Lance Godard is am American twitterer who interviews lawyers on twitter 'one tweet at a time'. All interviews have 22 questions and follow a similar format. Once done they go on his web-site 22tweets.com. I was 'twitterviewed' on 13 October, and Lance has given me permission to reproduce it here. His questions are in bold.
Today we’re tweeting w/ UK solicitor @tessashepperson, who specializes in residential landlord and tenant law
@tessashepperson thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @tessashepperson?
Thank you for twitterviewing me! Who am I? Solicitor, wife, mother, blogger, author, Dr Who fan, the list is endless
Tell us about your law practice.
I am a sole practitioner, and work through my website service www.landlordlaw.co.uk - a 1:many service
What type of clients do you represent?
Mostly private residential landlords, some tenants and letting agents, occasionally other solicitors too
What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
Hard to single out one issue. The credit crunch has affected us here, as it has everywhere, & caused problems eg with rent
That’s understandable. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
As I practice via the internet I rarely meet clients face to face. I send them my standard ‘client care’ email
Interesting; I hadn’t thought about that. Tell us about one of more significant client representations you’ve had.
Alas I have had no big cases. However I am a trail blazer in the delivery of legal services via the internet
Why do your clients hire you?
Because I really understand my niche. Although I do less casework now, the subscription service is more important
What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
Just now I’m doing a lot of writing, blogging, talks at landlord events & wkg towards a web-site upgrade. Fairly typical
You offer legal info via subscription for landlords & tenants. What are benefits of this model for clients?
a 1:many service is more efficient than 1:1, so it is less expensive. I help people do to things for themselves
How do you market that practice?
A few ads, writing articles for relevant journals, my blog , twitter, but most people seem to find me through Google
How do you describe what you do to people you meet at networking events?
I run an online legal information service for residential landlords and tenants
You blog at Landlord Law Blog. Who is it written for? Why should they read it?
I started it 3-4 years ago as somewhere I could comment on issues + I thought it wd be fun. Readers can learn a bit & ask Qs
Interactive approach (like service). What’s the general sentiment in the UK regarding lawyers using social media?
I recently mentioned Linkedin at a lawyers mtg & got asked if it was an online dating site! A few eg @BrianInkster get it
Wow. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
Blog: My stats show that many visitors come to my website from my blog & it has helped raise my profile. Twitter: its early days
How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
My husband tells me, too much! But it is always in my mind, say 25/7?
25/8? A lot of time either way…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
In England we have a new Legal Services Act. But above that I think the internet/web 2 will have a profound effect
What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
People will expect to do business online as a matter of course. Most legal sources will be freely available online, but …
… people won’t understand it so will still need us. More work than lawyers now care to think about will be commoditised
Interesting. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
I really enjoy writing so would probably have ended up as some kind of writer.
How do you want to be remembered?
An innovator who pioneered the online delivery of legal services for ordinary people
What do you do when you’re not working?
I enjoy reading detective novels, cooking, watching Doctor Who, and spending time with my lovely family
What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
Decide what you really want from life, then work out how to achieve it. There is usually a way, you just have to find it
And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
Try to get some wk experience in a law office first, if you find you enjoy law, then go for it, otherwise do something else
That’s valuable advice to close this interesting twitterview. Thanks so much for staying up late to tweet with us!
It was a pleasure! Best wishes from across the pond!