@AKunkel_GPLaw

October 26th, 2010

Anne Kunkel

Commercial real estate, agriculture and transactional lawyer

Partner, Givens Pursley LLP

Board Member, Sustainable Futures

Today we’re tweeting w/ Idaho RE lawyer, foodie & winie, & Mountain States Super Lawyers “Rising Star in real estate”

  1. @AKunkel_GPLaw, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @AKunkel_GPLaw?
    Second year partner at a mid-size full service firm, in Boise, Idaho, married to a State Appellate PD, 3 cats, 1 dog.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    Commercial real estate, ag law and biz/corp transactions, lending, with a good measure of liquor licensing thrown in
  3. Everything is better with a good measure of liquor licensing…. What type of clients do you represent?
    Entrepreneurs, banks, restaurateurs, business folks, farmers, you name it, no one kind of client, peeps who want to do deals
  4. That’s a diverse group. What is the single most important legal issue affecting them?
    Lack of available financing. Deals there, pple want to them, but finding $ is impossible, multifamily sector is strong tho
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    It may seem expensive but it’s a lot cheaper to do the deal right first than litigate about it later. Sorry litigator tweeps
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    BoDo, mixed use prjct w/ enviro, bond, reg, city development participation, finance elements. gr8 exp 4 then baby lawyer
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    being dealmaker instead of dealbreaker. Clients don’t want lawyers killing deals, think outside the box to get things done
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    REO properties, smaller one off transactions, business restructuring. No, practice was 80% finance before Gr8 Recession
  9. You touched on this briefly: how is the economic crisis affecting your clients? Are you seeing any signs of recovery?
    Lack of financing stopped deals. Yes, creative financing helping deals 2 get some traction. Non RE biz and HC pretty strong
  10. You’re on the Board of Sustainable Futures (http://bit.ly/bmYue4). How does that experience make you a better lawyer?
    Important to realize its not all about making $, but helping people. It humbles you, puts even the bad times in perspective
  11. How is real estate law evolving in response to the growing demand for green building and sustainability?
    lot of uncertainty b/c of differing standards. Hinders decision making, a great time for RE attys to counsel and advise.
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I am a “dirt/business lawyer” with a niche specialty in liquor, liquor licenses that is.
  13. How do you generally market your practice? Does social media play a big part in your marketing efforts?
    Good wrk, word of mouth, prof org m-ships/r-ships, community involvement. Still getting handle on how 2 best use FB & Twtr
  14. How long have you been active on Twitter? Has your Twitter strategy changed over that time?
    bit over a yr. Use more actively for info; thought sharing, communication, connection with community, no longer on sidelines
  15. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    some based on website 411, but rly allows me 2 keep in touch w peers leading 2 referrals. Relationships bring clients
  16. Indeed. Let’s switch gears here: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Maintaining quality standards in a super fast communication world. Good work still takes time, clients need to understand
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Billable hour will be exception, more flat fees, lifestyle choice will structure practice instead of $ no hard offices
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    independent wealth, no really, I’d love to go to culinary school, or event planning, using management skills I’ve learned
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Prof: a person who gets things done, trustworthy. Personal: the most positive pessimist ever met, more than my job, sincere
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Worry about not working. Seriously, watch a lot of sports (Go UK!), golf (badly), volunteer, garden, search out delish food
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Its just $, don’t get lost in the stress, maintain r/ships, pple survived worse economy. Need to follow own advice at times
  22. Finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Think of JD outside of the trad’l practice. JDs open lots of doors, not just law & Econ will get better, always does

Thank you so much, Anne, for your good advice and a great interview. I enjoyed learning about you and your practice

Thanks. This was good fun.

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@dinayin

April 9th, 2009

yindDina J. Yin

Associate at Baker & Daniels (Beijing and Indianapolis)

International transactions and patent / trademark lawyer

Author of Indiana China Lawyer

 

Today, we’re tweeting with @DinaYin, a transactional lawyer currently based in the Beijing office of an international firm

  1. @DinaYin, thank you for joining us today at 22 Tweets. Tell us: who is the person behind @DinaYin?
    Thanks for having me. In no particular order, int’l business lawyer, foodie, traveler, blogger, creative thinker.
     
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    cross-border transactions, IP enforcement, U.S. import & export controls.
     
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Fortune 500 to startups. Clients come to B&D for international service at reasonable midwest rates.
     
  4. What is the most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    At the moment, how to handle downsizing operations in China yet still work with the recent Chinese labor law changes.
     
  5. Sounds like uncharted territory…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    When it comes to China, I always tell clients to be VERY patient. Focus on relationship building, not the result….
    You’d be surprised at how a change in focus will help in obtaining results.
     
  6. What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Setting up my first subsidiaries in China and India for a client.
     
  7. Why was it significant?
    It was my first substantive “international business attorney” experience….
    It had all the right ingredients: cross jurisdictional legal issues, players from different countries, time zones…
     
  8. Why do your clients hire you?
    Lawyers at my firm have a reputation for being practical, cost-effective problem solvers…
    But as a “China lawyer,” you have to understand the problem from both a legal and cultural perspective and EXPLAIN it.
     
  9. How is the economic crisis affecting your clients?
    Not much. It’s made them more creative in finding business opportunities worldwide and not focus on the U.S.
     
  10. Have you and your firm had to respond to financial difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    Tailor fee structure to legal budget, provide set quotes if necessary, work with the client’s time line for payment.
     
  11. How do you market your practice?
    Twitterviews! Web 2.0, seminars, face to face meetings. But most of all, continue doing quality work for existing clients.
     
  12. Can never go wrong with that! How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Sometimes all day… and now all night… No, probably 3 to 4 hours a day on average.
     
  13. What value have you seen from being on Twitter?
    It keeps me connected to my Indy network, meet new tweeps re China law, updated on developments on China and Int’l matters.
     
  14. Your blog, Indiana China Lawyer (http://bit.ly/jJDsA)=your China experiences. How did U sell a non-legal blog to your firm?
    The firm approached me! The blog is about my experience in China from all facets (legal and non-legal)….
    Clients want to know how to do business in China. That’s the day-to-day, networking, AND legal. My blog=all those views.
     
  15. Interesting take; had not thought of that – How important are your Web 2.0 activities to the marketing of your practice?
    It’s increasingly important to use new mediums for networking and potential clients, especially in an international setting.
     
  16. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    I agree with @Jayshep on this. There’s an increasing need for the legal profess. 2 think abt alt. fee arrangements.
     
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lower billing rates, more regional firms rather than gargantuan firms. Stronger networks amongst firms to cross-sell.
     
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    At this moment: probably be a traveling journalist and spend at least a month in Yunnan, China.
     
  19. I liked your blog post on Yunnan; makes me want to visit. How do you want to be remembered?
    Wow. That’s a loaded question. I think for now, just someone who can adapt to any challenge.
     
  20. You’re no doubt getting a lot of practice at that these days. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Trying to see as much of China/Asia as I can this year!
     
  21. What’s been the most difficult thing about the move to China?
    The night vs. day time zone change is the biggest challenge for effective communication….
    Local system works better 4 u when here.. But a Chinese solution for American clients can be hard for them to accept.
     
  22. One last question: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Don’t let the rat race in school bog u down. Connect ur life skills to ur legal knowledge when interviewing — all 1 package.
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@lawyerben

March 24th, 2009

ben0608Benjamin Qualley

Associate Attorney at Gerbers Law, S.C

 

 

 

Today, we’re tweeting with @LawyerBen, a commercial transactions and planning lawyer from Green Bay, Wisconsin

  1. Thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is the person behind @LawyerBen?
    Happy to be here. Minnesota native living in the heart of Packer country. Ex-volleyballer, lover of fishing & MN sports.
     
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I work for a small Green Bay firm. My practice is transactional, focused on mergers along with business and estate planning.
     
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    My typical client is a small to medium sized business owner who wishes to grow. More blue collar than white here in WI.
     
  4. What is the most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    I’d say flux in capital gains and estate taxes; they are controlling timing and structure of deals, and lack predictability.
     
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Expect honesty. I will not sugarcoat reality on your options, and if I don’t know an answer, I will tell you so & find out.
     
  6. I’m sure they appreciate that. What was the most significant client representation you’ve had?
    Most significant personally was emergency estate planning for a client and friend having brain surgery the following day.
     
  7. Tell us what happened and what you did
    Claim privilege :-) She had guardianship, trust, and power of attorney issues. Feels good to help when they are issues that matter.
     
  8. It must be satisfying to know you’ve made a difference. Why do your clients hire you?
    We do little advertising. Our clients are almost all referrals from those who have had good experiences with the firm.
     
  9. Slightly different take on the question: Why *should* your clients hire you?
    Big firm research skills, but small firm relationships. Green Bay is tight-knit and we are well connected to the community.
     
  10. How is the economic crisis affecting your clients?
    They have slowed down on the merger side. Now more clients come for estate planning to protect what they see flitting away.
     
  11. What are you and your firm doing to respond to the difficulties your clients may be experiencing?
    We’ve shifted to match the desire for asset protection. We work with more CFP’s than ever to harmonize investment plans.
     
  12. How do you sell your practice?
    A soft-sell has always been our approach. We are friends with many of our clients before they ever set foot in the door.
     
  13. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    Today more than most :-) With social media, client lunches and after hours networking, probably 2+ hours/day on average.
     
  14. Thanks for letting 22 Tweets monopolize that time today! Why are you on Twitter?
    Both to interact directly with local people, and on a national level, to keep up with the ever-changing practice of law.
     
  15. Are you achieving that objective?
    Definitely. I have learned so much in a short time from my colleagues on Twitter, and have strengthened local relationships.
     
  16. Beyond Twitter, do you use other social networking tools (blog, FB, LI, etc)?
    I am on LinkedIn http://bit.ly/VP1BY We have long written on business but just launched a firm blog http://bit.ly/weaD2
     
  17. Congrats on the blog. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    As much as the economy, the proliferation of online self-help legal services performed by bots is a threat to the profession
     
  18. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    I suspect with big firm layoffs & availability of basic legal materials online, specialization and boutique firms will grow.
     
  19. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I was a physics major in undergrad (dont tell) so I would likely be doing scientific research; at a particle accelerator hopefully.
     
  20. Your secret’s safe here…. Perhaps you could be a lawyer at LHC for CERN. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good friend, great family member and touched lives in big ways or small; as dedicated to those causes I believed in.
     
  21. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I can golf for a couple months per year in Green Bay; the rest of the time I fish, hunt, play volleyball, dote on my niece.
     
  22. What languages do you speak?
    Fluent in English and Poker-speak. Speak broken French (enough to navigate Paris) and I am trying to learn Spanish…slowly
     
  23. Our last question of the day: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Take skills-based classes! Mediation, trial advocacy, drafting etc have helped me immensely. Substantive law changes anyway.

Thank you so very much, @LawyerBen, for tweeting with 22 Tweets and answering our questions today

[Ed. note: due to an oversight, @lawyerben got an extra question….]

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