MAY 25, 2018

Episode 18 – The Legal Services Early Stage Social Ventures Really Need

What does innovation look like in the traditional practice of law? For this week’s guest, it encompasses the way his firm delivers and continuously evolves their services. Brian Hall, Attorney and Advisor at Traverse Legal, PLC d/b/a Hall Law, Managing Partner Austin, TX Office and expert in IP law, takes a 360 approach when looking at the needs of a startup venture or nonprofit. Nonprofits often overlook their branding, trade secrets, data, and potential products that set them apart from other organizations or for-profits. Concentrating on impact often result in the failure to notice the ever-changing rules of the legal space.

Lisa Graham (00:00):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Change The Rules podcast. I’m Lisa Graham, Co-Founder of Notley. And with me today in the studio is Dan Graham, Notley Co-Founder, Matt McDonnell, Managing Partner of Notley, and our friend Brian Hall. Brian is the Managing Partner at the Austin office of Traverse Legal, PLC d/b/a Hall Law and is an expert in IP law, specifically related to the digital space. He’s worked with countless startups and social ventures as General Counsel, and he is on the board of EO and People Fund, and a Partner, startup runner, and angel investor with Central Texas Angel Network. And thank you for joining us today.
Brian Hall (00:31):
Thank you. Great to be here.
Lisa Graham (00:39):
So I learned actually from your wife, that in Texas, you have to have a name as your law firm name. I really just thought every attorney liked naming their law firm after themselves. Like I had no idea that was under Texas law you had to do that.
Brian Hall (00:53):
Rules are rules. We have to follow those rules here in Texas.
Dan Graham (00:57):
I was having an Arrested Development moment and if you don’t have a blog, you need one. And it should be called The Hall Law Law Blog.
Lisa Graham (01:08):
Cool. So what ended up bringing you to Austin because your law firm was started in Travers, Michigan. So how did you end up in Austin?
Brian Hall (01:15):
Get that question all the time. About four and a half years ago, we moved down here. And the trigger for it was a whole slew of things. There wasn’t one definitive moment. We’re just like let’s go to Austin, Texas. We had both grown up in the Midwest. We wanted warmer climate. We wanted bigger opportunities than Traverse City, quite frankly, had to offer at the time. Looked at a bunch of cities — Salt Lake, Boulder, Denver, Boston, ultimately chose Austin. And when we did, we went both feet in. Bought a house sight unseen. Just came down here and said, let’s make this work.
Lisa Graham (01:46):
Yeah. And so your law office, I mean, you work with a lot of startups. You’ve helped us with a lot of nonprofit and startup work. And so working with clients who are working in that social innovation space, are you guys doing law in a more innovative way or how would that even look?
Brian Hall (02:03):
Yeah, I mean, absolutely. And sometimes I think, you know, the word innovation gets thrown around a lot. Like what truly is innovation? I’d say anything you do in the legal space is innovation at this point, because it’s such a antiquated profession, right? But, you know, our practice areas aren’t necessarily what makes us unique or innovative. It’s really what we do in furtherance of the practice of law and how we deliver those legal services that I think sets us apart. And how we go and attract clients and the people we want to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Lisa Graham (02:37):
Yeah. And so you specialize in IP law. So when you’re working with nonprofits specifically, I mean, what are the issues that nonprofits may need an IP attorney for?
Brian Hall (02:47):
Here’s what I say about that. You know, people are always trying to draw that distinction. Nonprofit versus profit and what they need from a legal standpoint. I approach it a little bit differently. I approach it as if a business is a business is a business. And it’s a nonprofit sure from a designation standpoint with the IRS. But a nonprofit still needs all the same things that a for-profit business would need. There’s other things that make it unique of course. But what we can’t do is jump in and say, all right, this is nonprofits, so we’re going to forego necessary formation issues or compliance issues or IP issues, right? Which a lot of people don’t think about. They’re like, well, we’re a nonprofit. We don’t need to worry about the business stuff. We don’t have to turn cash. We’re here for impact, right? But oftentimes they overlook the fact that sometimes that IP — be it a brand, a trademark, right? Be it, some process that they have is really what sets them apart. And even though they may be a nonprofit now, all the time, things are spun off from nonprofits that turned into profitable ventures. Look at just a university setting for example.
Lisa Graham (03:51):
Yeah. Can you give some examples of what some of that IP would look like? So, you know, if nonprofits aren’t really thinking this way, maybe it could spark an idea of, ‘Oh, maybe that is something that we should be looking at.’
Brian Hall (04:00):
Yeah. The biggest one is brand, right? A trademark. How you identify yourself. That’s one that comes into play all the time and can create all kinds of licensing opportunities for you. The other thing that people think about oftentimes is copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. Those are the other kinds of IP. Where those fall in a nonprofit space really is dependent upon the nonprofit. But the one that I’ve seen the most are trade secrets, right? What are those proprietary things that you’re doing that maybe another nonprofit’s not doing to make you garner dollars from investors or people for altruistic and philanthropic reasons.
Dan Graham (04:41):
So when I think about trade secrets, I really, you know, I’m thinking about like the secret ingredients in Coca-Cola. And I’m thinking about what makes the Nestle’s cookie? Well, that’s not a good example. That recipe is on the bag. But you know, like those kinds of things. What are some examples of nonprofit trade secrets?
Brian Hall (05:11):
Yeah. So trade secrets can be anything really. It can be a process of how they do their business. It could be a way that they go out and attract money. It can be a way that they build their software systems, for example, to work through those processes. So sure, it really depends on the kind of business it is, a nonprofit business in this particular instance. But no, it’s not going to be crispy chicken versus non.
Dan Graham (05:40):
I bet the Girl Scouts have trade secrets on their cookies, especially the Thin Mints, because that’s the best one.
Lisa Graham (05:49):
You know, I think about this a lot too, which is, and you said something that they maybe like an internal system that they’ve created, but would it also apply to data? So a lot nonprofits, maybe they’re working with the clientele, they’re collecting a lot of data and then there’s studies that maybe would want to acquire that data to do bigger nationwide studies on a certain population. Is that the kind of thing?
Brian Hall (06:07):
That’s another I’d say very important thing to be thinking about because data and privacy compliance, obviously with everything that’s going on in this day and age, and Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and all these other issues out there. Nonprofits have the same responsibility that a for-profit business has to talk about how they collect store, use, share, cut up, monetize (to the extent they would) data. So I don’t know if it necessarily would qualify as a trade secret, but those policies and what they do with it is absolutely something that’s important.
Lisa Graham (06:44):
And they need to be following a lot of rules for that.
Brian Hall (06:48):
Yeah. And the rules are always changing, right? I mean, that’s the difficulty. If we think about a lot of nonprofits, and I’d say this just generally, they’re focused on their mission, which is awesome, right? They’re not focused on profitability for their shareholders. And they’re not having shareholders hold them accountable that if there is a breach or some kind of issue, that they’re going to lose money. So oftentimes what happens is they’re focused on their mission. They’re focused on their impact. And some of those tangential things don’t come up until they do, right? And the way that happens is, and I’ve seen it before, you’re sitting in a board meeting and it’s like, ‘Hey, we got an email or a cease and desist, or this lawsuit served on us. What do we do?’ So how do you head off those issues at the outset?
Dan Graham (07:35):
I would imagine too, in the nonprofit space, I mean, so much of the data for some of these organizations that’s being captured is of the most vulnerable populations. Whether it’s health data, or children data, or domestic violence data. Or even just kind of information about who lives where and what services they’re receiving and who has what kinds of terminal illnesses and all sorts of different things like that that where the protection of that data is important to mission as well as kind of being illegal. I’m curious, in a nonprofit, who’s liable for the protection of that data?
Brian Hall (08:15):
It’s a good question. I mean, another one I was thinking about while you were rattling those off is just donor list, right? Some donors like everyone to know that they donated, right? But others don’t and maybe they don’t want to know the amounts and the rest. So, it’s a huge issue. In terms of who’s liable, ultimately the nonprofit organization itself, just like a for-profit organization, could be liable.
Dan Graham (08:40):
But what does that mean? Is that the staff? The board of directors? A nonprofit isn’t known for having the biggest pockets.
Brian Hall (08:50):
Sure. And at the end of the day, it’s rare that even in a for-profit world, the shareholders would have liability, right? It’s the whole point of a legal entity is to shield from personal liability. So in a nonprofit world, it’s not as if your Executive Director, for example, or your Board could have liability. But you can bet your ass that they probably get pulled into any kind of dispute in an effort to get to that level.
Dan Graham (09:16):
And I think I hear where you’re going. It’s really the insurance companies that are the real victims here.
Brian Hall (09:22):
Matt McDonnell (09:28):
Brian, you and I, we talk a lot about some of these issues about nonprofits having an almost reactive approach sometimes to legal services, right? So if you could wave a magic wand and sort of have everybody be a sophisticated consumer of legal services, what would that look like for your average nonprofit?
Brian Hall (09:45):
It’s a great question. And again, I’d say it’s even broader than just nonprofit. I’d say it goes down to just your basic startup, right? It’s how do I go get the necessary legal counsel I need without maybe all the funds that others that typically have lawyers have? And part of that is, you asked at the outset, what does Traverse Legal do that’s a little bit different. Part of that is exactly what we’re offering. We’re rolling out right now, and I’m sharing it really for the first time on this podcast.
Brian Hall (10:19):
Essentially we’re offering what’s called Traverse GC, which we think is the first subscription-based General Counsel offering, where a nonprofit or a startup will come in, and based upon a number of credits that equate to dollars gets them those kinds of things. So here’s your checklist of all the things you should have in place. Instead of going and recreating the wheel with a law firm or law firm telling you how difficult it is to come up with these form documents that we all know everyone has, let us give you what you need to get past that stage. Now don’t let me discount lawyers by saying that, right? Because it’s important to customize stuff. It’s not a form world. And if you use that, you’ll run into issues inevitably. But there’s a lot of people that have a need. And without these kinds of things, they won’t even be in business. They may not even have their nonprofit started. So we’re going to have that offering so that that’s just a check the box, on you go. If you need more, we’re here. And as we all know, there’s lots of other lawyers out there.
Dan Graham (11:30):
You said credits, can you elaborate what you mean by that?
Brian Hall (11:40):
A good question. So think about this, right? There’s service offerings everywhere, right? SAAS, everything. And essentially you get, in a lot of those, credits. So if you go work out, for example, using ClassPass, you use 10 credits. There’s all kinds of examples of that. And by the way, when I was thinking about, what do I call this? Do I call it attorney as a service? And I thought, well, the acronym for that would be AAAS. So, let’s not do that. So whatever it might ultimately be called, the way the credits will work is some may correspond to an hour unit. But others may simply be all right, this document, this form is X amount of credits. So instead of billing somebody five hours to prepare a standard NDA, this is two credits. You know what you’re going to get, and if you need more, then we can add on top of it. And really all that boils down to is certainty. Because isn’t that the thing that all these nonprofits and startups need. They can budget and allocate for everything. But when it comes to lawyers, that’s always your fricking wild card, because the meter’s always running.
Matt McDonnell (12:45):
So one of the things that you hear a lot, right? Imagine at the outset of starting a nonprofit, right? There’s no donors yet, right? You’re just forming it. But these legal services are really expensive, right? How do you counsel people to think about managing that cost?
Brian Hall (13:00):
So, you know, the traditional ways are to get somebody on your board that happens to be a lawyer and wants to do that for free, right? That’s your ideal situation. But I think we all know, oftentimes the quality you get when something is given for free. So that’s an issue. The other thing that I see some law firms do is they’ll essentially say, we’ll do some work for you with the expectation that ultimately you’ll be able to pay it. Almost, a loan. And again, I think the beauty of these models that are coming out, including our own, is that you can allocate specific amounts. And at the end of the day, these nonprofits need to do it no different than anyone else, right? Legal is a necessary — I’m not going to say “evil” — but it’s necessary.
Dan Graham (13:47):
What nonprofit boards are you on?
Brian Hall (13:50):
So I’m here in Austin right now. I’m on People Fund.
Dan Graham (13:53):
And for the listeners, what is People Fund?
Brian Hall (13:56):
Yeah. So, People Fund is probably the biggest and best board here in Austin that allows underserved, such as females, minorities, and others in the community, to go get funding for various kinds of projects. Be it real estate. Be it startups, businesses, et cetera.
Dan Graham (14:17):
It’s kind of an alternative to traditional banking for small businesses. And what’s called a CDFI — Community Development Finance Institution. And do you recommend, for the attorneys out there, should they be thinking about that? Obviously, like it’s a great thing to do to serve on boards, but do you also think that it’s going to be helpful for you from a professional perspective? I mean, to develop that network being on boards.
Brian Hall (14:56):
A hundred percent, for sure. I mean, it really boils down to what are you trying to get out of the board, right? If you’re simply joining a board to try and meet more people and get more business, it’s probably going to happen. So, check that box. If you’re, let’s say you have truly some philanthropic or altruistic reasons for joining a board, I’d match up your passion with what is available there. When I was in Traverse City, I served on the United Way board. And I don’t know if it ever led to business, but it definitely led to a lot of good feels. And that was the reason I joined it then. So I think it’s driven by what you’re trying to accomplish. And you know, that Dan, right? I mean, you’re pretty active in trying to curate specific board opportunities for people you know, and saying, look, I think this is something you’re interested in and then vet it out. Attend a board meeting. Most of them will let you do that and make sure you’re one-on-one with the organization.
Dan Graham (15:50):
This morning, I got an email from a good friend of mine who’s on the board of the Thinkery, which is the children’s museum here in town. And they’re looking for a couple of specific board members, I think you’d be a great fit for them. So, just to throw that out there, right? And I know your kids would love it.
Brian Hall (16:06):
Yeah. I’m going to go play at the Thinkery and make sure it meets my mission.
Lisa Graham (16:35):
You kind of mentioned lobbying. Pretty traditional in some senses. I think nonprofits are incredibly traditional as well. And something that you’ve really been able to help us out with is how do we do new types of financing for projects in the social venture space from our foundation. Do you get much pushback from nonprofits or more traditional foundations when it comes to maybe doing a low interest loan? Or investing in a different type of project that’s not just, here’s a $10,000 check, good luck with your programming?
Brian Hall (17:09):
The short answer is yes. And here’s how you deal with it. Educate. Because again, same with law, you keep using the word traditional. That’s very nice of you. I can think of some other terms. But it’s this fear of change. It’s the fear of the unknown. So when you really get into it and it takes a village to a certain extent. I mean, we’ve worked with specialty tax counsel and, you know, whatever that particular issue might be to get that initial blessing takes some time, because you’re challenging what is a lot easier to just simply say as an attorney, which is no, right? That’s the easiest answer an attorney can give.
Lisa Graham (17:53):
We get that a lot from attorneys. Even you sometimes.
Brian Hall (17:57):
You know, I think it’s the education component. It’s also choosing to work with the right people. And, you know, I use this line that Matt told me probably two years ago when we first started working together, which was, you know, when I asked him, I said, what are you looking for in your council? And he says, I need an attorney that’s not going to impose their risk tolerance on me. I use that line all the time. Thanks, Matt.
Brian Hall (18:33):
That goes to that exact messaging, right? Because if you pick a client that simply wants to not change the rules, the name of this podcast, right? Then you’re going to maybe have an easier life as a lawyer. Because it’s easy to say no. But if they’re like, okay, this is what I want to do. Figure out how we do it. You have to advise them still and identify those potential issues. But nothing’s going to change and nothing’s going to get better if you just keep doing the exact same thing.
Lisa Graham (19:04):
Well, and I will say, just to plug you a bit, I think until we worked with you, I didn’t realize how, I mean, creative sounds bad sometimes with legal, but how creative you really have to be sometimes to get certain deals to work for the betterment of certain projects really. And so, I mean, we’ve had a great experience working with Brian on that coming out with, like, these really are ways that you can fund a social venture or help a nonprofit in a way that’s not so traditional. And it’s going to be beneficial to the community.
Dan Graham (19:31):
And I think too, what’s helpful from that perspective is when what’s at the other end of the decision-making is whether or not kids get to eat tonight, you know? So having mission in the mix, and the “no” is what’s standing between figuring something out that’s going to allow us to serve an underserved population, really creates an incentive there to figure something out that’s going to work.
Matt McDonnell (19:59):
Brian and I kind of have this running joke where at some point towards the end of every phone call that we have, I’ll say, ‘Oh, and one more thing.’ And typically that one more thing is exactly what you guys are talking about. It’s some sort of structural issue, right? We’re not inventing new entity types or anything like that. But how you put the deal together is really sort of where the innovation is and what I think we’ve had to get a lot of people comfortable with over the past couple of years, but there is no legal prohibition, right? It’s just not the way that things have been done. And I think that that’s where a lot of the innovation that you guys help us with is really appreciated.
Lisa Graham (20:37):
Can y’all give an example of that? Just so listeners can know, okay, well, what does that mean when you need to be innovative with a deal structure or bringing investors to the table?
Matt McDonnell (20:48):
Yeah. I think a good example is how does a nonprofit earn income from a real estate investment, right? So at first blush, right, it looks like the only way that you could do that would be to have the nonprofit purchase the land, right? Or the building, or whatever the property happens to be. But nonprofits don’t typically have millions of dollars sitting around. And so the traditional way is either to run a capital campaign, right? Or if you’re in the for-profit world, to go and put together an actual real estate investment. Well, when you do that with a nonprofit, as a participant, and you’re raising capital from limited partners, right, from investors, there’s a lot more nuance there than there might’ve been before. And so when your goal is, how do we take this real asset to get as much money as possible into the 501c3, you’re forced into a structure that most investors wouldn’t view as standard. But it accomplishes that goal.
Brian Hall (21:44):
And I think that’s a great one. And the other one, I think I alluded to earlier in the university setting, and I see this a ton in the startup world, is they’ll get some funding or resources from a university, right? And in return, the university gets some kind of license to be able to use whatever’s created into perpetuity. But then they’re not precluding the startup from going and monetizing that in a different space. So, I think that’s just an example of, not necessarily nonprofit, but how you look at alternative ways to get funding. What you can do from a pure IP and licensing standpoint to get yourself out there with whatever your product or service is, and utilize a nonprofit to help you do so. And just to circle back. The other thing that I think is important to your question before Lisa about risk and all these things. For me, it boils down to the relationship, right? It really does. Because instead of me spending the first 10 minutes of every call with Matt or you guys talking about, well, here’s how it could go. And here’s the risks. And you guys understand what a civil lawsuit is. We’ve been through this.
Brian Hall (22:56):
Once you have that comfort level and the relationship is built, you know where you need to interject and really hammer on things. And that’s why, whatever you want to call it, do you wanna call it General Counsel? Do you want to call it Chief Legal Officer? Whatever the nomenclature is, at the end of the day, I boil it down to the relationship. Because that’s what’s going to dictate the advice, the risk tolerance on your end, and how you ultimately get to a solution.
Lisa Graham (23:29):
And so in developing that relationship, you clearly work with the three of us. We’ve known each other for several years. But how do you start establishing that relationship? Like, so someone’s coming to an attorney. What is it that you want them to communicate to you so that you can really start trying to figure out how you can best help them?
Brian Hall (23:46):
So the first question I always ask, what is your goal? Without a doubt, that is the most important question. I don’t want them to tell me what they think they need. I don’t need to hear what contract they think they need, or how they need to incorporate these three entities. What is your goal? Then let me understand a little bit more. Obviously, there’s some follow-up questions, but that frames everything.
Dan Graham (24:07):
My goal is to pay as little as possible for my legal services.
Brian Hall (24:14):
I have some follow-up questions.
Dan Graham (24:17):
By the way, I’m curious how you get these credits, which in my mind, I’m already calling Traverse Nickels. How do I get my Traverse Nickels?
Brian Hall (24:27):
We call them Trevor’s Coins. No, we do not.
Brian Hall (24:54):
The other funny thing, you know, when you think about it is, so how does a client come to you, right? That’s the other way that I think we’re, and the way I’ve always practiced law, is very different, right? In most traditional law firms, it’s work just comes. And you’ve been around long enough where it just gets plopped on your desk, right? That world has never been my world. When I started practicing law in Traverse City, we went out and found work by dominating the internet in our spaces, right? Trademarks, copyrights, domain name litigation, et cetera, et cetera, and we grew a national practice by doing that. Well, believe it or not, the lawyers caught up with that. And the other lawyers started to do some of the same things. So, you know, to take it back, why Austin? Part of that impetus was okay, what if we combine some of those things with the traditional location, where we have a federal courthouse here, I practice in federal court. There’s a ton of tech companies, right? All those things came together. But then the question becomes, well, how do you get clients? You can’t just come down here and say, ‘Hall Law, baby. Come work with me.’ You’ve got to find those people that you would want to work with. And some of it’s dumb luck. You know, Dan and I met at a party on the 4th of July.
Dan Graham (26:14):
It was very tasteful.
Brian Hall (26:18):
Yeah. The kids were there and we had to leave early because my daughter actually peed her pants when all the fireworks started going off. But she’s over that. She loves the booms. My point is this. Navigating that and figuring out who you’re going to work with then tends to dictate who you’re going to work more because their friends typically have similar risk tolerances, or similar goals, or similar mission-driven priorities. And that’s how it’s gone. It’s been very, very different than how I started originally.
Dan Graham (26:59):
But I do want to come back to the Traverse Nickels. You mentioned the credit system. So I’m just curious, do you buy credits or are you giving them out? What’s your vision for the credit system? Because I haven’t heard of that before in a legal context.
Brian Hall (27:15):
So, think of it this way. When you use other subscription services, you pay per month a certain amount that entitles you to a certain amount of credits. Not nickels, not coins. Credits, okay? And then certain things you do use up a certain amount of those credits. And the same will apply here. So one credit may equate to one billable hour in some instances. In other instances, one credit equates to a particular kind of form document.
Lisa Graham (27:49):
And so you’re paying your monthly fee and maybe for six months, you’re not needing anything, but you’ve built up those credits and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Okay, look, we really need a lot of help trying to establish X, Y, or Z in our organization. Here’s 30 credits.’
Dan Graham (28:02):
And it sounds like it really shifts the risk of getting the job done within a reasonable period of time to the law firm when normally that’s placed on the client.
Brian Hall (28:12):
Yes, that’s correct. But the other benefit is, at the end of the day, what allows a law firm to scale, in my opinion, is you know how much work is on the horizon? So what does this do? It creates a relationship. Which again, that’s the whole point of this whole thing. The why is how do we create a long lasting relationship that will allow us to provide you things to reach whatever your potential is. Whatever you’re trying to do, right? So you may not use it in one month and then it carries over. You may exceed it in the next month. But there’ll be a long-term view and a true up potential that’s there. But again, at the end of the day, it buys that certainty. It allows you as a startup or a nonprofit to budget accordingly. And most importantly, you get the access to the lawyer in such a way that you’re not going to stagnate or die as a company, because otherwise you’d make these decisions on your own or entirely forgo them.
Matt McDonnell (29:10):
So it’s Audible for legal services? Is that fair?
Lisa Graham (29:13):
That’s what pops into my head. I was like, I get my two credits a month with my Audible account.
Matt McDonnell (29:17):
And the thing that I like about it too, is that the challenge that I’ve had with other attorneys is rightsizing the work, right? So, you know, we’ve had a lot of those conversations where, you know, you do just need a form document or this doesn’t need to be over-engineered because this is a friendly transaction. There’s no risk of legal recourse here. And so we just need something to memorialize our understanding, right? And so you can pay for the thing you need. Not the thing that the lawyer is capable of producing, which tends to be unlimited in scope.
Brian Hall (29:45):
Exactly. And it’s curated, right? At the outset, the scope of how many credits is going to be curated to what stage company are you? How many employees do you have? What’s your revenue? What are your transactions? Because all those things go into setting up a relationship that isn’t going to be an expectation of, all right, I’m paying $500 a month to get access to an attorney. But I think I’m getting like 5,000 hours worth of legal services. No, this is going to work both ways. This is going to be a mutual, beneficial relationship.
Matt McDonnell (30:16):
So Brian, you mentioned the first question that you ask a client. But what are some of the questions that clients should ask an attorney or a prospective attorney when they’re interviewing them and trying to decide who to work with?
Brian Hall (30:27):
So, non substantively, right? You need to have the ‘what’, right? You need to make sure you’re hiring an attorney that’s able to accomplish your ‘what’. So is that a labor and employment law issue? Is that a cybersquatting issue? A data privacy issue? Tax issue? Make sure that that’s taken care of, but ask the question to make sure. Then I think it really boils down to ask questions of your lawyer and law firm the same way you would picking any other service provider or product, which is how do you do things? How are they different than John, John and John PLLC and all other law firms that are out there, right? Understand their vision a little bit. Understand their core values. And then ultimately get to the ‘why’. Why are they in this, right? At the end of the day, any company coming for legal advice is running something that they have a ‘why’, I’d assume, right? And when I’m talking about the ‘why’, I actually just read it again on the plane, the Simon Sinek. Check out his TEDx, but read the book. The book’s great. But that ‘why’ I think is critically important. Especially if you’re looking for relationship based attorney, as opposed to just some transaction.
Lisa Graham (31:43):
What is Cybersquatting?
Brian Hall (31:45):
Cybersquatting is the bad faith registration or use of a domain name for profit. And in the United States, there’s the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Whole other podcast.
Dan Graham (32:00):
It’d be basically like if I registered before Dell did, if I registered dell.com, and just sat on it and I didn’t have a good reason to be using it other than I was just trying to keep it to make money later, right?
Brian Hall (32:15):
Assuming that Dell existed and had tried, right?
Dan Graham (32:18):
Right. And assuming my last name wasn’t Dell and sorts of other things. Maybe we could close on, you were mentioning, you ask the ‘why.’ Well, what’s your why? What are your core values for Hall Law?
Brian Hall (32:31):
Sure. Yeah. Our why is we want people and our clients to reach their potential. So we’re going to do what we need to do as a firm to help you do that. Step below that, the how, right? How we deliver is our mission, right? Change the way law is practiced, it’s been since day one. And we do have a registered trademark on that, by the way. And then, you know, our core values, we have several. Our firm has implemented EOS, which is, I think, fairly unique from a law firm or even professional service provider. And it looked at core values, missions, all those things. So our core values — treat each other and clients like family is the main one. And then there’s several others. Communicate early and often, et cetera, et cetera. But we have them and we stick to them.
Lisa Graham (33:27):
Great. Thanks so much for being here. Y’all are all lovely, but honestly, I was told I would be sitting for 30 minutes with three attorneys. But it was super interesting.
Dan Graham (33:40):
I never took the bar.
Matt McDonnell (33:43):
Dan Graham (33:43):
I am not a lawyer. Let’s be clear.
Lisa Graham (33:58):
So you can find more information on the work of Traverse Legal by visiting www.traverselegal.com. Thank you again for joining us, Brian. This was great. The Change The Rules podcast is sponsored by Chez Boom Audio and the talented Shayna Brown. You can find her studio at https://chezboomaudio.com/. That’s C H E Z Boom Audio dotcom. And we release a new episode every Friday, and you can find them on iTunes. And to listen to past episodes, just search Change The Rules.