June 16th, 2011

Michelle Sherman

White Collar and Social Media Law Attorney

Special Counsel, Sheppard Mullin

Author at Social Media Law Update blog

Former Los Angeles County Assistant Public Defender

Today we’re tweeting with BigLaw trial / social media attorney and former LA Country Ass’t Public Defender @mshermanesq

  1. @mshermanesq Welcome to 22 Tweets and thank you for joining us today. Tell us, who is @mshermanesq?
    A Calif. native, Smith College undergrad, UCLA law grad, litigation atty, writer and speaker on social media legal issues
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Complex business litigation, and social media legal consulting to businesses – if they are on Facebook, they want to talk to me
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mostly medium size to large businesses, including government contractors
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue on the minds of those clients?
    Resolving business disputes cost efficiently w/a great result for the co. & its shareholders. No one benefits from long litigation
  5. Indeed. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I am always available to them, don’t hesitate to call me w/any question, concern. My job is to take most of the worry off of them
  6. Am sure they appreciate. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Getting a criminal case dismissed 4 an innocent man who had gone thru the Midnight Mission rehab/job program http://t.co/MZ48sfG
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    They know I am smart, will work tirelessly 4 them, get good results, and be invested in their companies like they are
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Litigation – it is generally the most active practice area in a firm especially in slower economic periods like we are in right now
  9. How does your experience as Assistant Public Defender early in your career help your clients today?
    Being a public defender sharpens trial skills. Dealing w/bad facts often & winning, only sharpens outside the box litigation skills
  10. What will be the next battleground in social media law? Who should be concerned?
    Privacy and whether companies r following their terms of use, and protecting the private info that they gather from their users
  11. That’s definitely an issue of concern…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    “Have u heard of Facebook? I am the person who helps businesses w/the legal issues for being on FB & having employees who r on it”
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    About 8 mos ago, providing useful info, staying more current w/news & legal developments, & connecting 2 people w/related interests
    My objectives have stayed pretty much the same once I became active. I received great advice 4 my Twitter activity from @changesq
  13. You blog at Social Media Law Update (http://t.co/Alfp0TG). Who do your write it for? Why should they read it?
    Target audience is businesses who want a non-legalese discussion of social media legal issues & practical suggest’ns from a SM user
  14. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Biggest benefit has been people finding me = invitations 2 speak, journalists quoting me, a book in the works & a monthly column
  15. Pretty big benefits indeed. What does your firm leadership think about your active online presence?
    They are very supportive of my online presence, & w/out my social media blog at the firm, I would not have made it this far
  16. That’s great. Let’s switch gears a bit now. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The shrinking of the legal market, less jobs & opportunities for new attorneys. I don’t see this as a temporary state of affairs
  17. What then will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    That is one crystal ball that is very foggy to me. My hope is that alternative dispute resolution will be used more, and early on.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    A career counselor, social worker, journalist, chef, food writer – I am doing what I love and dabbling in all of the above
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I would like to be remembered as a great tennis player, but since that is not likely to happen, I will settle 4 being a nice person
  20. :-) What do you do when you’re not working?
    See movies, visit w/friends, cook, hike w/my dogs, go to the theater, try a new restaurant, take a spinning or pilates class, blog
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Use social media to network with as many people as possible, become involved in bar association and legal groups, and don’t give up
  22. And the final question of today’s interview: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Use social media to network w/as many people as possible, become involved in bar assn & legal groups, and find time for internships
    ABA sections and other legal groups are very receptive to law students who want to get involved early.

Good, consistent advice. :-) Thanks very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed getting to know you better

Thank you! I enjoyed myself and appreciated the thought you put into your questions.

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