@vbalasubramani 2.0

April 22nd, 2010

Venkat Balasubramani

Founder, Focal PLLC

Author of Spam Notes

Blogger at Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog

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Today we’re tweeting with @vbalasubramani, Seattle-based internet-tech lawyer and author of the blog “Spam Notes”

One of our first twitterviewees one year ago, @vbalasubramani has returned to 22 Tweets to help us celebrate our first anniversary

  1. @vbalasubramani thank you for joining us again on Twitter. For those who weren’t here a year ago: who is @vbalasubramani?
    thanks Lance, and good to be back! I’m a Seattle-based lawyer, and blogger @ blog.ericgoldman.org & @ spamnotes.com
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  2. What does your practice look like today? Is it different from last year? How?
    it’s similar – covers the range of online issues. I did start a firm (w/a partner)..this has been great
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  3. Congrats! How have internet / spam laws changed over the past year? What does that mean for your clients?
    online rules are fluid .. privacy is a looming issue, as it was last year; platforms (FB) are becoming more relevant
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  4. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that (the new) typical?
    online disputes have been particularly active, content scraping, cybersquatting/domain name issues, the usual
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  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    litigation is uncertain, time consuming, and often unfair – always explore a business solution
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  6. That clearly hasn’t changed over the past year…. Why do your clients hire you?
    because I am a prolific twit? kidding .. quality work, efficient, responsive, creative & interested in the space?
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  7. How do you describe your work to someone you meet at a cocktail party?
    tough ? (not many cocktail parties in Seattle that I go to) I represent internet/media companies in disputes & advise them on risk
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  8. You need to get out more…. How has the economic crisis affected your clients?
    ha! most are doing ok .. everyone is trying to save $$, but this has resulted in more work coming my way
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  9. How have your marketing objectives evolved over the past year? What’s driving that evolution?
    I enjoy blogging, but I’d like to create more client-friendly content..the social web has helped me see how this may be useful
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  10. What do you consider to be the biggest change in the legal profession over the past 12 months?
    law firms finally realized they don’t hold all the cards vis a vis clients..also a basic change in the young lawyer’s place
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  11. Indeed. If you had last year to do all over again, what would you do differently? Why?
    turn away more work and be much more selective – the intangible (non-monetary) effects of the work you do are significant!
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  12. Interesting. You recently blogged about making a “clean break” from your blog to start a new 1. How did that end up?
    I’ve been blogging at Prof. Goldman’s blog, which rocks (hope to continue that) .. I may launch another blog as well
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  13. You touched on this earlier: how has your social media and social networking activity evolved over the past year?
    lots more Twitter! I’m pretty unstructured about SM, I’ve tried to regulate it, but that’s not my personality
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  14. Have you seen any impact on referrals and/or client engagements coming from your Web 2.0 activities?
    no direct retention or referrals, but that’s not my goal – I do it for fun, to stay informed, and chat with folks
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  15. Last year “a loss of confidence in the system” = most sig issue facing legal profession. Still true? Why or why not?
    fair statement, the client/firm/associate/billable hour dynamic has (unresolved) issues..the basic structure needs tweaking
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  16. What’s the next big frontier of technology for the legal profession?
    telepresence? – inexpensive technology that ‘simulates’ face-to-face?..minority report?..there’s always the iPad :-)
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    for starters I may be retired ;-) .. types of matters that typically go to a lawyer may narrow, lots of private resolution
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  18. Retire? Sounds like a set-up for the next question…. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    own a restaurant, or a B&B, maybe have a cooking show or magazine (better yet a blog – I hear this pays!)?
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    as a contributor and a positive force
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Travel, yoga, enjoy family, food and cooking
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    opportunities always exist in downturn..get experience..blogging is a great way to immerse yourself & demonstrate commitment
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  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today
    be wary of echo chamber advice, focus on the fundamentals (esp. writing), enjoy life outside of the law – thanks Lance!

Great advice. Thanks again for coming back for a follow-up twitterview. It was a pleasure to tweet with you again.

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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

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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.
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  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.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Small companies operating online: retailers, IT integrators, Web hosts, consultants, content publishers, some individuals.
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  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.
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  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.”
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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?”
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  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.
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  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!
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  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.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Walking, meditating, bicycling, reading, hanging with family & friends, running www.maledepression.com, and boxing.
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  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.
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  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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