How I Practice-Daniel Gelb

Daniel GelbDaniel Gelb
Beverly, MA

1. What are your areas of practice?
I practice in the areas of general and white collar criminal defense, complex civil litigation, arbitration, regulatory proceedings, and academic discipline and student misconduct defense.   Prior to joining Gelb & Gelb LLP, I was an Assistant District Attorney with the Norfolk County DA’ s Office in Massachusetts.   

2. Describe a typical day for you?
I am in court 2-3 times per week, on average.  Typically, the appearances are in the morning, after which, I focus on preparing motions and related filings, drafting letters, returning telephone calls and meeting with clients.   

3. Where do you practice? Do you have a stand-alone office or home office?
For approximately 29 years, Gelb & Gelb LLP’s main office was in Boston.  In January 2017, we moved the main office to Beverly, Massachusetts, which is about 25 miles north of Boston.  We continue to maintain firm offices in downtown Boston and New York City.  I also have a home office which is mainly for continuity of workflow, not for meeting with clients

4. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own practice?
Like all attorneys who care about achieving positive results for their clients, I dedicate a tremendous amount of time to my practice.  However, one of the most rewarding aspects of having my own practice is the flexibility outside of the office.  It is extremely rare that I cannot attend an important family event with my wife and children because of work.    

5. What are some of the challenges about having your own practice?
Running your own practice is equally challenging as it is autonomous.  You must pay attention not only to your clients and caseload, but also stay on top of the firm’s accounting, marketing efforts and operations. It is a service business that requires time and attention that is not readily predictable.   

6. What are your must-have tech tools/apps?
Like all modern-day practitioners, smartphones, laptops, scanners, etc., are all integral to streamlining the work that needs to be done.  Our focus is shifting to scaling cloud-based software services to unify work product no matter where we are located.  

7. How do you market your practice? How do you find new clients?
I have always enjoyed writing, and have published multiple articles for various state and national legal publications.  I co-author a book on electronic discovery and evidence that is going into its fourth edition.  A substantial amount of my cases are referrals from other attorneys, word-of-mouth, and participating in state bar and professional organizations.  Meeting with other attorneys has been both a source of referrals and professional friendships.  

8. When and where do you interact with other attorneys?
I am a member of various professional organizations such as the New York State Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, American Inns of Court, Massachusetts Bar Association, American Bar Association, Litigation Counsel of America, and The Sedona Conference®.  I make it a priority to participate in various ways to the extent possible, such as attending events, serving on committees, or writing for an organization’s publication.  It is important to seek out other practitioners to learn from them, about their practices, and to share information about your own practice and experiences.  

9. How do you stay informed with legal news/developments?
I subscribe to various professional publications, attend and present at CLE programs; and make it a priority to pay attention to the developments in the areas of law in which I practice.  Whenever possible, I try to learn about other areas of the law—even if it is just reading exchanges on a bar association listserv, or an article about areas of the law that is different from the ones in which I practice.

10. If a fellow attorney decided they wanted to start their own practice, what is the one thing they should know?
Practicing law, especially litigation, is completely different from the business of it, and managing a law firm of any size does not run on how well you know the law.  Although it may sound obvious, cases do not just show up on your desk, and one must commit to being a productive and active member of the profession both inside and outside of the office.  You will gain a new perspective on how you want to spend both your professional and personal time.