Alumni Speak April 2016: Legal Industry

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Jun 24 2016

Alumni Speak April 2016: Legal Industry

April

Speakers: Ieesha Gillis, Gillis Law

                    Marlene Johnson, Marlene Johnson law

Industry: Legal Industry

Ieesha Gillis

Brief Bio:

Gillis Law was established October 2015, specializes in Intellectual Properties, transactional aspects for patents, trademarks and copyrights. Ieesha earned her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. Despite being an engineering major, Ieesha was first introduced to law at Morgan State and later attended Michigan State for graduate school where she was introduced to intellectual property law and patent law.

Industry: Intellectual Property Law

Marlene Johnson

Brief Bio:

Marlene Johnson law is a law firm who is responsible for general practices such as family law, social administration, estate planning, real estate and pretty much everything else except criminal and medical malpractice. Marlene Johnson always aspired to one day become a lawyer. As a student at Morgan State University she was intrigued with corporate law. During her tenure as a law student, she worked for Gerald Smith who was an attorney with his own firm. She worked as an legal aid for 1 ½ years then she went to start her own practice independently. She was privileged to have Gerald as a resource, mentor and supporter for her dreams of becoming a lawyer. Gerald allowed Marlene to use a space in his building where she could grow her firm. “In the beginning, you don’t know what you’re doing.”  “Morgan is a great opportunity to develop networks.”

Industry: General Practice

Key Points:

    • The industry is “More business to business rather than business to individual” “A very competitive field”
    • Have a standard system in place to help run and maintain your firm
    • It’s recommended to start with a LLC
      • “Setting up was more technical/web based” (Ieesha)
    • Marketing:
      • M: Majority of clients come from referrals
        • “Your strongest marketing tactic is through your network of people”
      • Web-based marketing did not work well for Marlene
      • Paid network: Leads
  • “With services based businesses, word of mouth and talking through your network will take you a long way”
  • Major turning points in business
    • M: Self-confidence
  • M: Team case management
  • Joining the Morgan Entrepreneurship chapter helps build businesses who are just starting
  • Trends:
    • Evolution in many areas of law
      • M:Family law: more fathers asserting their rights to their children; seeking custody joint/sole custody
      • M:Impersonal injury cases
      • M:A lot more cases are going to court
      • I: App developers seek protection from IP lawyers
  • Many people stray away from IP lawyers due to financial reasons
  • M: wants to expand to other geographical areas, provide soft legal advice (for those who cannot afford her hourly rate)
  • M: Helps writes business plans, get the appropriate certifications, finding funding, writing up grants for startup entrepreneurs.
  • Favorite Legal TV shows:
    • How to get away with murder
    • People’s court
  • Rolemodels:
    • Michelle Obama
    • Gerald Smith, Wendy Smith Barlow
  • Fav business book
    • M: The Bible
  • Fav legal resource:

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “More business to business rather than business to individual” “A very competitive field” (Tweet This)
  • “Setting up was more technical/web based” (Tweet This)
  • “With services based businesses, word of mouth and talking through your network will take you a long way” (Tweet This)
  • In the beginning, you don’t know what you’re doing.” (Tweet This)
  • Morgan is a great opportunity to develop networks.” (Tweet This)

Contact Information:

Ieesha Gillis:

Email: gillislawllc@gmail.com

Marlene Johnson:  

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Marlene Johnson Law Website                                         

Phone: (410) 921-9534

Email:marleneajohnson@marleneajohnsonlaw.com