State Bar Defense and Ethics Attorney Megan Zavieh, Part I – My Shingle

Point out bar protection and ethics is one of those people apply areas  that I normally associate with tough-to-investigation situation views and opaque disciplinary techniques unfamiliar to most lawyers. But even although this apply region retains a lot of of the traits of 19th century regulation apply, state bar protection and ethics lawyer Megan Zavieh is just about anything but traditional or aged university. Megan’s firm, Zavieh Law  has a state of the artwork web-site with offerings like a membership item for lawyers or providers who have an ongoing need to have for ethics direction, a chat bot and  The Playbook: The California Bar Self-discipline Method Practice Guide  for legal professionals representing by themselves in California disciplinary proceedings.  This is a two-section job interview. Now, Megan will convey to us about her firm’s history and her website’s various characteristics. And tomorrow, we’ll have in-depth coverage of the Playbook and how it was made. Even although Megan is an ethics lawyer, the techniques that she has adopted can be executed in other techniques, so audience — look at and learn!  For much more details, you can also make contact with Megan on Twitter at @zaviehlaw or Facebook at


In a nutshell, can you convey to us a minor bit about your regulation firm and a couple of the different sorts of products and solutions and services that you provide?

I help you save lawyers’ careers.  My apply focuses on defending California legal professionals before the attorney discipline system of the Point out Bar of California.  Most of my work entails responding to investigations and having disciplinary scenarios all the way via to trial and even sometimes attractiveness.  I also manage admissions scenarios, which are trials to create the great moral character of candidates to the Point out Bar.

In my work within just the discipline system, I provide self-assist help, which is how I aid legal professionals who are representing by themselves via the discipline procedure.  For legal professionals who need to have an inexpensive do-it-on your own possibility, I also created a digital item known as The Playbook which is a apply information for self-represented legal professionals in California.  It consists of an on the net textual content, videos, a library of sample court docket filings, and an on the net group of self-represented legal professionals.

By way of my firm I also offer probation compliance services exactly where I assist legal professionals on disciplinary probation navigate the system so they never slide out of compliance and membership ethics suggestions.


What was your qualifications before you started your possess firm focused on lawful ethics? And what drew you to lawful ethics as a apply region?

I spent a lot of many years as a litigation associate in BigLaw, mostly in New York but also in New Jersey.  I was largely a securities litigator, but I also had experience in general civil litigation.  I stepped absent from the associate keep track of about a calendar year shy of staying up for associate.

Ethics was an region of fascination even in regulation university, but I didn’t take into consideration it as a prospective apply region till I started assisting a family members member get via the discipline procedure.  Trapped in BigLaw, I was prohibited from assisting officially, so I’d assist on the side – it was the initial self-assist help.  When I remaining BigLaw and could offer immediate guidance, I did so but assumed it would just be for one situation.  When I went to Point out Bar Court for my customer, I had to wait via another hearing.  I witnessed a self-represented attorney fumbling via the hearing and staying taken edge of by the prosecutor that is when I realized there was a need to have for much more assist.

Back in regulation university I had planned to go to health care university and come to be a psychiatrist for legal professionals.  By the time I got into ethics I had extended given that abandoned that prepare, but the underlying drive to assist legal professionals was still there.  Launching my state bar protection firm, I at last discovered the way that I could help my colleagues.

When you started your firm, was it as a much more traditional regulation apply – i.e., billable hour or brick & mortar place of work – or was your apply progressive from the get-go?

My apply was hourly at the outset, which is really traditional, but that is exactly where the traditional finished.  I was living in Sydney, Australia when I to start with introduced with a firm title, web-site, email tackle, and enterprise identity.  My apply was exclusively focused on California shoppers.  I’d say that was not way too traditional.

The work was also outside the mainstream in that my initial concentrate was only on self-represented legal professionals.  I wished that fumbling respondent hoping to represent himself to be the last one who went into Point out Bar Court unprepared.  So I was concentrating on the self-represented legal professionals and trying to get to offer restricted scope support.  I never assume anybody else was executing that.

Above time we expanded to whole scope illustration, which is most of what I do now, but I do still try to get to the self-represented legal professionals any way that I can assist.

Soon after viewing your web-site, I wished to inquire you about a few of the different services. Let us converse to start with about your ethics on phone membership item. How does that work – and have you at any time discovered that shoppers who have access to endless support consider edge of it?

The ethics on phone membership item allows my shoppers access to me to inquire ethics inquiries during the month.  It’s specifically great for two incredibly different forms of shoppers.  A person is the customer who wants to experiment with new enterprise designs and ideas.  For instance, a customer who wants to construct a new on the net lawful services platform will have lots of ethics inquiries as they develop.  Is it ok to give access to their web-site website traffic info to an Search engine optimisation advisor?  Can they restrict the scope of their work in a sure way?  Is their disclaimer enforceable?  Can they pay out their web developer in inventory?

The other is the significant volume apply in significant-chance (ethically speaking) apply spots like family members regulation and immigration.  They can have regular inquiries during the month on new engagements, disappointed shoppers, and hoping to get via their caseload without producing issues.

I have not had a customer definitely consider edge of the endless support.  I uncover that when a month is definitely mad for a customer, I’m there to assist them via, and another month will be definitely quiet and it evens out.  If every single month I was locating that I spent an inordinate volume of time on one customer, we could have a conversation about their use, but that has never ever transpired.  The endless support is meant to be just that – but there is no purpose for a customer to overuse the support.  They only need to have me if there’s a authentic issue, and I’m there to work via it with the customer.  If a customer has so a lot of ethics concerns that they are overusing my time, I assume we have a bigger situation than their membership with me.

I also recognized that you have a regulation bot at your web page? What does the bot do, why did you determine to develop it and what was associated in the procedure?

I do have a bot!  It’s a pleasurable addition to the web page.  I like it due to the fact it will help site visitors sift via the web page when it may possibly normally sense overpowering.

I have had to learn a large amount about how to work a enterprise, and one point I have figured out is that we all assume and procedure details differently.  Acknowledging this, I strive to existing details in various approaches to reach the most people.  This is why I am developing online video and podcast articles in addition to content articles, for instance, and one purpose for the bot.

I would stop by a web page laid out like mine and simply click via it in a sure way, although somebody else coming to the web page it’s possible does not want to browse via it but simply just wants to get an reply to a particular issue.  The bot will help that consumer who approaches the web page differently than I do get to the details they need to have.

As well as, bots are amazing.  I absolutely confess to owning shiny item syndrome with the bot, and I like it.

Tom Martin of LawDroid built the bot, and he is one of my most loved people in lawful tech.  We went via my web page and he made an initial draft of what the bot may possibly be in a position to do.  I went via and added some additional subject areas I wished it to be in a position to tackle, and we continued to fantastic tune it till we assumed it looked handy.  We introduced it on the web page, got consumer info from the early customers, and built additional revisions.  We continue to modify it in reaction to consumer input.

A person point that it can do that I assume is definitely amazing is manage appointment placing.  My consultations are all set up via an on the net system, and the bot can in fact assist the consumer schedule.

Finally, most not too long ago, you introduced The Playbook: The California Disciplinary Method Practice Guide.  Tell us what the Playbook is, what it includes and how you arrived up with the concept for it?

The Playbook is a labor of like.  From the incredibly commencing of this apply, I wished to reach the self-represented Point out Bar Court respondents.  They have been a focus on of mine for many years.  I sense like I have tried a range of different approaches to reach them, but I still wrestle due to the fact they are not on the lookout for me.  I assume most self-represented respondents have decided they just can’t find the money for assist, so they never glance for assist at all.

A customer to start with instructed me I must produce a guide on ethics protection and provide it on the net.  She outlined this many years before I in fact did just about anything with that concept.  Above those people many years, an on the net guide morphed into a digital item, which is now a somewhat mainstream phenomenon.  Then I attended the TBD Law meeting and satisfied other legal professionals developing digital products and solutions, and I realized that I could use a digital item to fulfill the requires of self-represented legal professionals.  While they were not out on the lookout for a lawyer to assist them, they were probably out on the lookout for details on representing by themselves.

I set out to produce the “book” part of the job, but as I did several other pieces started to consider condition.  For occasion, I realized that a large amount of people like to learn via online video, so videos definitely essential to be a section of the item.  As I would produce chapters of the guide, I saw that customers would need to have a sample of the paperwork I was telling them to produce, so we place jointly a library of sample court docket filings.  And at last, one of the major requires I generally see for self-represented respondents is the need to have to join with other people, so we created a discussion board exactly where customers can converse to each other.

Place simply just, each piece of the Playbook was created to tackle a particular consumer need to have.  It is incredibly consumer- focused.

Stay tuned for Portion II of our job interview tomorrow when Megan will explain the techniques she took to consider the Playbook from notion to creation, and how other legal professionals can do a little something identical in their respective apply spots.

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