Who are you and why should I care?
Well, for the purposes of this conversation I’m a contrarian lawyer with a knack for simplifying and crafting elegant solutions to complex problems. With a turtle. And a candle business on the side (although my wife primarily runs that). And a bad espresso habit (but only for good espresso).
On to some boring stuff. What is your educational background?
I earned my law degree and MBA from Duke University in 2002. At Duke, I was a co-founder of the The Duke Law and Technology Review, a law journal that focuses on how technology and the internet impact the law, and also served as the initial managing editor.
I also earned two degrees summa cum laude in Finance and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where I graduated near the top of my undergraduate class.
So now, after all that schooling, I can analyze you, your stock portfolio and your legal problems.
Just kidding… but it’s probably worth pointing out that my educational interests shape my approach to solving problems. Of course, learning is a continuous process and the most valuable education I have received has come from the ten years I’ve spent listening to clients – with appropriate humility – and thinking about what they want from a lawyer and how I can be the perfect fit for at least some of the folks out there.
What jurisdictions do you practice in?
When do the exciting questions get asked? I passed the bar in Washington and New York. I recently added Oregon and Arizona via reciprocity, so I am licensed in four states as of February 2017. While I tend to travel frequently, Portland is my home base these days, although I spend time in Seattle and Phoenix pretty consistently.
What practice areas do you focus on?
My practice is focused on trademark law, technology law, and virtual general counsel services. My clients are an eclectic mix, but are typically growing businesses and entrepreneurs with a track record. I also work with many artists and creative businesses because I like to. While many of my clients are located near Seattle, I work with clients across the country and even internationally with regard to intellectual property issues.
Why did you choose to focus your law practice on entrepreneurs and growing businesses?
I have always had a passion for business and profiting from ideas. I am an entrepreneur in addition to being an attorney, and I grew up in a family business environment; there is no other type of law I could see myself practicing.
What is unique about your approach to practicing law?
There are many other lawyers who excelled academically, but there aren’t many with entrepreneurial experience, a facility with numbers and an relentless drive not to over-complicate things (you doubt that lawyers generally like to over-complicate things? I’d love to have that discussion with you some other time).
What is unique about your approach to client service?
The legal profession is often maligned for insensitivity to client needs. Customer service is really not that complicated. Return phone calls promptly, be really good at eliminating distractions by spending your time wisely and avoiding projects you can’t or won’t devote yourself to, and spend a lot of time thinking about better processes, harnessing technology and generally how to use your clients’ dollars more efficiently.
Why should I hire you?
In short, because I am one of few accessible attorneys with the ability to consistently deliver practical, insightful solutions to business and intellectual property issues.
So now that you’ve blown me away with rhetoric, how can you prove how much value you can add to my business?
I realize that preachy rhetoric only goes so far, and it is hardly in short supply on the internet. If you have actually read this far, my approach might just resonate with you, and I look forward to connecting with you. Hopefully we can develop a mutually beneficial, value-for-value relationship. I am not hard to find, so please seek me out!