How I Practice-Scott Malouf

Scott MaloufScott Malouf
Law Office of Scott Malouf
Rochester, NY

1. What are your areas of practice?

Social media discovery, review, evidence and use-based claims are key areas. Specifically, I help other attorneys develop and execute social media discovery plans or new claims related to a litigant’s use of social media, as well as defend against the same. Overall, I develop ways to address most social media issues that can affect a case. In addition, I work with organizations who want to use social media for business, such as recruiting or marketing, but stay compliant and reduce legal risks.

2. Describe a typical day for you?
In the morning, I post content to social media sites, see what others are posting, and stay up-to-date on developments via blogs. After that, no day is truly typical. In addition to working on client matters and marketing, I also look at changes to the social sites and eDiscovery vendor services. 

3. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own practice?
Like most attorneys, I enjoy finding solutions and helping the client solve problems. The particular charms of social media law are that the area moves fast, problems are visceral, and each client has individual concerns that may call for unique solutions.

4. What are some of the challenges about having your own practice?
As a solo, you are doing everything; you’re the cook, the bottle washer and the maître d’. For example, you have to be really diligent about building a network, explaining what makes you different AND then spreading the word. 

5. What are your must-have tech tools/apps?
First, attorneys should keep their eyes open for new services – ask your clients, or kids, what new services they are using. Second, tech tools and social media are really good for listening to conversations in areas of interest. 

My top apps are Feedly, Pocket and Evernote - apps that let me save (and search) materials, such as when you are trying to draft a document and you want to see the wording in “that case” who’s name you can’t quite recall. For social media, I like Buffer to manage posts and Crowdfire to organize followers. 

6. How do you market your practice? How do you find new clients?
Social media, obviously. On LinkedIn, I post articles I’ve written and links to my presentations. Someone can easily read my article or see a webcast to get a sense of me and my take on issues. Having multiple connections helps too. If you and I are connected via LinkedIn and Twitter we see each other’s posts, and that helps to keep my name in front of you and vice versa. I also speak, whether at formal events like CLEs or a radio broadcast or informal fora like podcasts or small presentations.

7. When and where do you interact with other attorneys?
NYSBA committees are valuable. I am on the Social Media Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. The Committee promulgated the Social Media Ethics Guidelines (http://www.nysba.org/socialmediaguidelines), which highlighted the talents of the many people who contributed. Bar events also give me a chance to interact in person. It is a good way to follow up on the “remote” connections of social media. 

8. How do you stay informed with legal news/developments?
Blogs, lots of good blogs. As well as following journalists, attorneys and organizations on social.  Google Alerts can be useful too.

9. If a fellow attorney decided they wanted to start their own practice, what is the one thing they should know?
You must ask yourself, “Who are my ideal clients?” and “What do they really want?” I’d also test those answers as much as possible. If you want to serve franchise owners, have you asked them what they really want from an attorney?