@paulrubell

December 16th, 2010

Paul Rubell

Business and Technology Lawyer

Partner, Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP

Special Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School

Today we’re tweeting with Long Island business and technology lawyer @paulrubell, former attorney to Dr Robert Atkins

  1. @paulrubell thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @paulrubell?
    Well, I’m a lawyer in New York, which I hope you won’t hold against me. I’m also a prof at Hofstra Law School.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I focus on the #technology space – software developers, mergers/acquisitions, tech transfer, privacy.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mid-cap and emerging #growth #companies; designers and customers of #software; #businesses and their owners.
  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    The #cloud + its attendant #security and #privacy concerns. Also the #economic #climate (ok that’s 2 issues).
  5. Two big issues…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “This meeting is #confidential, whether you engage me as your #lawyer or we shake hands and say good bye.”
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    Cant breach client #privileged, #confidential. More than 1: many, where people’s lives, #careers,, families are at stake.
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    Recommendations, mostly. My holistic approach to personal & business – and I hope, my intelligence & experience.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    A lot of M+A deals. Licensing #software. Business advice of all kinds. Growth strategies.Typical? My firm & I are fortunate.
  9. You work with a lot of entrepreneurs. How have they fared in the economic crisis? Any signs of improvement?
    #Business in mandate industries (#healthcare, #financial) is booming. Service industries are slow.
  10. Let’s talk about your work with Dr Atkins. There must have been some unique challenges…. What did you do for him?
    I was Dr A’s personal & corporate lawyer from 1997 to his passing in 2003. I productized his nutriceutical company, grew it.
  11. In addition to your law practice, you teach at Hofstra Law. Why do you teach? How does it make you a better lawyer?
    I teach to give back to the bar and the community. I want to train young #lawyers for the real world of #business….(more)
    ….. Writing with clarity is an essential, scarce skill. I learn from students, and getting back to basics is key.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I listen. I try to understand their interests, aspirations. Make #eye contact. Use #body #language. It’s just like #dating.
  13. Good analogy….. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I joined #Twitter in late 2008/early 2009 (thereabouts) as a way of learning from others…. (more)
    ….& sharing information.I have to understand client’s needs re social media, law. My goals haven’t changed since then.
  14. What does your firm’s leadership think of your Twitter presence? Was it difficult to get their buy-in?
    Social media is an emerging world, esp in business. Buy-in was easy once it’s explained/understood  ….(more)
    ..…Media’s use in my firm dove-tails advice I give to clients.
  15. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I use #Web 2.0 as a tool to facilitate communication & collaboration; board meetings, overseas. I haven’t used it to market.
  16. Interesting approach. Let’s switch gears now: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    As always, quality #advice is hard to find. And today – so are jobs. …..(more)
    …..As #clients’ businesses meet obstacles, their need/ability to pay for #lawyers diminishes.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Old/new. America is litigious; that won’t change. Emerging areas of law such as #robotics, #free #software will flourish….
    More #tech tools (who knows what?!) will be at lawyers’ disposal, and more concerns about #safeguarding #client data.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I would design software applications, as I’ve been doing since 1969…..(more)
    And my son @brentrubell wants to hire me as his general #counsel.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    That is a scary question. Family member, friend, kind, caring.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Enjoy my #kids and #wife, #friends. #Bike ride, going to the local #beach, read #science #fiction, #sleep.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Don’t give up. The economy will turn. Take any job in any area of law that opens up. Don’t be picky.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Get A’s. #Network. And get A’s. #Learn as much as you can, about anything / everything. And get A’s.

Good solid advice! Thanks for your time today; I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice.

Thank you so much, Lance. Your questions were well conceived, as is this forum. I am grateful to have participated.

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@profjonathan

June 8th, 2010

Jonathan I. Ezor

Director, Touro Law Center Institute for Business, Law and Technology and Assistant Professor of Law and Technology

Special Counsel, The Lustigman Firm

Today we’re tweeting w/ @profjonathan: tech lawyer, law prof, author, & one of Long Island Business News’ “Top 40 under 40” in 2005

  1. @profjonathan thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @profjonathan?
    @ProfJonathan is the law, technology and general Twitter ID for Jonathan Ezor of Long Island, NY
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    1st a corp. atty in 92, Internet bus law since ’94, and am now counsel to The Lustigman Firm (www.lfirm.com) (@AdvLaw )
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Marketers, startups and other cos using the Internet in some way. I do contracts & advisory work, not litigation.
  4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Today, #privacy and user data laws and regs. Constantly shifting requirements and expectations throughout world.
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    That I know the job of a lawyer is to help find the “yes” if possible, not just say “no.” Then I listen and ask questions.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I was an outside atty for Juno at & just after its launch as 1st ad-supported free e-mail svc. Cool co., smart people.
  7. That does sound cool. Why do your clients hire you?
    Because I and my colleagues already get what they do, so we can focus on helping them better manage risks….
    I’ve always thought it unfair for clients to have to explain the Internet to their attys while paying for billable hours…
    Also, how can an atty give good advice on risks if he/she doesn’t truly understand the environment in which client works?
  8. Indeed. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    First is #privacy. We have an efficient, flat-free process to build flexible and understandable policies….
    Other main focus is social media in all forms. Twitter sweepstakes, endorsements, affiliate marketing, etc…
    Because the Internet is constantly evolving, so does our work, which is what makes it fun.
  9. You teach cyberlaw and biz law at Touro Law Center. Does teaching make you a better lawyer? How?
    Touro (http://www.tourolaw.edu) is actually my full-time job; I direct our Institute for Business, Law and Technology…
    Teaching definitely improves my lawyering, and vice versa. Teaching means I must be ready to answer all kinds of Qs…
    …and through my practice, I come across new areas I can share (minus confidential info, of course!) with my students…
    It’s really a great synergy. There’s a reason why lawyers who teach get extra CLE hours. It improves their own practice.
  10. That certainly makes sense. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    “I run a program for Internet business law at Touro, and have been practicing it for more than 15 years.” Straightforward.
  11. When then did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives when you started? Have they changed?
    I joined Twitter in the fall of 2008, but really became active in the spring of 2009…
    I credit my friends @dcpinkowitz and @jeffpulver (of #140conf fame) with jumpstarting my Twitter use…
    My objectives were and are twofold: to make an impact by providing info & value, and to get info and value….
    What I didn’t expect, though, is how Twitter can be something like an #IRC channel; an ongoing, interactive community…
    Using tools like #Tweetdeck, and hashtag-driven columns, Twitter goes from a firehose to a managed discussion. Very useful.
  12. You also tweet as @ PalmPreLawyer. Why do you use two accounts? Is there a difference in your content?
    With social media, “who you are” is important. Not every one of my followers is interested in the #Palm #Pre and #webos…
    Rather than making them sort through my tweets, I started a separate, non-secret Twitter account for those thoughts…
    (I have a 3rd account that I just use to enter Twitter-based prize promos, so I don’t bug folks with RTs. Have won too!)
  13. Besides Twitter, what other social media / networking tools do you regularly use?
    I use LinkedIn, both to make connections and to build a network as a resource for my students…
    I do use Facebook, but largely for personal stuff. It’s where people my age rediscover their high school/college friends.
  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    No direct client gets (yet), but many new relationships, speaking engagements, writing gigs, etc….
    I’ve also been able to point out resources and opportunities to clients and colleagues, through my own exploration.
  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    By spending time on Twitter. There’s a direct correlation: the more I tweet (relevantly), the more followers I gain…
    Have to balance, though. #Twitter can be a *huge* time sink. Way too interesting sometimes.
    How much time depends on the day. “Too much” is probably the most accurate answer, though! :)
  16. I hear ya…. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Demonstrating its value. Between online legal “services” and outsourcing, clients don’t get why they need lawyers…
    Of course, inflexible hourly billing doesn’t help! But especially for transactional (non-litigator) attys, it’s difficult…
    We need to show why our judgment, which can’t be automated or ‘Zoomed, is valuable….
    We also need to constantly reevaluate whether and how we can add value to what our clients do, whatever that may be.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    More automated but not automatic. Lawyers will find new ways to provide service, or leave the profession…
    I suspect BigLaw salaries will come down, though law will still be potentially lucrative…Professionalism will be key.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    What I’d *like* to be is a science fiction writer, but I don’t really have those stories to tell, unfortunately….
    More likely, I would do the other things I do a little of now: write non-fiction (biz/tech & other subjects) and work in IT.
    (Teaching at a law school, though, is one of the best jobs out there.)
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone who informed, positively.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I have 3 kids (ages 8 to 15), all bright, good kids with some special needs. That keeps me busy *grin*….
    Like many other geeks (a title I wear proudly), I read SF and comics. But with technology, “not working” is misleading….
    There’s a reason I have a t-shirt (courtesy of @140tees) that says, “At Work If Awake.” Laptops & smartphones do that.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Just sending resumes is like buying a lottery ticket. Be creative, use social media to create and use connections….
    Having spent some time unemployed myself, I know how scary it can be. I actually did a talk for students on this…
    It’s probably relevant for any lawyer (or other person) looking for jobs. It’s a podcast available at http://j.mp/caTjgZ
  22. And our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Law school is one of the best overall educations for Americans, but it’s darned expensive…
    If you can afford to spend the money, go. If you’re borrowing (as I did), make sure you *really* want to be a lawyer…
    If you’re just going to law school to make money, there are better, cheaper and more effective ways to do that….
    If you do go, make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to make connections and distinguish yourself.

That’s great advice. Thanks very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed getting to know you.

Likewise. It was much fun, and I look forward to future  interviews! Be well.

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@glennm

November 11th, 2009

glenn_soccomm09Glenn Manishin

Competition, intellectual property and policy advocacy lawyer

Partner, Duane Morris LLP

Author of Glenn’s Web and LexDigerati

Web pioneer and Web 2.0 legal guru

Today we’re tweeting with @glennm, biglaw antitrust / telecom / technology litigator turned Web 2.0 legal guru

  1. @glennm thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @glennm?
    Good morning . Thanks for inviting me.
    A tech atty. focused on comp. policy, IP & complex litigation. I help to shape the rules for new technologies, like social media.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    My practice has broadened over the years as technology developed, from telecom to software and Internet to mobility and content….
    It all started at DOJ during the US v. AT&T divestiture case, where I 1st combined antitrust with telecom regulation.
  3. That’s quite a resume! What type of clients do you represent?
    Clients who can pay their bills. ;-) Seriously, my clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Hard 2 generalize.
  4. I can imagine…. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    “What am I?” Meaning, how will legislators, courts and regulators classify and treat our products and services. That affects…
    …business Qs like CRM, IP protection/licensing and relations with both partners and competitors.
  5. Sounds like fascinating work. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “It’s better 2 be the windshield than the bug.” Be proactive in managing the development of law & policy affecting ur space.
  6. Am sure you’ve got some great success stories: tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    My fave is representing Netscape in 1995-96, when the FCC faced the Q of what was this new animal of the Net…
    …Netscape WAS the Internet and we inaugurated a federal policy of minimal regulation that survives (in large part) today.
  7. Wow. And we all thank you for that…. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m smart, fast and strategic. I would rather solve a problem with a conf. call than write a research memo. And I try to craft…
    …legal strategies for clients that further their long-term bus. plan rather than just dispose of “one off” disputes.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Over the past 2-3 years it’s been litigation. But the law moves in cycles, sometimes regulatory agencies r where the action is….
    …and at other times firms must act to resolve issues by taking them to the courts. We’re in the latter phase in tech now.
  9. What have been the biggest changes in your practice over the past few years? Clients? Technology? The Law?
    A move away from private antitrust litigation to intellectual property, as competition issues have become dominated by disputes…
    …over ownership of the underlying tech methods and assets. Take VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) for one example.
  10. What will be the next great legal battle of Web 2.0? Why should we pay attention to it?
    Who owns user-generated content is the big unsettled Q. It will impact users, social network providers and content creators…
    …If most or all digital content can b “shared,” how do older rules re proprietary rights apply in the new environment.
  11. You’re at an AmLaw 100 firm. How does your firm’s leadership view your active Web 2.0 presence?
    Mgmt. is supportive & has tasked me several times w/teaching our lawyers how to utilize and interact w/social media.
  12. That’s great. What do you say to lawyers who thumb their noses at social media and social networking?
    Hope they don’t thumb noses. But lawyers are conservative creatures and thus tend not to embrace change quickly…
    …I’d say that if attys. do not “get it,” they probably won’t get as many clients and work as new modes of communication develop.
  13. Your Web 2.0 presence is a mash-up of personal & professional. What are your SocMed objectives? Are you achieving them?
    I’m more concerned with satisfying a passion for early adoption than forming concrete objectives from social media. My philosophy…
    …has always been to find industries, partners and clients that excite me, so work is satisfying instead of a burden. The rest..
    …typically follows, namely success, profit and (we hope) happiness.
  14. Nice. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve been approached and retained by about 1/2 dozen clients in the past 12-18 months from social media contacts. The familiarity…
    …created by a user’s “social stream” tends 2 build closer relationships from the start than cold calls either way.
  15. Indeed. Can be a significant competitive advantage. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Discipline is key, else social media addiction can consume one’s life. I dedicate 30 mins, in the morning and then periodically…
    …review/post stories re current events (emphasizing law/policy, of course) of interest. Content is the best promotion.
  16. Seems to be working well…. Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    It’s clear that Big Law is facing its most challenging bus. environment in decades. Pressures to reduce and make fees predictable…
    …r sending shock waves of RIFs throughout the field. What will the bus. model be 4 legal servs. in the 21st century?
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Ah, if I could predict that, I’d be able to retire now. ;-) 20 yrs. ago I never imagined 3000+ lawyer firms, so I don’t…
    ..pretend to have a crystal ball on the legal landscape. Change can b both exhilarating and frightening, however.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Photographer or ski bum. Maybe there’s still time left? I could take a bluetooth headset 2 the slopes & do bus. in powder. .
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Unless a person becomes historically famous, legacy is all about the memories one leaves with family, colleagues and friends….
    …So while I am not especially religious, I believe in “from dust to dust.”
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Law is a jealous mistress as the old saying goes. Time is a precious commodity in short supply. So on off hours I recharge my…
    …batteries, enjoy time with wife/friends and try to beat my freshman-year son in fantasy football (he’s going down!).
  21. What advice can you pass along to the increasing # of lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Quoting Jim Carville, it’s the economy, stupid. Do not equate self-worth with job prospects. Keep faith in urself & ur innate value.
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Enjoy being an atty., but remember most of lawyering is in small details. Master craft first before trying 2b creative.

Relevant advice Indeed. Thanks so much for tweeting with me today; I really enjoyed learning more about you & your practice.

And thanks much 4 the Twitterview, Lance. I’m honored to be your guest. Very early here (Calif.), so hope I was coherent.

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