Accelerating Law into the World of Web3 – Charles Lew – S6E21

Although there is no one-size-fits-all route to entrepreneurial success, embracing your purpose and mission will give you the drive and bravery to really make the necessary leap.

This week, we’re super excited to be chatting with Charles Lew, a renowned Los Angeles attorney.

Charles Lew is a multifaceted humanitarian and business leader. He is a board member of the nonprofit Mental Health America Los Angeles in addition to running The Lew Firm and sits on the Board of Directors at Loyola Law School where he teaches “Law of The Metaverse”. With the Forbes LA Business Council, of which Charles is a founding member, he frequently arranges panel-based networking events.

In addition to practising law, Lew owns numerous successful technology and hospitality enterprises, including Boomtown Brewery and Stout Burgers & Beer. He then founded web applications that aim to support the needs of lawyers and improve workplace environments.
𝐒𝐨, 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧?
You can catch Rob and Charles talking about:
  • What stemmed Charles’ interest in venturing into hospitality as a lawyer?
  • Developing a program about entrepreneurial laws and artificial intelligence.
  • What is exactly a web3?
  • Building a digital presence where students can listen from a podium in the Metaverse.
  • How to mitigate the potential damage to our mental health as digital space continues to evolve.
  • And lastly, how new lawyers should start to immerse themselves in a community where they can get support mentally.

Show notes

Here are 3 reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Learn about the immersive experiences’ of the Metaverse. 
  2. Hear about the importance of mental health in the legal industry.
  3. Why lawyers should build and contribute to communities. 


Episode highlights:

Charles’ background and journey:

  • Charles grew up in Scotland and moved to Florida, US at 13.
  • He spent some time in New York City.
  • Charles attended high school and college in Florida.
  • After college, he drove to California to attend Loyola Law School.
  • Charles has been practising law in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years.
  • He has observed an evolution of law, especially in the last 2 years.

What inspired Charles to attend law school?

  • Charles always planned on attending law school but was uncertain about the location.
  • His father lived in Long Beach – he suggested attending Loyola Law School in LA.
  • Charles did consider other law schools.
  • Charles decided to take a risk and go on an adventure by driving to LA.

What stemmed Charles’ interest in business, investment and entrepreneurship? What other hospitality ventures has Charles developed?

  • Charles’ entrepreneurship was likely influenced by genetics – his father being a physician but also delving into multiple entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Charles is fascinated by entrepreneurial titans and successful individuals like Borg, Rockefeller, Elon, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Richard Branson.
  • Charles had a background in security, including working as a bouncer at nightclubs and bars – then later as a personal security bodyguard.
  • He became involved in the hospitality industry after representing a gentleman in a real estate dispute – Charles was then given an interest in the gentleman’s bar.
  • Charles now owns over 20 restaurants and bars – he continues to grow the business despite the effects of the pandemic.

Serving on the Board of Directors at Loyola Law School:

  • The members of Loyola Law School Board of Directors are an incredible group.
  • The law school has been aware of the changing geography of the practice of law, for at least 2 decades.
  • Charles has always been interested in entrepreneurial opportunities within the legal community, such as legal tech and AI.
  • The law school has embraced technology and allowed Charles to explore entrepreneurial ideas, such as teaching law in the Metaverse.
  • The law school as a whole has been an enormous asset and a champion of the evolution of law.

Charles’ perspective on Web3:

  • Charles reflects on the evolution of the web and its impact on the accessibility of information.
  • Web1 was the beginning of the web, where its utility was not yet understood.
  • Web2 was the evolution of the web, where the world’s information was available at our fingertips.
  • Web3 and the Metaverse represent the complete immersion into the web, where we can walk into the computer screen.
  • Charles thinks the idea of Web3 is fascinating due to its vividness and opportunities.
  • Charles details the perspective he gained from law school and how it has allowed him to view things differently.

Teaching in the Metaverse:

  • Loyola Law School has built a digital presence called “Meta La Plaza” in the Metaverse.
  • There is a Loyola Law School Welcome Center within Meta La Plaza with scaled recreations of buildings and an amphitheatre for students to attend.
  • The Meta La Plaza is full of interactive activities and games for students to participate in.
  • The students will be able to learn about the Constitution and Bill of Rights while participating in this immersive, fun experience.

The Lew Firm:

  • The Lew Firm is a client-focused law practice.
  • It serves clients with specific needs – NFT projects, Metaverse projects, restaurants, and hoteliers.
  • The Lew Firm offers services at the convergence of digital and real-world needs.
  • The firm has expertise in hospitality.
  • The Lew Firm offers a range of services: trademarks, IP, digital presence, physical presence licenses, permits, conditional use permits and liquor licenses.
  • The firm endeavours to service clients’ needs in any area they require.

Charles’ Forbes article on intellectual property:

  • Intellectual property is a fascinating concept that has evolved.
  • The idea of owning tangible objects is interesting, and owning non-tangible intellectual properties is even more so.
  • With the growth of technology and reliance on computers and screens, the value of intellectual property has increased.
  • The growth of the Metaverse and Web3 has opened up a new world of virtual goods and services and intellectual property.
  • Lawyers are becoming more comfortable saying “I don’t know” – they are trying to understand and be cognisant of trends in intellectual property.
  • Intellectual property is an area that has seen significant acceleration due to factors such as covid and the Metaverse.
  • The legal profession is trying to figure out how to guide and give direction to this rapidly evolving field, which has been slow to change for the past 400 years.

Being a Board Member for Mental Health America Los Angeles:

  • Mental Health America Los Angeles is a 100-year-old organisation focused on mental health.
  • The age of individuals struggling with mental health is decreasing and now includes very young children.
  • Charles links the increase in mental health struggles to the impact of social media on moods.
  • Charles is actively involved in mental health and is working to increase mental health presence in the digital realm.
  • A mental health therapy centre will be established in the digital realm to provide help and support.
  • Charles believes as we spend more time in the digital realm, we will face unique situations requiring new mental health coping skills.
  • Mitigating damage to ourselves and our children is important in addressing the increase in mental health struggles.

Future developments in technology and the Metaverse:

  •  The Metaverse is a 13 trillion market opportunity seen as immense and growing.
  • Charles believes in full immersion in virtual experiences.
  • Chatbots currently available on websites are not useful.
  • Charles wants to interact with virtual avatars in social settings.
  • Mobile integration is seen as key for immediate, widespread growth.
  • Growth is inevitable but the timeline is uncertain – it could be 3-15 years.
  • The question is whether mobile integration will allow for multi-dimensional immersive experiences through mobile phones.

Charles’ advice for those interested in the legal perspective, business and the Metaverse:

  • Community and immersion: Need to be better at building communities in the legal profession, and be there for each other.
  • Get involved in legal communities: Look at individuals and get involved in communities. An NFT drop related to lawyers called Legal Friends is in the works.
  • Focus on health: The legal profession is not known for being healthy, so it is important to focus on both mental and physical health.
  • Become healthier individuals: The goal should be to maintain health, build a strong community, and be there for other lawyers. The legal practice is undergoing monumental paradigm shifts – lawyers need to participate and help others participate as well.

5 powerful quotes from this episode:

  1. “We need community immersion and be much better about being there for each other”.
  2. “I think we’re gonna have to figure out how to mitigate the damage or the potential damage to our mental health as this digital space continues to evolve”.
  3. “And I think just get community oriented, get community driven, immerse yourself into, into groups. Let’s figure out this legal community. How do we support each other?”
  4. “…this balance as healthy mental health, physical health balance, because I think what we need to get to is where the, it just becomes health. Like how do we become healthier individuals”.
  5. “I think part of the excitement is this radical change and this radical evolution to something that was so reluctant to change for the past 400 years”.

If you wish to connect with Charles, you may reach out to him on his website, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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To learning more about the exciting world of law, Robert Hanna and the Legally Speaking Podcast Team.


00:08 Rob Hanna:

Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast. You are now listening to Season 6 of the show. I’m your host Rob Hanna. This week I’m delighted to be joined by the wonderful Charles Lew. Charles is a multifaceted humanitarian and business leader. He owns several successful technology and hospitality businesses, including Boomtown Brewery and Stout Burger & Beers. Charles attended Loyola Marymount Law School and is now the Managing Partner at The Lew Firm. As an LA based celebrity attorney, he has had the honour of appearing on multiple panels nationwide, concerning business law, real estate, permitting governmental affairs, restaurant hospitality and various unique business ventures. Charles also writes for Forbes, and will be teaching the Metaverse, in the Metaverse the law of the Metaverse at Loyola Law School soon. He’s passionate about the world of Web3 and giving back to the community. He’s involved with charities such as the likes of Adopttogether, Mental Health America and Stout’s Sips. So a very, very warm welcome Charles.

01:12 Charles Lew:

Rob, thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure. Great seeing you.

01:15 Rob Hanna:

It’s an absolute honour to have you on the show. Before we dive into all your amazing projects and experiences to date, we do have a customary icebreaker question here, on the Legally Speaking Podcast, which is, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very real, what would you rate the hit TV series Suits in terms of its reality of the law?

01:36 Charles Lew:

Let’s go with 7.

01:37 Rob Hanna:

That’s quite a high score. And that’s good. Most people give it low, so I’m happy you’ve given it a 7. And with that you don’t need to justify. We’re going to go to talk all about you. So let’s start at the beginning Charles, would you mind telling our listeners a bit about your background and journey?

01:52 Charles Lew:

Sure, absolutely. So I grew up in Scotland, I managed to find my way back in the United States at 13. Just before I turned 13. Moved to Florida, which was obviously quite culture shock with a very, very brief stint in New York City, which was even more of a culture shock. I attended high school and college at Florida, Florida State, and then loaded up my Dodge Ram and got on the 10 freeway and drove to California to Loyola Law School. Had never spent a moment here and arrive the Saturday before the Monday that school was starting at Loyola. So that was my third cultural paradigm shift, my third complete system shock that I experienced. And I’ve been in Los Angeles since. I’ve been practicing for just short of 20 years now, which is absolutely incredible how fast time flies. And I’ve seen you know, quite the evolution of law, which, which we’ll get into. Interestingly enough I feel like the last 2 years, we’ve seen 20 years of evolution, but I think we’ll obviously get into that also. So I’m excited to speak with you. But yes, that is the macro journey with obviously lots of GPS points and stops in between.

03:00 Rob Hanna:

Absolutely. And no hint of a Scottish accent though there.

03:03 Charles Lew:

I think it’s very diluted, like if you had caught me Scotch bar opening this past weekend, I think you would have heard it quite readily. But it’s, it goes in and out much like my internet.

03:14 Rob Hanna:

Much like all of our internet’s for sure. So, as you mentioned, you grew up in Florida. So what inspired you to move to Los Angeles and to pursue law school?

03:19 Charles Lew:

So I was always going to law school, or relatively speaking, I was always going to law school, the choice of where I attended law school was, was kind of up in the air. My father at the time lived in Long Beach and said you should come to Los Angeles and you can stay in Long Beach. And of course I was completely unaware of the traffic situation in Los Angeles. So the idea that you could live in Long Beach and commute to Loyola sounded wonderful. It was 24.6 miles, which, if you’re not familiar with Los Angeles traffic equates to about a 4 hour drive on a, on a bad day. And then there were obviously other schools that I looked at and was interested in. And then I think I just decided to, to take the risk and to go on a, on a journey and an adventure and the adventure was again that throw everything in the Dodge Ram and just jump on the 10 freeway and drive until I hit the ocean.

04:17 Rob Hanna:

Absolutely. And what a journey you’ve, you’ve been on as we’re going to sort of progress through, but as I mentioned in the intro, you’re a multifaceted humanitarian and business leader and I believe in around 2009 you opened Stout Burgers & Beers, and leading to other hospitality ventures. So what stemmed your interest in business, investment and entrepreneurship generally, and what other hospitality ventures have you developed?

04:44 Charles Lew:

Yeah, I think the entrepreneurship was, was probably, you know, somewhat genetic or somewhat always in my blood. My father was, was certainly not risk averse when it came to entrepreneurial endeavours. He was a physician by trade, but delved into multiple different entrepreneurial opportunities and businesses, some, some extraordinarily successful, some far less successful, but was never afraid to, to roll the dice figuratively and literally speaking, he loved playing craps. So he rolled the dice. So I think there was probably, there was probably an element of genetics and, and I just remember, you know, I, I remember always being somewhat interested in entrepreneurial endeavours and always been fascinated by the industries and the titans of industries and always being curious as to you know, everybody from Borg to Rockefeller to these again, these these titans, these incredible examples, at least incredible as documentary perspective, examples of individuals who redesigned and, and kind of set in motion world altering, changing events. And now you know, obviously, we’ve got multiple tech examples of them that I think are, are intriguing and very beneficial for us to listen to and that’s you know, everybody from Elon to Bill Gates to Warren Buffett more traditional, but yeah, I think I was always intrigued by that. Richard Branson was another 1. Growing up in Scotland, I remember going to the Virgin Galactic or the Virgin store prior to Virgin Galactic obviously, but in Glasgow, and I remember it was a 3 story, just behemoth of a store and that was in Scotland, massive. I mean, anything, anything over 1 story was a gargantuan building in Scotland. So if 3 stories, this Virgin store, and no, it’s a whole floor of, of records and tapes, there was a whole floor of role playing in Dungeons and Dragons, which I became very, very interested in as a child. And then there was a floor of kind of knickknacks and toys and action figures. And just very, I think it was a very advanced store for the time, in the middle of Glasgow. So that was, you know, the once or twice a year trip that my mom would take us on that I look forward to. So I remember reading about Richard Branson at an early age and being completely intrigued by that. The hospitality start was, was very odd and, and certainly could never have been seen while I was starting it and even, I started doing security. I was a bouncer at nightclubs and bars. I continued to do that after law school, and I had a stint as a private security, personal security high net worth individual bodyguard and travelled around for quite some time doing that and then realised it was, it was, at least for myself, it was more of a glorified babysitting work, so I decided not to babysit for other people anymore, and came back to Los Angeles and started working with an individual who bought a nightclub. And in the midst of the escrow for that nightclub, there arose a dispute between himself and the sellers. And he decided that it would be a prudent move to have myself represent him as a lawyer in this real estate dispute, which I always joke about to this day that I had never spent even a day, I’d never even went to traffic board. So the idea of running a complex real estate arbitration was completely me and completely beyond my legal expertise or prowess, my non-expertise. So long story short, that worked out well. And the individual, this gentleman, Andrew gave me interest in the bar instead of paying me and that bar interest turned into more interest because the bar did very well. And then we rolled out 2 subsequent nightclubs and bars, which then led into Stout and Boomtown and Morrison and now a whole host of restaurants and bars. So we have over 20 now and yeah it’s very exciting and quite a few more opening this year. So we continue to grow and continue to suffer through the effects of the pandemic or the endemic and kind of struggle and strive and just continue to make positive movement and make the best out of somewhat of a trying situation, but, but we seem to be doing okay.

09:01 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, absolutely doing, doing more than okay, and what a journey and you know, I loved hearing that sort of entrepreneurial journey. It sounds like the entrepreneurial flair was definitely in the beer, I mean blood of what you described there with your, your father. And yeah, I just have memories when you’re talking about your dad and rolling the dice and crabs of when I was in Vegas many many years ago, the first time I ever played it, I absolutely loved it. But yeah, loved hearing your journey and what you’ve managed to achieve and you know, just really showcasing how you can grow, and just even the whole cash equity you know, what you mentioned there where you’re given interest in the first venture and how that’s gone on to many other things. Fantastic. Love it. Love it. Love it. So I mentioned also in the intro, you attended Loyola Law School, and now you serve on the Board of Directors there and I believe you’re developing a program about entrepreneurial laws and artificial intelligence. So can you tell us a bit more about this?

09:51 Charles Lew:

Yeah, so, so fortunately, the individuals that Loyola from the Board, Michael Waterstone, they’re, they’re really incredible and quite, quite a precent group of ladies and gentlemen. And I think and, and I’m sure we’re going to dive into this. I think what they’ve understood very, very well, and I believe actually the law school for at least since I attended it, so 2 decades, has been very aware of the, the changing geography of the practice of law. And just a, a quick, a quick prop to you actually was, this was 1 of the reasons I was so intrigued when I first listened to your podcast, because I feel like the legal community, it’s such an interesting, to me, underserved community. And it’s such a strong community, you know, 1.3 million strong at least in the United States. And it represents a, a huge, huge amount of money, huge amount of capital, a huge amount of knowledge, a huge amount of voter influence. But it’s a very, it’s a very underserviced market, I believe. No one really looks and says to themselves, with few exceptions, yourself being 1 of them, who is this community? What is this community? How can I serve as this community? What are the opportunities within this community? And, and that was 1 of the things I’ve always been very interested in his entrepreneurial opportunities within the legal community, whether that’s legal tech and artificial intelligence, which we’re seeing incredible, incredible leaps in the practice of law, as it relates to artificial intelligence. The technology aspects of it has have always intrigued me and my first Board of Director meetings I mentioned to the Board, that this was something that I would be very, very interested in pursuing and very interested to, to, to attempt to chaperone and or champion the, the law school’s efforts into moving in a more of a, of a technology forward direction. And, and certainly not to say they weren’t doing that before I mentioned it, they were very, very technologically focused, but they’ve really continued to embrace that. And they’ve let me look into other opportunities such as law in the Metaverse or teaching law on the Metaverse in the metaverse and just these very entrepreneurial ideas and ideologies that they’ve really curated at the law school which has been a wonderful opportunity, and, and something that I’m immensely thankful to the, to the again to the ladies and gentlemen up the law school and the Dean and the prior Deans who were also very, very supportive. So, it, the school was as a whole has been just, just incredible. They’ve been it’s been an enormous asset for, for us. And I think, again, a very precent champion of, of the practice of law and evolution of law.

12:38 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, and I love it, because it sounds very, you know, with the times, so to speak, you know, and there tends to be a lot of criticism, you know, of just general universities over here, or law schools or perhaps not being with the times. And I think the fact that you know, this is happening, and you’re being allowed to run with it, along with the support is fantastic. And we’re definitely going to talk about, you know, teaching in the Metaverse, but let’s go step back, because people are still learning. We’re all still learning, you know, technologies are relatively new. So I want to start with just some simple terms in terms of how you see them. So could you explain to our listeners, what Web3 is and what your thoughts generally are on Web3?

13:09 Charles Lew:

Yeah. So I always am a little reluctant to, to you know, I always get asked Web3. And I always get asked Metaverse, and it seems like we can’t really universally agree on what these are. So I’m always a little reluctant. I just kind of think about, we’ve got the definition of Web1. And we’ve got the idea, you know, in the early 2000s and before, how we all kind of leaped on the web. And I remember, I remember getting on at my high school, and for the first time at 18. And I remember having no idea what the utility of this was. I remember logging on and thinking this is absolute trash, like what on earth am I ever going to do with this? I remember seeing kind of the evolution and it was very interesting, because the Web1, the evolution of it was, was so quick. I remember, you know, just between my beginning of my senior year of high school and the end of the senior year of high school kind of seeing this evolution and thinking, oh, I’m starting to understand that there really is a utility here, I can start seeing where this goes. And then obviously we had you know this, this 20 years of evolution of the web where it became ubiquitous, it became just absolutely amazing. And you could start and then you always think or at least I always thought, you know, I would go and encyclopedia. I always reference encyclopedias and libraries because growing up, I spent so much time in the library, and everything took so long. You know, you’d sit there and you’d say, let me find this book on this and this book on this and then you’d search around the library, you couldn’t find it, the book be missing and someone would have ripped out the pages and you’re just sitting there thinking now what. And I just saw that and I remember thinking the entire world on account of the web and Web2, and evolution of the web the entire world is, is that your literal fingertips. It’s, it’s at your as fast as your fingertips can move over the keyboard, that world, every piece of information ever known that the world is there, which was such a mind-blowing thought to me. And then obviously as we emerge into Web3 and in the metaverse, and just all of these different verticals and opportunities, you know, I think about it now as, as the immersion into the web. So I think before we always just used to look at the web as this flat, it was, you know, just reading a book, what you were propping it up. And it was a digital book. And it was very accessible, very easy to search books. So it was as if you took the library, and you made the library at your fingertips and accessible and instantaneous speed, again, depending on your, your broadband or your WiFi. So not that fast for me, but for the technologically savvy among us, it was very quick, or it’s very quick. But this now feels, at least for me, that we’re stepping into the web. So Web3 to me is let me walk into the computer screen and look around. And there’s all kinds of fun example, you know, cultural references, you know, whether it’s Snow Crash, which people reference all the time, it’s kind of the emergence of the term Metaverse, or Tron. I’m sure you remember Tron and I remember the old video game growing up in Scotland and old movies. And, you know, there’s so many of these. And obviously, there’s, there’s 100 references, but I just always think about 3 as, as, as the immersion, the complete immersion. And that’s why I think it’s such a fascinating place. And there’s so much opportunity because everything becomes so much more vivid and so much more interesting and so much realer when it’s 3 dimensional, or 3, or it’s just now, now we’re in it. Now I’m looking around from the inside, instead of, instead of looking at from outside. And, and I’ll give you a little example. And I hope this doesn’t get lost or I hope it translates well. I always talk about perspective, when I go and speak at universities and law schools. And I speak about it that law school to me, people say oh, what did you learn in law school? What were the big takeaways? And I think and I hope you’ll agree, but I think 1 of the things is, people always say well law school teaches you a little bit different way to think, and I always thought that’s an interesting way to put it. Does it teach you at 20 or 25 or 30 or whatever your chronological age is, like, are you really reprogramming your brain to think a little different? And I, I don’t know neurologically the science behind that, or, or whether it’s really possible, but what I always explained to people is, law school for me allowed me to take a different perspective on everything. So I feel like I was able to do a 360 degree walk around the problem, because of law school rather than looking at the problem again, 2 dimensionally, as you know, we’ve referenced now a few times. So this allowed me to take this 3 dimensional, multi-dimensional approach to a problem. And the example I always give people on the, on my talks, when I have the opportunity or the good fortune of being able to speak to the students is, I take my phone, my iPhone and I hold it up, which I can’t do for you because I’m speaking on it, but I hold it up on the camera, in front of the class, and I hold it up at first so the back of the camera is facing the class, and I say to the students, what can you tell me about the person that owns this phone? And they say what we don’t understand? And I said, well tell me about this phone? What is this? And they say, well, I can tell by the number of lenses on the camera that it’s an iPhone X, whatever that is. And I can tell by the case that it’s there. And I can see that there’s a charging port or a charging panel on the back. So maybe the person you know, burned through a lot of batteries or needs a very accessible charging source. But very, very quickly, they can’t tell me much more about that person because their perspective is so limited. So very, very quickly, within 1 minute they say, I said, well what else can you tell me about this person? And they say, well I don’t know. And I say well, anything? Is there anything else? No. Okay, so that exercise ends real quickly. Now walk up to 1 of the students in the front row and I just turn the phone around. And I say all I’ve done is changed the perspective. We can all agree this exact same iPhone, the phone hasn’t changed. Now tell me about this person. And they look at the phone from the other side and they say, wow, this person has 470 non-responded texts. They have 8000 emails that need to respond to. They’ve got 5 different language translation apps. They’ve got 6 banking apps. You’ve got 2 cryptocurrency apps. They’ve got audible apps and 3 other reading apps or audible reading apps. They’ve got podcast apps so, so they can very, very quickly discern a wealth of information about this person and just do the phone by turning it around. So again, I think it’s all just perspective. And so when you say again, sorry for my long drawn out ambiguous answer, but I think Web3 to me is, is this complete emergent. It’s the ability to now step into the web, to step into the computer and to start seeing things no longer as we used to as 2-dimensional limited perspective.

20:23 Rob Hanna:

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21:54 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, and I love that analogy. And it’s so true because you know a lot of things in life and everything in life is perspective and sticking with, with that then you know, you are stepping very much into teaching in the Metaverse as we’ve touched on briefly. So can you tell us a little bit more about this? And do you have ideas to open a university or even an amphitheater?

22:14 Charles Lew:

Yeah, so we’re having a lot of fun right now. So the, the, the school has been very liberal as it relates to what we’re going to be able to teach and how we’re going to teach it. So what we’ve actually done, which I’m extraordinarily excited about is we’re building a digital presence called Meta La Plaza. Meta La Plaza will be on this Sandbox and in the Sandbox as part of this Meta La Plaza, we have a Loyola Law School Welcome Center. And that Welcome Center will have a scaled recreation of 1 of the buildings and a massive amphitheater that the students will attend and occupy while they listen to me speak from the podium in the Metaverse at the amphitheater. So it’s a really, really fun, very interactive world. We built all sorts of extremely interactive activities that you can even do within this. There’s a gamify portion of it, and it’s a little, it’s like some historical fiction. It’s almost a national treasure. Do you remember Tomb Raider-esque feel, where you’re running around this, this Metaverse, you’re running around Sandbox and Meta La Plaza, and we’ve got this fictional history or fantasy, historically based story about the lost pages of the Constitution and you’re searching for the last pages of the Constitution because the founding fathers in this very sagacious moment understood again, in our story, understood that there would be a need for a robotic Bill of Rights. So spread throughout this, this Metaverse, this plaza, is the last pages of the Constitution providing for an artificial intelligence robotic Bill of Rights. So it’s kind of a full immersion, fun, interactive opportunity for the students to listen to me ramble on endlessly and participate in some fun games and learn, learn, learn some really interesting things like I did about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and articles of independence and these other incredible documents that they’ll actually pick up pieces of while they’re running around this, this fantasy, grounded in reality, fantasy, or based in reality, fantasy Metaverse.

24:23 Rob Hanna:

Love it, love it. And I think it’s gonna be hugely, hugely popular and successful. And as you say, fun. And as I also mentioned the intro because you’re the managing partner as well of Lew firm. So you’re headquartered I believe, in Beverly Hills. So what types of law do you specialise in? And do you yourself have a specific client base?

24:44 Charles Lew:

Yeah, so we’ve been very blessed and very fortunate to be very client focused, is, is the type of law that we practice. So we have clients that have specific needs, whether it’s clients with NFT projects or clients building Metaverse projects, or clients building restaurants that want to Metaverse presence or hoteliers that want to offer certain services not only at their hotel, in which case they need very real world licenses and permits and, and legal work performed within our world, our real world, our physical world, but then they want to parallel that work or parallel those opportunities in, in the Metaverse or digital opportunities. So we’ve, we found this very, very interesting convergence of the 2 and we’re kind of trying to sit at the crossroads of this, this convergence and offer services to our clients based on, on digital and real world needs. So when I say client base, we certainly have a expertise or an emphasis with hospitality, just because it’s, it’s really our background. It’s our bread and butter. But, but again, we’re, we’re a very client focused firm. So we have this, this incredible group of clients and we, we do our best and endeavour to service their needs, whatever they might be, whether their trademarks and intellectual property needs, digital presence needs, physical presence licenses, permits, expediting of conditional use permits, liquor licenses, all of these different services that we again, offered to our clients.

26:13 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, and I love how you’re so client centric. And I think it’s just screaming, you know, why how you’re moving with the times, and I read in your hugely popular Forbes article, where you speak about, you know, “how the value of intellectual property can only increase in relation to the growth and development in the digital world”. So could you explain a little bit more further to our listeners about this?

26:35 Charles Lew:

Yeah, so I think intellectual property is something that’s always been very fascinating to me, the idea that you can, that, that, ownership, ownership in general, I think is very fast, fascinating. And, you know, we all remember back to our original property class in our bundle of sticks. And I’m not going to bore anybody recounting any, recounting any of these horrible, horrible classes, which we, we long forgotten, or probably should have. But, ownership is just a very interesting concept. So the idea of owning tangible and material graspable objects is interesting. And an idea of owning, you know, non-tangible intellectual properties is incredibly interesting. And the evolution of that, if any of the listeners haven’t had the opportunity just to walk through that, just for their, for their own knowledge, really, it’s, it’s a fascinating evolution and it’s a fascinating historical journey to walk through, the digital intellectual property and interestingly enough, that article was not really written at all about digital, it was written about just trademarks and intellectual property. That article was basically just talking about how everybody always used to think of valuable property as what where I’m sitting right now, the walls around us and the ground and, and what’s on the ground, and how far above yours, how far above the ground does your rights extend. Like these were all the questions that we were all, you know, intensely focused on, and, and, and very curious as to but what we’ve found in the last couple years again, expedited and accelerated by covid certainly is, is the value of intellectual property, because we all became much more isolated, and we all became much more reliant on our computers and our screens and digital and the web and everything else. So the growth of intellectual property has, I believe, just been accelerated incredibly. And now with the growth of the Metaverse and this continual expansion Web3 in the digital world, now we’re seeing this entire new world of virtual goods and services, which is, it’s very exciting for us because of the intellectual property and the trademark and copyright law that we do practice. It’s very exciting to us because, it’s again opened up this, this whole new world of, of understanding and trying to be pression, you know, as to your client’s needs and trying to be very conscientious and cognisant of where patterns and trends are going. And again, it just is more of a puzzle. It’s very kind of interesting exciting puzzle that we’re not sure exactly where it’s going to go, but we’re, we’re, we’re guessing, you know, and we spoke about this very briefly, you know, we’ve, we’ve become, or I’ve become very, very comfortable and very proficient in the last couple years at saying I don’t know, which was something that as a lawyer I was so reluctant to say because we get paid 100s and 100s and sometimes 1000s of dollars an hour to never say I don’t know, to avoid that word, like those 3 words are the plague to, to practicing lawyers because then the client says well let me go find someone who does know. So we’ve become so, so comfortable, again at least I have in saying, you know great question. I don’t know. Let’s look at this together. Let’s figure this out. Let’s walk down the road, give me a day and said actually, just this weekend, I had a question from a client yesterday and it was a you know, an interesting question and said, you know, I just don’t know but great question. Thanks for you know, throwing a monkey wrench in my Sunday, let me go and I back into my glamorous immersion computer and my immersible computer here and dive back into 3.0 and, and see what I can find out. So, so intellectual property I think is just another 1 of the practices, the sectors of law that we’re seeing this, this incredible acceleration on account of covid is, is an initial catalyst, or accelerant and, and the Metaverse and just all of these other influences that are occurring, that are, that are causing us to look at this, this practice this law, which I always joke and say didn’t change for 400 years with the exception of the wigs and robes. And now all of a sudden, we’re all looking at it. We’re saying, wow, this is, this is rolling and this is rolling incredibly fast. And how do we get on this? And how do we guide it? And how do we give it direction? Because we’re, I don’t think we collectively are sure where it’s going. But that’s part of the excitement, I think part of the excitement is this radical change and this radical evolution to something that was so reluctant to change for the past 400 years.

31:12 Rob Hanna:

Absolutely. And it’s gonna be an exciting journey, the whole Web3, and you make so many great points. And I know you also mentioned sort of, you know, witnessing companies such as Nike, Adidas, you know, their filings protect their names and iconic logos and virtual goods and services space. I mean, years ago, that would have been unheard of or, you know, granted, it’s crazy. So it’s just fascinating to see where, where this is going. But I want to sort of move on because you know, you do so many other things and you do something else that’s really important to me around mental health. And you know, you serve as a Board Member for a non-profit organisation, you know, Mental Health America Los Angeles. What does being a Board Member mean to you? And why is mental health so important to you?

31:46 Charles Lew:

Yeah. I love that you asked about that Rob, thank you. And I know it’s a very important subject, you also. Mental Health America Los Angeles, 2 of the oldest organisations in the country, focused on mental health, just about to celebrate their centennial anniversary, which is absolutely incredible. And a huge round of applause for the incredible ladies and gentleman over there doing just, just superlative work, exemplary work, and in every single way. Mental health for me, it’s been, it’s been something that is very close to me on account of family members who have struggled with it. The family members who have lost their lives on account of it. Unfortunately this year, 2 of my very, very close friends and business associates took their own lives, you know, just the suicide is unfortunately, we no longer hear about suicides, and we think oh my gosh, what, what a horrible thing. I can’t believe this happened. We hear about them now. And we think to ourselves, I just heard this, and I just heard someone last week and I just heard 2 people and the age that people are, are finding themselves in this just desolate, despondent and crestfallen place where there’s nowhere for them to go. And there’s no respite except suicide. The age that these individuals and these family members and loved ones are finding themselves in that, in that place it’s, it’s decreasing and decreasing, where we’re seeing very, very young children in that place. So it’s, it’s something that’s, you know, it’s, it’s very, very close to my heart, it’s very hard to, to verbalise because it’s such a tragic place. And I think it’s, I think, without diving too far into it, I think there’s, you know, like this direct link to social media and correlations between social media and you know, just our moods in general, including, you know, individuals like yourself, and myself and adults, and adults who are functioning on, on, you know, relatively high levels, but we conceive and personally how, you know, little, my new actions on social media can really spin your day into, into a very odd place or in this odd tailspin just by a comment on, on an Instagram or on LinkedIn. And now I think, imagine taking that and putting that to a, to a young girl or boy or young individual and saying, now you go deal with this, you know, without having the life experiences that we’ve been fortunate to work through the, so you’re asking these young children to understand this and to understand there’s a world, this digital social media world, and that cannot it has to be separated from, from the world that we live in, and you have to just continue to exist and you have to build up a resilience, to build up a constitution that, that can withstand these influences, because I think they’re again, they’re, they’re immensely powerful even to, to adults. So mental health again is just it’s something that again, I’ve been, I’ve tried to be very, very active in and I will continue to try to be very active in and I think it’s, I think we’re going to this, this assault or this, this war against our mental health is only going to increase to the point where we’re actually working with groups right now just our mental health presence within our Metaverse. So there’ll be, there’ll be a mental health therapy center within our legal plaza, because we want people as they spend more and more time in this digital realm to be able to go and, and seek help, and to be able to find help, to be able to speak with someone, because this is going to be a whole host of other not necessarily problems, but a whole host of unique situations that our brains have never had to deal with. So it would be very odd to assume that we have the capabilities of dealing innately, we’re going to have to develop them, we’re going to have to work through them. That’s going to be a learning curve. And I think we’ve got to mitigate the damage that we do to ourselves and to our children. I know you’re, you’re a new father, right?

35:44 Rob Hanna:

That’s correct.

35:45 Charles Lew:

So, so I think we’re gonna have to really figure out how to mitigate the damage or the potential damage to our mental health is this digital space continues to evolve.

35:52 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, I completely agree and support and just, you know, want to sort of, you know, applaud you for the work that you are doing, and you know, how you’re helping those who need it and also addressing the needs of the attorney. So thank you for all the work that you’re, you’re doing and sort of flipping back to the Metaverse, then, you know, there have been reports suggesting that the Metaverse market growth could be up to I believe, 13 trillion by 2030. So, you know, what developments do you expect to see in the next coming year and years from, from your own perspective?

36:28 Charles Lew:

Yeah, I think it’s so that 13 trillion market opportunity it’s such a gargantuan, just unbelievable number, when you think about it, and I, and I think to myself, absolutely, why not. Why, why would that number not be just, just prodigious? Why would it not be so large and, and incomprehensibly large? I think we’re going to see, again, just this, this full immersion, because, from my perspective, again, why not? Why do I want to sit and look at 2 dimensions, I don’t. I want to walk into the store, I want to walk into the restaurant, I want to interact with someone, I want to look at the digital menu, I want to walk into the back and I want to see, you know, a digital recreation of the brewing process. I want to interact with the person at my whisky Bar and I want to say explain to me the difference between a scotch and a bourbon, explain to me why all scotches are whisky but all whiskies aren’t scotch. Like, I want that, I need that social interaction and I want it. So this is where I see these opportunities for this growth. Right now if I go on American Express dot com, I’m gonna get a chatbot. And that chat bot will drive me up the wall within 15 minutes because it’s completely useless. So I want, I want to sit and do this with you but with your avatar and speak with you and talk about, oh have you tried this restaurant? Have you tried this? Oh you liked this beer. Let me show you this. And then I follow you to another beer. And we say hey, this is a California hazy IPA, you’ll find nuances of this and flavours of this and be excited about this and here’s the distinctive distilling the ferment brewing process that occurs, that’s why this is different. So again I think the growth is, it’s going to be, it’s going to be scary how fast it is. And it’s you know, it’s 1 of those hang on and, and watch it. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of thought about the mobile integration. The mobile integration to me is key for this, for this very, very rapid growth. And it’s very widespread, immediate growth. I think the growth occurs regardless. But the question is, does growth occur in the next 3, 5, 7, 8 years, like this 2030 number that we’re referencing, or does this growth take 5, 10, 15 years, but I think it’s inevitable growth. The question is just do we have the mobile integration to a point that we can all utilise our mobile phones to get into this multi-dimensional immersive perspective.

38:51 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, and it’s exciting times ahead. Well, I’m certainly excited by it and curious to see where it’s all going to lead. So finally Charles, you know, with all of that, you know, what advice would you give to lawyers or those in the legal profession or those interested in breaking into the legal profession that are interested in business or Web3 generally?

39:08 Charles Lew:

Yeah, I think I think the advice I would give to lawyers is community and immersion, and I again, I think you do such a fantastic job and I was so happy when I started listening to your, your podcasts and actually not just your podcast, your LinkedIn and your, your lives. It’s, it’s the legal community again, to me, it’s such an interesting group because we’re really just not proficient and efficient at building communities. And I think that we need this community immersion we need to be much better about being there for each other, which the legal community in general, it really isn’t. We’re not, you remember, like you hear all these stories about the books in the law library pages being ripped out and blacked out and marked up so that people couldn’t read certain cases, lowering grade point averages. So comparatively, my grade point average was higher, which I never had to worry about because mine was so horribly low. Other people, you know would be, would be concerned with this they’re standing in the class. I think for new lawyers and for existing lawyers, immerse yourself start, start looking at individuals such as yourself and get involved in these communities. We’re really exciting. Right now we’re putting together an NFT drop, that’s going to be a lawyer related NFT drop, it’s going to be called legal friends like frens. And then there’s another component to it, which will be lawyers and lore, which is our, again, our historical fiction, historically based fiction lawyers story. And we wrote it very creatively, like Dungeons and Dragons. It’s extremely creative, but its lawyers and lore. And I think just get community oriented, get community driven, immerse yourself into, into groups. Let’s figure out this legal community. How do we support each other? How are we cognisant, supportive of each other’s mental health and another 1, while we’re just speaking health in general, as physical health, we’re not the healthiest group of individuals by, by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s something I’ve been very, very interested in my whole life is just health and fitness to the point out there conducting the terminology that gets thrown around a lot that I think is actually a very interesting 1, but it’s biohacking. And you know, we’re looking at all kinds of biohacking opportunities, whether it’s IV infusions and peptides and cold plunges and infrared saunas and all of these different things, that we’re kind of immerse ourselves again, into, to try to do create this, this balance as healthy mental health, physical health balance, because I think what we need to get to is where the, it just becomes health. Like how do we become healthier individuals. And I think lawyers, again, we are not very proficient at that we’re not cognisant of our health, because it doesn’t directly relate to your billable hours until you can no longer bill. So it’s that we almost need these horrible life altering events as lawyers before we stop for a moment and say oh, wow, this just impeded and stopped and destroyed my ability to bill and to make money. Now let me fix it, fix this health problem, rather than saying, how do I maintain my health? How do I build a strong community? How am I there for my other lawyers? How do I, how do I work through the evolution of this practice that is seeing such monumental paradigm shifts? And how do I not only participate in them, but help other lawyers participate in it?

42:45 Rob Hanna:

Yeah, such wise words, and I love how you really focus on community and health. And you know, it’s so true, you know, make time for your health now, or you’ll definitely make time for your health in the future unreservedly. So I think you gave so many great points. And it’s so interesting what you’re, you’re up to Charles, and how you’re pushing the needle and creating change, and so entrepreneurial and innovative and everything you do. So if our listeners would like to learn more about you, which I’m sure they will and your amazing projects, what’s the best way for them to contact you? Feel free to shout out any of your social media or web links, and we’ll also share them with this episode for you too.

43:16 Charles Lew:

Perfect. Yeah. So Charles Lew dot com. Lew Firm dot com. Charles Lew dot com is, is fairly up to date and I think very, I think we get most of the articles posted on that quite quickly. Instagram. LinkedIn, I love LinkedIn. That’s where I listen to all your content so that’s, that’s exciting. And Twitter. I’ve been fairly active on Twitter lately, especially because it’s such a good forum for the you know, quick tweets, and the Metaverse and quick updates and quick updates on law and the practice of law in general. So, all of the general social media, but certainly Charles Lew dot com is a good place to start if you want to read, read some of my ramblings.

43:55 Rob Hanna:

Absolutely, as I’m sure people will. Well Charles, thank you so, so much. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. So from all of us at the Legally Speaking Podcast, wishing you lots of continued success with your career and future pursuits, but for now over and out.

44:15 Rob Hanna:

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode. If you liked the content here, why not check out our world leading content and collaboration hub, the Legally Speaking Club over on Discord. Go to our website www dot Legally Speaking Podcast dot com for the link to join our community there. Over and out.

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