I am very honored to have had the opportunity to sit down with the New York State Bar Association and share how I practice law and organize my business. NYSBA has wonderful resources on their site, including the How I Practice section, which offers tips, tricks, and lessons to other attorneys.
This interview can be read on NYSBA’s website.
1. What are your areas of practice?
My areas of practice are Divorce, both litigated and mediated (I am a certified divorce mediator as well as an attorney); Estate Planning; and Small Business Advising.
2. Describe a typical day for you?
A typical day starts with a walk outside or a weight lifting session. Then, depending on the day, I either go to court or the office. I have certain days I plan to do the administrative part of the practice: marketing, blog writing, bookkeeping, etc. with the flexibility to take calls if necessary. On other days I have client meetings, mediations, bar association or networking activities, etc. Evenings are usually reserved for family, reading (I try to read at least one book per month, usually non-fiction business or personal growth) or social/networking activities, which I try to limit to two per week.
3. Where do you practice? Do you have a stand-alone office or home office?
I have a brick and mortar office; however, everything the firm does is cloud capable. This allows me to work when and where I wish. I spend a significant amount of time traveling, and I’m able to handle everything I need to from wherever I am.
4. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own practice?
I can work on cases I truly want to work on and turn down the ones I can tell I will not enjoy. That was not necessarily the case initially. I’ve had my own practice since 2009, and I gradually grew the practice to the point where it is now.
5. What are some of the challenges about having your own practice?
The biggest challenge is that you are responsible for everything from IT issues to employee issues, making decisions about literally every single thing that goes on in the business as your practice is, after all, a business. Having excellent dependable vendors to rely on is key for delegation. I have a great IT company, bookkeeping service, etc. that I delegate to.
6. What are your must-have tech tools/apps?
Practice management software and/or Quickbooks are key. They let you know where you stand financially when making business decisions. I also could not live without my Android smartphone. Finally I have a dedicated mobile hotspot that lets me use internet anywhere I go without having to utilize public wifi, which I feel is a risk.
7. How do you market your practice? How do you find new clients?
I blog frequently and put out a lot of information on social media. I also love meeting new people and seeing how we can help one another. It’s not always about an immediate opportunity; business relationships take time, but they usually bring the best clients.
8. When and where do you interact with other attorneys?
At the bar association, through social media and online communities.
9. How do you stay informed with legal news/developments?
I generally get my news from following periodicals, other attorneys and government agencies on Twitter. Then, in my spare time, I can catch up on what’s current. For legal developments I read several bar journals/magazines.
10. If a fellow attorney decided they wanted to start their own practice, what is the one thing they should know?
If I have to be limited to one thing, I would say never compromise your ethics. I have turned down plenty of potential clients who have asked me to do things that don’t pass the smell test and I have no regrets.
Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516