@ljanstis

May 24th, 2011

Laurie Anstis

Employment Law and Business Immigration Lawyer

Associate at Boyes Turner

Author of the legal blog Work/Life/Law

Today we’re tweeting UK employment and business immigration lawyer, blogger, podcaster and budding drummer @ljanstis

  1. @ljanstis, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @ljanstis?
    Thanks Lance. I’m mainly an employment and business immigration lawyer in the @btemplaw group of @boyesturner
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    @boyesturner is mid-sized commercial firm based in Reading, and won Best Regional Firm in last year’s British Legal Awards
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mainly mid- to large-sized employers
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Last year: legal (and expected) for employers to force employees to retire at 65. This year: it’s not. That’s a big deal.
  5. Indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Usually how to spell my name. It doesn’t bother me, but I get asked it all the time.
  6. First time I’ve seen that answer…. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I acted for employee in one of the first UK whistleblowing claims. He won >£250k, one of largest ever awards in those days
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m experienced, practical, committed to their work, and I don’t pick fights for the sake of it.
  8. A good trait to have… What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Women claiming equal pay with men (or the other way round). Not typical, but big over the past few years
  9. Does the need for UK biz immigration practice get smaller as EU gets bigger? How is your practice evolving due to that?
    No. New member states typically have some kind of restriction on movement of workers for a transitional period …
    … plenty to advise on there. Current gov policy is anti-biz imm and makes it difficult to get good results for clients.
  10. You spent time in-house before moving into private practice. What does that experience mean for your clients today?
    It means I know that legal problems can often be overcome by looking at the practical issues.
  11. Interesting perspective. What’s it like sitting on the other side of the bench, as a part-time employment tribunal judge?
    It’s harder work than it sometimes looks to a tribunal lawyer – but good to be able to see both sides of the story.
  12. I image that’s helpful to you and your clients. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    “Employment lawyer” is usually enough.
  13. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    Just over a year ago – on the basis of trying it and seeing what happens. That’s still the plan for now.
  14. You blog (Work/Life/Law: http://bit.ly/dQZzMJ) and host podcasts for your firm. Who are they for? Why should they care?
    Blog – for anyone interested in emp law. They should care because there are some interesting posts (and comments) there …
    … Podcasts – for busy HR managers. They shld care b/c its a free & easy way to keep up to date, and sometimes entertaining
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Referrals – yes. Engagements – occasionally.
  16. Nice that it’s paying off. Let’s switch gears: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    How to respond to competition from people or organisations who don’t hold traditional legal qualifications.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Most legal services delivered by large organisations, with a few smaller firms in specialised niches.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    *long pause* I’d sort of like to be a cook/chef – but only on certain defined conditions that bear no relation to reality
  19. :-) How do you want to be remembered?
    Aaaaaargh – I have no idea *immediately books long retreat to find purpose of life*
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Not much at the moment, but in quieter times I grow fruit and veg and play guitar
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Keep your knowledge and skills up to date by working on voluntary/pro bono basis (e.g. http://www.thefru.org.uk/)
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Make sure you have more than just a legal qualification to offer potential employers – e.g. biz experience, language skills

Great advice. Thanks very much for tweeting w/me today. I enjoyed learning about you and your practice

Thanks Lance – its been fun.

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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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@jeantien

August 20th, 2009

jean_tien-001136_ret_emailChen F. Tien

Immigration and Real Estate Attorney

The Law Office of Chen F. Tien

Today we’re tweeting w/NYC immigration lawyer @JeanTien, who strives to develop lasting partnerships with her clients

  1. @JeanTien, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @JeanTien?
    Thx 4 hvg me. I am a fun-loving Wife, Daughter, and idealistic Lawyer w/high hopes of making a difference in the world.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I hv a NYC-based practice that focuses on immigration law. I also do real estate transaxns & help businesses w/their legal needs.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Both individuals & businesses. I have clients nationwide and outside of the US too. It’s great!
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Eligibility 2 become perm. res & US Citizens. W/o proper identification…
    immigrants can’t get jobs, health care, or any other benefits that we enjoy…
    and it’s impt that they hv access to the same benefits.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That I’m their biggest advocate & they can trust me with their case.
  6. I’m sure they appreciate hearing that. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I worked on an asylum case, where I tried 2 protect the wife from being deported back 2 China where she wld be prosecuted…
    4 violating the 1-Child policy & separated from her Husband & baby daughter here in the US. It’s significant bc families shld…
    be allowed to stay together in an environment where they can live w/o fear.
  7. Wow. That’s powerful stuff. Hope it turned out well. Why do your clients hire you?
    They trust me & kno I am here 2 protect their best interest. I help them thru the immigration process …
    which is a very personal experience & can take a major toll on their emotions/lives.
  8. What’s the most active area of your immigration practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Currently, it’s family-based petitions, which I heart bc I’m helping families stay 2gether. Yes, it’s typical 4 my practice.
  9. You started your career at Goldman Sachs. What led you to leave that culture and set up an immigration law firm?
    I felt unfulfilled @ GS & wanted 2 do sthg more rewarding. Luckily, I was downsized & took the opp. 2 follow my dream…
    of becoming an entrepreneur & helping others thru my immigration practice. See, I told u I was idealistic! LOL.
  10. What’s the status of immigration law reform? Is it still perceived to be a priority for the President / American people?
    Unfortunately, it’s currently on hold. Obama’s admin has communicated 2 the public that it’s a priority…
    but so far, it feels like a big “tease”. More needs 2 be done, esp. w/current economics…
    Some still think it’ll happen this yr but I doubt it.
  11. How do you market your practice?
    Networking & Web 2.0 activities. I’m also planning on hosting a seminar soon, so stay tuned for that!
  12. You recently started a Facebook fan page for your firm (http://bit.ly/tj3GO). Would you recommend others do the same? Why?
    Good ques. My fan pg is pretty new (about 2 wks) so it’s hard 2 say if I wld rec others 2 create 1…
    So far, it has been helpful w/informing ppl I kno of my practice.
  13. Sounds like recommendation to me… What are the strategic objectives driving your Web 2.0 activity? Are you meeting them?
    My obj. this yr is 2 create permanent relationships & brand recognition. Oh & 2 generate revenue! LOL. So far, so good.
  14. Luck w/both! What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities so far?
    Thanks! So far, I’ve landed an engagement & a number of serious inquiries from these activities, esp. from Avvo.
  15. Congrats – you’re moving in the right direction. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Omgosh. A significant pt of my day. I am my brand, so I am developing/enhancing it by meeting w/other attys…
    attending CLEs, volunteering, & marketing. activities
  16. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Re: immigration, our policies need chg. Fear cannot dictate policies & excuse the mistreatment of illegal immigrants in this ctry.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    I think lawyers will catch up & adopt (maybe embrace?) technological advancements, resulting in a few less trips to court.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Hmm…philanthropist & bakery owner. I wld LOVE 2 open my own cupcake shop & animal rescue shelter. What a mix, right? :D
  19. That makes THREE 22 Tweets interviewees who’d like to be bakers… Hmmm. How do you want to be remembered?
    LOL. I guess we all hv a creative side yearning to escape. :) …
    I’d like 2 B remembered for my sincerity and passion, especially to help those who can’t help themselves.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I am currently immersed in house renovations. Other than that, I spend time w/family & friends & watch lots of reality tv!
    O & go see @britneyspears in concert! :D
  21. There’s gotta be a story there! What advice can you give lawyers currently under- / unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Take this opportunity to explore other careers & interests. Don’t be afraid of change. Also, make sure to network!
  22. And our last question of this twitterview: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    1. Ur GPA doesn’t define u; 2. BIGLAW is not 4 everyone & that’s ok; 3.trust ur instincts – don’t B afraid 2 set ur own path

That’s valuable advice. Thank you so much for answering our questions and making this a great twitterview!

This was fun! Thank u so much for the opportunity to share my story & thanks to everyone who listened! :D

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