Archive for September, 2006

Is China the new frontier in Arbitration?

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

To find out more, participate in the ABA’s teleclass on October 10 from 12-1 pm CST titled China:  The New Frontier in Arbitration.

One-on-One with Former Brazilian President Cardoso

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Yesterday I had the chance to speak one-on-one with former Brazilian President Cardoso.  He was in Houston to promote his new book called The Accidental President, and addressed the World Affairs Council of Houston.  I asked him about what makes an effective international lawyer.  To read his response, and a summary of his other comments, click here.

Seek Out Service Providers with Same Ideal Client

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

As mentioned in my post on August 1, lawyers should identify the characteristics of their ideal clients.  By figuring out what these clients do, where they go, and which hobbies they enjoy, lawyers can focus their marketing more effectively.

Attorneys should also contemplate creating informal referral relationships with others who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer  wants to help wealthy families from Mexico should seek out others who provide services to those same clients, like bankers, financial planners and real estate agents.  Cultivating a good referral network of other service providers with the same client base can bring results. For more on this topic, look for my upcoming article on growing an international practice in the November issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

More Muslim Clients?

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

The New York Times today reported that after a post-9/11 drop, more Muslims are moving to the U.S.  They are coming from countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen–and they are educated.  Citing census data, The New York Times reports that “a larger percentage of immigrants from Muslim countries have graduate degrees than other American residents, and their average salary is 20 percent higher.”

And these affluent, educated immigrants will need legal help.

How can US lawyers position themselves to help these new clients?  Increased understanding of these potential clients and their native cultures will be important.  Helpful information is available through resources like:

Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and its Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and  American Muslim Studies Program

The Council on American-Islamic Relations

The Arab American Institute

The Middle East Institute

Careful What You Email While Traveling

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

Time Magazine warns against using business equipment (laptops, cell phones etc…) for personal use in its article titled Snooping Bosses:  Think your employer is checking your email, Web searches and voice mail?  You’re probably right . Employers are investing in software like Xora to track employees’ whereabouts via cell phone, and SurfControl to check employees’ Web  searches.

Why does this concern international lawyers?  Because when they travel, most international lawyers just bring along one laptop and cell phone–and they’re usually employer owned.  So, even when an international lawyer is off duty, he or she should be careful about Web searches, picture uploads, emails sent and calls made from company equipment.  When posted abroad for a lengthy time period, an international lawyer should consider renting a local cell phone or bringing along a personal laptop for personal use.

The hard copy of this article also includes tips for staying out of trouble (which tips the online version doesn’t show.)  Those tips include: knowing your firm or company policies in this area very well; searching the Web very sparingly on company equipment; and proofreading the content and style of any blog post or internet profiles that you post, even if you use your personal computer to so.