Who are you?
Question 1. Please describe your business. *
Carter Law Firm is a transactional business practice that focuses on business formation, contracts, copyright, trademark, social media law, and flash mob law.
My goal is to help business owners understand and protect their interests and assets up front so they won't have problems down the road. I love to be in a situation where a client comes to me with a "crazy idea" and I can say, "We can make that work."
I'm not your typical attorney. The American Bar Association named me as one of the Legal Rebels in 2012: http://bit.ly/Tng0J3.
I've also written three best-selling books:
The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to get Sued, Fired, Arrested or Killed - http://amzn.to/13U57QM
Flash Mob Law: The Legal Side of Planning and Participating in Pillow Fights, No Pants Rides, and Other Shenanigans - http://bit.ly/1lP5g67
The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers - http://bit.ly/1baZaUo
Why Did you start your business?
My blogging and work with flash mobs made me virtually unemployable in conservative Phoenix. I really had to no choice but to open my own firm right out of law school. I also wanted to continue to write and speak on emerging legal topics and most law firms wouldn't let a new associate have that much freedom. I was admitted to the Arizona Bar in December 2011 and opened my firm the following month.
I love working with entrepreneurs, especially my fellow geeks. It lets me be in a helping/teaching role for them because they often don't understand the legal issues related to starting a business.
I also wanted to be involved in the legal issues related to the internet and social media. The laws were often working with were written before the internet was widely available and it's often challenging to discern how these old laws apply to new technologies.
What makes your business unique?
I'm a geek. Instead of sending holiday cards, I'm doing a mailing to commemorate the future birthday of Captain Kirk. (Yes, Jason's on my mailing list.)
I'm an ABA Legal Rebel - the only one selected from Arizona to date.
I literally wrote the book on the legalities of blogging.
We celebrate T-shirt Friday every week: http://on.fb.me/1aaVrWS.
I swear professionally: http://bit.ly/LS5glP.
I try to be approachable, accessible, and some people say I'm funny. I just say it like it is. I often forget that other lawyers are regarded as lying assholes who want to suck all your money out of you.
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
I took on a case that was a complete personality mis-match. Thankfully most of my clients hire me on a project basis so he was only my client for about a month. The legal work was fine, but I dreaded every phone call and email from him. Once I finished the project and closed his file, I created a list of people who aren't allowed to hire me.
This situation taught me that the personality of the people you work matters as much as the work itself. I didn't go back to school to become a lawyer to be miserable. Now I listen more to my gut feeling that tells me not let certain people hire me.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
I would love to be one of the leading people when it comes to internet and social media law - whether that's being a regular speaker at big events or consulting with the movers and shakers in the social media world.
I'm pleased with my success so far with speaking and writing books and blogs. I hope to build on my following by continuing to write and speak (and hopefully start to get paid more to do it!), and make stronger connections in the social media world.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
There's no reason why you can't hold your own with the big dogs but be sure to remain humble and teachable.
There is always much to learn and no likes working with a jerk.