being a loving wife and mother first and foremost, but also as someone who has helped friends succeed.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I spend most of that time with my family, as well as spending time with friends. I also like to workout and watch TV.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Advice to under or unemployed lawyers: Know that everything happens for a reason and that everything will eventually work out . . .
    . . . but there are many other things you could do with your law degree other than practicing law.
  22. And finally, our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    read @kevinhouchin’s book Fuel The Spark …
    I suggest finding an attorney mentor to explain what practicing law is really like.

Useful advice. Thanks so much for tweeting with us today; enjoyed learning more about you and your practice

Thank you!

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
 

@howardcollens

March 2nd, 2010

Howard H. Collens

Probate and Estate Planning Lawyer

Member, Galloway and Collens

Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Today we’re tweeting with Michigan probate and estate planning lawyer and Detroit Tigers fan @howardcollens

  1. @howardcollens thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @howardcollens?
    Thanks for having me. Attorney for 15 years. Husband, father of 3, lifelong Detroiter & Detroit Tigers fan.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Galloway and Collens, PLLC has been a firm for 7 years. We started with 2 lawyers, no clients & have grown every year.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mostly individuals. Our practice focuses on estate planning, probate and trust administration, elder law, real estate issues
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    The impact of the new Michigan Trust Code will be the most significant legal issue on planning and estate administration
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Each client’s case is unique. It will unfold in its own individual way. I explore the client’s goals & hopes early on.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    In a contested probate, I was able to leverage a will, handwritten into the decedent’s patient advocate designation form, …
    to carry out the decedent’s intent to benefit my client, her neighbor.
  7. A very satisfying result, I’m sure. Why do your clients hire you?
    Whether the client is a young family planning for their children, an elder worried about the costs of long term care or …
    a family who has just experienced a death, my clients look to exchange uncertainty for certainty, crisis for calm.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Short sales & loan modifications. Representing investors purchasing property in Metro Detroit. See OutFromUnderMyHouse.com
  9. Understandable developments…. How has the economic crisis affected your clients?
    I see more economic exploitation of seniors. The probate practice has not been too impacted….
    One does not get to wait until better financial times to contest an estate or deal with a guardianship of a loved one.
  10. Indeed. What are some common mistakes people make when preparing estate plans?
    The most complicated (and expensive) administrations result from the estate plans that people write themselves.
  11. There’s a valuable lesson in that…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    People have a personal connection to our practice. Everyone has a will or trust or is planning to put one in place.
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    Nov 2008. At 1st, purely social. Now, social and biz. I like that through tweeting you get to tell & learn all at once.
  13. Besides Twitter, what other Web 2.0 tools do you use to market your practice?
    Facebook, LinkedIn. Looking to use Ustream. Clients from all over the country and the world find us through our websites.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Expansion of social networks and staying connected/reconnecting with friends has lead to real business.
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    It varies. I try to balance brand development w getting the work done. In a small firm setting, this is a delicate balance.
  16. I’m sure it is. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The larger impacts caused by economic uncertainty both on the clients and on lawyers and their firms.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    I hope our local probate courts will finally have electronic filing and better, more robust remote access to court files.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I would love to be a baker. There is magic in making a loaf of bread from scratch.
  19. Would you believe that you are the fourth twitterviewee to say “baker”? How do you want to be remembered?
    Amazing on the baker answer. I idealize it as a let the stress out sort of job. I would hope I would be remembered . . .
    As a caring husband, engaged father. As a person who believes in the power of community. As an advocate of planned giving.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I coach my son’s soccer team. Enjoy watching a good baseball game. I keep a garden. Canned home-grown pickles last summer.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t give up. Doing something you are passionate about in the law (or toward whatever you want to accomplish) will work out
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Strike a good balance between study and extracurriculars and/or clerking….
    The day to day practical application of the law during law school should not be missed/overlooked.

Thanks; that’s useful advice. Enjoyed tweeting with you today, and learning about you and your practice.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate in this twitterview.

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