I was honored this week to become the 50th lawyer interviewed via Twitter by Lance Godard of 22 Tweets. Here’s the transcript…
Today we’re tweeting with @glennm, biglaw antitrust / telecom / technology litigator turned Web 2.0 legal guru.
@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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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. -
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? -
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. -
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. . -
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.” -
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!). -
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. -
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.