I MAY NOT BE WHERE YOU THINK I AM
While I maintain a practice in California and actually most of my clients are there - I actually live and also practice in Texas. As a business transactional attorney I rarely see my clients, even when they are close by. I communicate with my clients by phone, skype, conference call, instant messenger, text - whatever works for them.
A WORD ABOUT MY PARTICIPATION ON AVVO
I like avvo. I answer a lot of questions, although I do have a day job (I R a attorney). I, however, will not answer questions just to answer them; will not post "good answer" just to get points or get someone else to return the favor; and mostly I WILL NOT ENDORSE ANOTHER ATTORNEY IF I DON'T KNOW THEM OR THEIR PARTICIPATION ON AVVO. So if you are collecting endorsements and think you'll get one from me if you endorse me without knowing me - don't bother. I now return you to my "about me" section.
AS AN ATTORNEY
I'm looking for relationships, not just clients. I practice in both California and Texas. As a business attorney most of my clients don't feel the need to meet face to face very often. While I live in Texas, I am available to fly back to CA when needed.
My ideal situation is a to have a long term relationship with a client; to become part of the management team; to be consulted in advance to the client can avoid problems, rather than having to have me ride in and bail them out of trouble.
I fancy myself a bit like old fashioned family doctors who brought patients into the world and saw them throught childhood, the teens, marriage, old age and death. I'm that... but for businesses.And instead of being a country doctor, I'm an ex-New York City cab driver who moved to Silicon Valley when it was just transitioning from farmland to chipland.
Because I'm interested in long term relationships I'm more willing to spend time getting to know a client without any change than most attorneys. I have no set "30 minutes free" policy. I will spend whatever amount of time - over as many meetings as needed to see if we're a good fit.
Although I take my clients' business very seriously, I think humor is important, and if you don't have a senses of humor you probably wont like working with me. I can be grandmotherly and supportive, and at times I whack my clients upside the head with a clue.
I expect my clients to be big boys and girls and make decisions. I give you information, tell you the risks and you decide. Because I'm not in a big firm with big partners or a management committee looking over my shoulder, I don't worry as much about my ass, as I do about your profitablility. I believe small businesses must take risks to compete.
My job is to help you manage risk not avoid it completely.
AS A PERSON
I was born, brought up, and went to law school in New York City. My father had been an attorney and then a business man. I grew up hearing talk about mergers and acquisitions at the dinner table. My father used to sit me on his lap, show me financial statements and ask me "which numbers look out of place?" I learned to bottom line things at the dinner table.
As a child I spent idyllic summers at Fire Island - and I've uploaded a picture of our summer house from way back then.
I went to law school after being out of college for 4 years. I think that helped me put law school in perspective better than had I gone right out of college. I definitely went because I wanted to, not because it was expected.
During law school I drove a cab in NYC to supplement what my parents could (or would) provide and the full scholarship I won by winning the internal Moot Court competition and being named "Chief Justice" of the moot court program. I later learned being an ex-NYC cabbie brings a lot of street cred with it. I think sometimes people are more impressed by that than by my professional accomplishments.
I ran away from NY after graduating law school and settled in the San Francisco bay area. Originally aiming for SF, I ended up in the south bay - in silicon valley. Since I had always wanted to do business law and nothing else, silicon valley is a perfect place for me.
I've done nothing but business law with a slight detour. About 8 years ago I decided I was burning out. I didn't close my practice, but I took courses in coaching. My first client was myself, and I coached myself into re-energizing my practice by getting rid of the clients I didn't enjoy and making my practice into something I love again.
So that's where my personal and professional lived blend so well. My husband and I both work from home. Although I have an outside office where I meet with clients, I rarely see most of my clients in person - we work by email, phone and instant messenger.
Because we both love our work, and can take a minute or an hour to spend time together any time we want, I tend to be available to my clients when I'm needed, not necessarily just from 9 to 5 on weekdays. But it's not because I'm a work-a-holic. I just take my time off throughout the day so working at 10 at night doesn't feel like a chore if that's what's necessary.
My husband and I discovered cruising a few years ago, and we adore going on cruises. Yes, we both bring our computers and work - but trust me sitting in a cabana on the Lido deck of a cruise ship with your laptop is a whole different experience than sitting in the office looking at a computer monitor.
Being able to weave work and relaxation together seamlessly is, I think, probably my greatest achievement. That, and having picked a great husband.