WWD Reader Profile: Sam Glover, Consumer Rights Lawyer

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WebWorkerDaily readers are a diverse bunch. Every week, I profile a different reader and ask them to share what they do, how they do it, and some of their favorite hints and tips.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sam Glover and I wear two main professional hats: I am a consumer rights lawyer, and I write and edit Lawyerist with my business partner, Aaron Street. My law practice is a two-lawyer firm, and my associate, Randall Ryder, and I are full-time litigators. We sue debt collectors and defend consumers who are sued by debt collectors. Lawyerist happens almost entirely online. We call it a “lawyering survival guide,” but you could also call it a blog. In November, I will start writing a column on law and the Minnesota legal community for MinnPost, an online media source.

What’s a typical day like for you?
A combination of online and offline meetings, working on cases (usually writing things), writing for my consumer law blog, writing and editing posts for Lawyerist, and researching and writing for MinnPost. I do a lot of writing.

Meetings with clients generally happen in my office, but I can use Skype to attend by video. Other meetings may be in person or over Skype or the phone. Court hearings obviously happen in court, and I average three or four per month. I spend a lot of time networking, and I try to have coffee or lunch with someone every day.

I usually work from home or my office, but some days, I prefer a coffee shop or the Minneapolis Public Library. It’s nice being almost completely mobile, and my associate and I are rarely in the same place at the same time for long, so we use Skype when we need a face-to-face meeting.

What gear and software do you use and why?
My computers are a ThinkPad T400 running Windows (s msft) with Bitlocker enabled and a Dell (s dell) desktop (whatever was cheap at the time) with a 22″ widescreen monitor. Randall uses an old iMac (s aapl) at the office and a MacBook Air for the road. We have three Fujitsu ScanSnaps — one at home, and two at the office (one for my Windows PC, one for Randall’s iMac). We use Google Apps (s goog), Remember the Milk and Freshbooks to do most of our work in a browser. Local apps include OpenOffice.org, GnuCash (until January, when we will switch to Quickbooks), Skype and Dropbox.

The two most important programs I use are Dropbox and Skype. I am paperless because paper is inconvenient and ties me down, and Dropbox keeps all my files synced up, and makes it easy to share client files with Randall and Lawyerist files with Aaron. We use Skype for the phones, so we can answer the same number wherever we are. It also lets me have face-to-face meetings with my co-workers and clients, even if I’m not in the office.

What’s your favorite web working tip?
Use the web for what it does best — sharing, collaborating and communicating — but not for what it does poorly, like personal networking and document production. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are to networking as Google Docs is to OpenOffice.org: a complement, but not a replacement.

If you would like to be profiled on WWD, get in touch with me at simon (at) gigaom (dot) com.

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