@cynthiarrowland

September 22nd, 2009

09_web_rowland__cynthiaCynthia R Rowland

Business and tax lawyer with focus on nonprofit and charity law

Partner, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP

Today we’re tweeting w/ tax & corp lawyer, Haiku poet & Director Emeritus of St Mary’s Med Center Foundation Board

  1. @cynthiarrowland thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @cynthiarrowland?
    Hardworking & seasoned CA lawyer devoted to clients, family, friends & community w/passion for making world a better place
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    General counsel for wide range of nonprofit legal, regulatory, tax, business & ethical challenges & complex corp structures
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mainly charities, community & family fndns, museums, universities, schools, churches, & philanthropists that support them
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Effective nonprofit governance on a tight budget that’s also prudent, compliant, ethical & avoids conflicts of interest
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I’m committed to their success, responsive, know they’d rather not spend $ on legal & won’t surprise them w/bill > budget
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Working w/ founders to create OneCal Foundation as charity that’s a holding co for a community bank www.onecalfoundation.org
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    They trust me to help them do things right, and to do the right things.
  8. That’s a great endorsement. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Tax & corp compliance; charities are highly regulated by fed & states & rules not intuitive-many traps for the unwary & yes
  9. How is the economic crisis affecting your non-profit clients? What are they doing differently to survive?
    Greater demands from grantees/clients means nonprofits need to be more effective & efficient; all are doing more w/less
  10. I’d imagine ‘less’ for your clients means absolute bare minimums right now…. How do you market your practice?
    Right. Seminars, articles, books, meals, ABA, NCCUSL + blog, twitter, LinkedIn, LegalOnRamp see http://tinyurl.com/kvdnhn
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
    Expert @ helping entrepreneurial philanthropists & charities, partner in general biz law firm; can help w/most legal needs!
  12. You blog @ Leadership, Women, Lawyers (http://bit.ly/k4LXE). Why did you start it? Are you meeting your objectives?
    Was looking for new & interesting challenge; at 1 yr mark soon! It’s been fun, I’ve learned a lot & have growing readership
  13. Congrats-Great blog! How are your Web 2.0 activities perceived by your firm’s leaders? Are others as active as you?
    No one else in my firm seems publicly active in Web 2.0 nor using it for client development. Yet. Might change after today!
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Good Q–Many of my clients are active Twitterers so I follow them & RT; can’t say any particular new engagement yet but it’s early…
    more imp: Twitter/Tweetdeck is info source for following chatter about issues & orgs I need to know about (eg, adv parties)
  15. Very good point. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Feels like 24/7; probably avg 1 hr/day, both old school methods (seminars, publishing etc) and Web 2.0 (blog, twitter, etc)
  16. Time well spent. Let’s switch gears now: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Cloud computing & Web 3.0 are transforming biz & legal profession See http://tinyurl.com/n4m7kj & http://tinyurl.com/nfcbts
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Info access & communication will be very different, changing clients & service delivery-but they’ll still need wise counsel
  18. Absolutely! What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Probably go hungry; Maybe psychologist or novelist—I like figuring out why people do what they do & writing fiction & poetry
  19. I very much doubt that! How do you want to be remembered?
    Wise & thoughtful lawyer & team player & mom, devoted to increasing happiness quotient on the planet; a true & loyal friend
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Spend eves & wknds w/family (husband, 2 sons and dtr, 2 horses, dog, cats) home & garden design, church & good friends :)
  21. I see why only 1 hr/day for SocMed.. What advice can you gvie lawyers under-/unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Get out there & network(info interviews, volunteer) do what you love w/people you like; build skills as best you can; stay +
  22. And our last question: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Here’s what I told my son (1st yr @ U Chi) It’s a great education! Don’t waste it & gd luck! See http://tinyurl.com/lhshxc

Wise words (and nice post)! Thank you so much for answering our questions today; this was a great twitterview

Thanks, great fun! I am finding it hard now to say anything with more than 140 characters! Will resume legalspeak shortly.

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@taxgirl

April 21st, 2009

taxgirlavatarKelly Phillips Erb

Owner at The Erb Law Firm PC

Tax law blawger at Taxgirl: “because paying taxes is painful… but reading about them shouldn’t be.”

Mom, tax lawyer, coffee drinker, manic blogger, iPod addict – not a sleeper

Today, we’re tweeting with @taxgirl: coffee drinker, super blawger, mom, Philly native, and true tax law rockstar

  1. @Taxgirl, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Who is the person behind @Taxgirl?
    Thanks for having me! I’m pretty much exactly what I tweet about: mom, tax lawyer, blogger. And I drink a lot of coffee…
     
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I own a practice in Philly w my husband @jcerb (no casualties yet). We focus on int’l, tax, computer and biz law – I do the tax bit.
     
  3. Let’s hope that record lasts…. What type of clients do you represent?
    Most clients are businesses/biz owners. We rep a lot of tech companies, ISPs, the like, a # of int’l businesses (esp German/UK).
     
  4. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Not to be scared of tax. While it’s important to try to get it right the 1st time, there’s practically nothing that can’t be fixed.
     
  5. That makes me feel better about the return I just filed…. What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Gosh, that’s tough, how do you define sig? Just before I started my firm, I made a great pitch to a sizable biz – they loved it.
     
  6. Yes, winning a new client as you’re starting on your own is significant. Did they say what was special about your pitch?
    No, but I knew. It was that I could think on my feet. They changed their minds about what they wanted, and I was able to respond.
    Around that time, I thought I had fallen out of love w law. I realized I loved tax law. I just didn’t love my old firm. Aha moment.
     
  7. That’s a good strength to have. What are the other reasons your clients hire you?
    I hope they hire me because I’m good at what I do and I understand that businesses aren’t just about spreadsheets.
     
  8. How is the economic crisis affecting your clients?
    You know, knock wood, our clients haven’t been terribly affected by the slowdown in the economy.
     
  9. They (& you) are fortunate. Do you think it stems from their businesses/industries, an improving economy or other factors?
    Some of it is definitely industry specific. I also think small-mid sized biz are often better equipped to adapt to chg.
     
  10. That’s no doubt correct. How do you market your practice?
    Lots of networking, “real life” and SM. We sponsor events. I write quite a bit and I speak often (@jcerb – be nice!)
     
  11. Looks like I’ll have to interview @jcerb soon…. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Good luck w that – @jcerb is very diff from me!
    I kind of am my brand, it’s hard to quantify. Is it wrong to say all of my waking hours? ;)
    maybe it’s Twitter or maybe it’s lawyers but the 22 Tweets interviewees all seem to have a similar answer to that question….
     
  12. You’ve blogged for more than four years as Taxgirl (http://bit.ly/1aAm8M). How much is there to say about taxes?
    Are you kidding me? I could talk forever @ taxes! Like it or not, practically every aspect of life can be linked to taxes.
     
  13. you really ARE a tax law rockstar! What has been the greatest benefit you’ve got from blogging?
    I guess that every day, I get to talk about interesting things w great people. How many people can say that?
     
  14. Have your Web 2.0 activities had an impact on referrals or client engagements?
    Yes and no. I actually get more biz from the web for the other attys in my firm – but that’s just as good.
     
  15. Indeed. Switching gears, what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Besides layoffs? Image. There are terrible lawyers who have ruined what folks think of us. Most lawyers are good people!
     
  16. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Despite the noise, it will look the same. The legal field is not terribly fluid/progressive (my colleagues still use DOS).
     
  17. Interesting perspective. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I don’t know. I’m spoiled now, so I’d have to work for myself (who wants a boss anymore?). I’d love to own a winery.
     
  18. How do you want to be remembered?
    Remembered? What have you heard? Am I going somewhere?
     
  19. OK, OK, maybe it’s not the right question. How’s this one: what do you do when you’re not working?
    Chasing after my kids or digging in the dirt (I love to garden). I also like to drink wine but that sounds sad out loud.
     
  20. You mentioned that you and your husband are law partners. Is it tough to leave your practice at the office?
    Yeah, but it’s also cool to work w someone who understands where you’re coming from, if I have to answer a call, he gets it.
    But we also have 3 small kids so we don’t have a lot of time to talk law at home: we’re busy playing zone defense.
     
  21. I get that…. For your final question, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Life changes constantly. Don’t get sucked into the idea that any single moment, course or grade will define you.
    I say that having gotten my lowest grade in law school… in tax law.

Great advice made infinitely stronger by that admission! Thank you so much for tweeting with 22 Tweets today.

    [Ed. note: due to editorial oversight, @taxgirl was not asked all 22 questions….]

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