@constructionlaw 2.0

August 19th, 2010

Christopher G. Hill

Attorney, The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill, PC

Author, Construction Law Musings

LEED AP

Instructor, Solo Practice University

Today, we’re tweeting with @constructionlaw: VA construction attorney, LEED AP, construction law blogger and May 2009 interviewee

  1. @Constructionlaw, thank you for joining us today on Twitter, and welcome back to 22 Tweets. Tell us, who is @Constructionlaw?
    thx 4 having me back ,a construction attorney that wants 2 help construction folks manage their risk & grow their business.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I am a construction attorney and do my best to keep clients out of trouble, and get them out of trouble when necessary
  3. Since our 1st interview, you’ve “gone solo” (congrats on that, by the way). How did that change your practice?
    I still provide wht I hope is gr8 client service but now can be more flexible in meeting client’s needs more directly.
  4. Any advice for other lawyers considering a solo practice?
    have confidence in yourself & let personality & expertise shine though, in marketing & in practice. The rest will come.
  5. I believe your LEED AP cert is also new since May 2009. What does that mean for your clients?
    a level of familiarity w/ the LEED green building certification that will help w/ new construction contracting landscape
  6. Let’s talk about your clients. What type of clients do you represent?
    Any level of commercial construction professional for the most part, right now mostly subcontractors and suppliers
  7. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    getting paid! Really, this is the biggest thing with this economy.
  8. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That i’m a part of their team, whether in litigation or hopefully in business growth & that I understand their issues.
  9. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    They are all significant, but representing a national window manufacturer in some litigation was one of the biggest.
  10. How has the construction landscape evolved since we last tweeted? Who are the new players? Who’s gone?
    So much has changed I have several friends and/or clients that have gone through significant expansion or contraction.
  11. What’s the next big frontier in construction law? What should your clients be doing to prepare for it?
    Green building & it’s impact on how we build projects. They need 2 recognize the unique issues w/ green construction
  12. How do you describe what you do to someone you meet at a cocktail reception?
    A risk manager for construction professionals or outside, in house counsel for construction companies
  13. Nice. What are some challenges of marketing a solo practice that you didn’t see when you were part of larger firm?
    not much has changed, I was always marketing my own practice. This may be different had I been at a truly large firm
  14. You blog at Construction Law Musings (http://bit.ly/17FHYY). How has your blog evolved over past year and a half?
    its growth has been amazing! The Guest Post Fridays (in which you’ve participated) add depth that I could not have imagined
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    yes. I get calls from out of state contractors or lawyers. I also just today got a client from my firm website.
  16. Congrats for that! The economy & the need to retool: still the most significant issues facing the legal profession?
    Yes, In short, the legal profession seems to be stuck in the past and it’s come home to roost in many ways
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Who knows? Things R changing so fast. I think thr will be more small specialized firms working in loose referral networks.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Tough one. Something involving people that would let me also hang with my great family.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a lawyer who balanced family and clients in a way that let him represent his clients to the fullest and have fun doing it
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    When? Oh, mostly kid and family related activities or playing tennis or shooting (poorly) at sporting clays.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Market, Also, don’t get too down, you have a skill set you can use and you’ll figure out how to use it.
  22. And our final question for you, Chris: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    besides go back in time and make a new decision? Try to have fun in law school and explore what you’d be passionate about.

Valuable advice to close this great interview. Thank you very much for coming back to 22 Tweets!

Glad to do it, thanks!

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@AndrewMcRoberts

October 22nd, 2009

arm_twitter1Andrew R. McRoberts

Local Government Lawyer / Litigator

Counsel, Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, PC

Today we’re tweeting with Richmond, VA, local government lawyer / litigator and former county attorney @AndrewMcRoberts

  1. @AndrewMcRoberts thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @AndrewMcRoberts?
    Local govt lawyer/litigator w/ Sands Anderson, blogger at VaLocalityLaw.com, W&M football fan, theater-goer, lover of life!
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Sands Anderson is large firm for Va, financially sound, with excellent lawyers that actually have a life. …
    … I joined its local government team after 15 years as County Atty in various Va localities.
  3. Congrats on the move. What type of clients do you represent?
    Represent Va local govts, officials and their interests.Occasionally businesses needing govt solution. Do not sue localities.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Community change: growth/development/redevelopment. Non-legal issue? Lack of money: flat assessments/state budget cuts.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I am the local govt-friendly choice. Here’s my approach: I seek either a win for govt client or win-win for business client.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I will share two in my next two tweets! …
    As County Atty: West Creek Assoc v. Goochland, 8yr tax litigation w/ 259 sits, 144 parcels, 2 trials, 2 Va Sct appeals.
    I serve as counsel to the Board of Zoning Appeals in Stafford County, Va, bsy and fast-growing suburb of DC in Northern Va.
  7. Wow. And congrats, the second must keep you on your toes…. Why do your clients hire you?
    My experience in serving local govt legal needs for over 15 years, record of success in court, reputation as local govt atty.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Zoning area, BZA work, vested rights issues, land use. It is typical. This area of practice will get even more active.
  9. How are your local government clients responding the economic crisis?
    Many not hiring outside counsel as much. Budget cuts. Some seeing tax assessment lawsuits; surprised I have not seen more.
  10. May still happen before things get better…. How do you market your practice?
    I personally speak to local govt groups, meet one-on-one, blog, tweet and help local govt attys informally in many ways.
    Law firm marketing team also supports me in various media.
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    I am a Va local government atty; represent Va local govts, officials and their interests. Do not sue local governments.
  12. You blog at Virginia Local Government Law (http://bit.ly/3rB0EZ). Who is it written for? Why should they read it?
    I blog for Va local govt lawyers, chief admin officers, local officials, staff and citizens interested in Va local govt law.
  13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
    Linked in, firm website. Don’t use Facebook because it is more social and not as focused (for me) as Linked in and Twitter.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    None yet; just started. Local govts slow in adopting. Gained visibility among non-local govt folks including media outlets.
  15. There’s certainly value in that. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Just starting my private-local government practice; spend at least an hour or two each day on various marketing activities.
  16. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Negative impression of Lawyers. I support the Va State Bar President’s “Va is for Good Lawyer’s” project. http://ow.ly/vO5O
    VSB president Jon Huddleston is responsible for this brainstorm. http://twitter.com/VA4GoodLawyers
  17. Looks like a very interesting project. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    More lawyers needed to assist govts and people, as govt is asked to do more & more, and regs get more and more complicated.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Maybe a writer, or a history professor. Always wanted to be a lawyer, though; I emulate my Texas grandfather.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Big thinker, good lawyer, good man, who helped government do great things that benefited their citizens.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Hiking/camping; Pres of non-profit related to College of William & Mary; W&M Tribe football fan; Lover of wine and theater.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Find a practice area related to your skills that’s not suffering. For ex, my firm has RE attys who double as top bankr attys.
  22. And finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    The economy will turn and more lawyers will again be needed. I’ll share a story about my Dad …
    In economic downturn yrs ago, he advised me not to go to law school. I told him, “There is always a need for a good lawyer.”

That’s thoughtful advice. Thanks for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed it very much.

Enjoyed the Twitterview! Thanks for asking me. Here’s more info and how to reach me: http://ow.ly/w1sw

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@venturelawyer

June 23rd, 2009

tom_bowden_smThomas Bowden

M&A, corporate transactions and corporate finance lawyer

Counsel at Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, PC

Today we’re tweeting with @VentureLawyer, cyclist and business, finance and real estate lawyer in Richmond, Virginia

  1. @VentureLawyer, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @VentureLawyer?
    Thomas L. Bowden, Sr., Counsel at Sands Anderson Marks & Miller, in the Business Transactions Team
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    It is mostly a mix of transactions and general legal counseling – some Venture deals, angel deals, private M&A
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    I represent entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses – people with drive and vision, and who interest me
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    Capital – finding it, attracting it, closing the deal, prtecting it and investing it
  5. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I helped a company grow from $3 million in sales to $4 billion. I helped buld a company that won a $400MM contract
  6. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Clients should expect me to share my experience as an entrepreneur in addition to my legal counsel
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Easy to deal with, not just a technician. I get on their side of the table and think like an owner/general counsel
  8. How are you and your firm responding to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    We help them find funding, work with their struggling customers, make adjustments & tough choices
  9. Your career has been split between in-house and private practice. How does this help you better advise your clients?
    It’s invaluable. I have walked in their shoes, experienced the challenges, frustrations, joys and pains of entrepreneurship
  10. That’s valuable experience. 15 yrs ago you were Racing Across America on a bike. How did that impact your practice?
    I learned that I could accomplish what at first seemed impossible, and not to see limits as absolutes – to never give up
  11. It’s a tremendous accomplishment! What would you say has been the most satisfying aspect of being a lawyer?
    Seeing a client succeed in their business, achieve their dream, or survive a threat to their existence
  12. How do you market your practice?
    Word of mouth, networking, and increasingly, social media. And we have a terrific marketing team!
  13. I read a few years ago that “cycling is the new golf” for biz dev. Do you cycle with your clients?
    –Yes! in fact one of my clients is building a velodrome! He is faster for now, but not for long..
  14. Now THAT’S dedication to the sport! Besides Twitter, what other Web 2.0 tools do you use?
    LinkedIn mostly – just started a Facebook page. Some blogging starting discussions in LinkedIn groups.
  15. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have your Web 2.0 activities provided?
    It’s really to early to tell – I am fairly new at this. But I am adding followers even as we are doing this! Cool!
  16. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    .5 to 2 hours, depending on events, my reactions to them and whatever is on my mind
  17. Let’s switch gears: what’s the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    We must align our interests more with clients needs and goals Clients want results, they don’t care about our timesheets
  18. Indeed. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Flatter – technology will continue to level the playing field and larger firms will have to adjust or die
  19. Interesting perspective. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Start another company, maybe technology related, maybe not. Probably less about an invention, more about service
  20. You’ll keep us posted if you do that in your spare time, won’t you? How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good husband, father, friend and counselor, both professionally and on a personal level
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Cycling, photography, kayaking, boatbuilding, a little inventing here and there
  22. Perhaps we can have you back to talk about your inventions… What advice do you have for people in law school today?
    Decide what you want to be, not what Biglaw wants you to be. Then make it happen.

That’s useful advice. This was a great twitterview; thank you very much for answering our questions today

You are most welcome!

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@constructionlaw

May 19th, 2009

hill-036Christopher G. Hill

Principal, Durrette Bradshaw PLC

Virgina Business Magazine “Legal Elite” in Construction Law

Author of the Construction Law Musings blog

 

Today, we’re tweeting with @constructionlaw: construction lawyer, commercial litigator and one of VA Biz Mag’s “Legal Elite”

  1. @Constructionlaw, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. In 140 characters, who is @Constructionlaw?
    A guy who enjoys representing construction folks, enjoys the interaction of law practice, and is out to help clients succeed
     
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I work with all “levels” of construction pros in an attempt to keep them out of trouble and go to court if necessary
     
  3. What are some specific types of clients you represent?
    Mostly subcontractors and suppliers, but some general contractors and engineers
     
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Right now, getting paid. I see green construction being one on the horizon
     
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That depends. I always focus on their issues. The first question I ask is what their biggest issue is.
     
  6. What’s the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Recently I represented a pipeline company in a big suit in Federal Court. I think all of them are significant though
     
  7. Good point…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I think because of my expertise and that they know I have their interest, even more than my financial stake, at heart.
     
  8. How are you and your firm responding to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    I am telling them all to be proactive and think hard about their business practices . . ..
    If I can help them through their financial bumps, I feel good and they tend to come back
     
  9. Makes perfect sense. Congrats on joining the faculty of Solo Practice University. What do you teach for them?
    Construction Practice 101 (or how to get, serve and keep a construction client) #SPU
     
  10. How do you help your clients meet their business and strategic objectives?
    By reviewing their business practices and contracts from a risk management perspective . . .
    and working with another great lawyer at my firm on other issues
     
  11. Hmmm – a future 22 Tweets twitterviewee, perhaps… How do you market your practice?
    presenting to the local AGC chapter and being active in the AGC. my blog #SPU, talking to people
     
  12. Tell us about your blog, Construction Law Musings (http://bit.ly/17FHYY). Who is it written for?
    Anyone interested in the construction industry and its marketing and legal issues, from contractors to lawyers.
     
  13. What was your objective when you started blogging? Has that changed?
    I need an objective? (grin) Actually, it was to get my thoughts out in a less formal and more immediate way…
    My objective now that I do that is to have Musings be a resource
    For more on this see @lawfirmblogger’s great interview at http://bit.ly/XCHzv    

  14. It certainly would seem that your blog is a valuable industry resource. Has blogging made you a better lawyer? How?
    Yes. It keeps me up to date on issues and through my guest posts teaches me something on at least a weekly basis.
     
  15. Your use of guest posts is great. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Who knows, at least an hour, on days like today when I was part of a panel at the AGC, much more.
     
  16. All time well spent I’m sure. Have your Web 2.0 activities had an impact on referrals or client engagements?
    Yes, I have gotten more calls from web hits and have made numerous connections that I never would have had.
     
  17. Let’s switch gears a bit: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Besides the economy and the need to retool our business model. Well, the economy and the need to retool our business model.
     
  18. Indeed. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Who knows? My view is that there will be fewer mammoth firms and more solos and small firms due to client demand.
     
  19. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Wow, probably a nutty philosophy professor, that’s all that my degree qualified me to do besides law school :)
     
  20. Now I *get* the #SPU gig…. How do you want to be remembered?
    (smile) As a guy who helped people and had fun doing it but mostly as a great dad and husband.
     
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Chase the kids, study for the LEED AP exam (until June 13) try to learn to shoot sporting clays & spend time with my family
     
  22. Good luck w/LEED exam! Final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Be ready to hit the ground running and if necessary start your own firm. . .
    Try to get as much practical experience as your school will let you and mostly have fun with it.

Great advice. Thank you very much for your time today; you gave us another great 22 Tweets twitterview!

you’re welcome. Thanks for the opportunity

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