There are a lot of commendable professions in the legal industry, but whether you are currently practicing law or are just starting out, you are likely familiar with the terms intellectual property.
This week we’re super excited to be chatting with Ana Juneja, one of Chicago’s most sought-after attorneys. She is the founder of the law firm Ana Law Group, which concentrates on intellectual property law. She is committed to protecting, securing, and advocating for your intellectual property rights so that you can bring ideas to life.
While pursuing her legal studies, Ana had the distinct honor and opportunity of working with numerous top and prominent law firms. She improved her writing abilities for trademark and patent applications and gained comprehensive knowledge of navigating the several tiers of intellectual property protection.
𝐒𝐨, 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧?
You can catch Rob and Ana Juneja talking about:
- Lessons she got from working large international law firm.
- What is Intellectual Property, 4 types of IP, and how does it work?
- How she started her law firm so quickly?
- Common mistakes clients make when it comes to protecting their brand.
- How did she build up huge followers?
- How to use social media to connect with your audience, and market your products and services?
- The advice she shared for those people who are interested or want to switch to IP.
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 Ana Juneja. Ana specialises in intellectual property and is the owner of the award-winning American law firm Ana Law LLC. The firm serves clients across all 50 US states, assisting business owners, entrepreneurs, celebrities, influencers protect their brands. Ana also teaches continuing legal education classes to other attorneys. Ana has amassed 100s of 1000s of followers across social media including the likes of Instagram, TikTok, and last year was accepted onto the US LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Programme for technology and innovation. Ana has her finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to all things Web3, NFTs and AI. So a very warm welcome, Ana.
01:01 Ana Juneja:
Thank you so much for that introduction. I’m super excited to be here.
01:06 Rob Hanna:
I’m super excited to have you on the show. I’ve been a big fan for a very long time. So, 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?
01:27 Ana Juneja:
I’ve seen like 2 episodes. So, I am going to the 2 that I saw, I’m going to say, you know, a 2 because it’s just not what lawyers, it’s just, they are, they skip, you know, the research, the days of not even speaking to another human and being, you know, there’s deep, deep work. That’s such a huge part of lawyering and no show gets it right. So, you know, there’s not the drama that I think people think there is.
02:02 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, I think you’ve justified your 2. And because you’ve seen 2 episodes and with that, let’s move swiftly on. So to begin with Ana, would you mind telling our listeners a bit about your background and journey?
02:12 Ana Juneja:
Yes. So, I have been an IP attorney now for almost 5 years, you know, since the day I became an attorney, this is the only thing I’ve ever done. Other fields of law scare me. So, I really stick to my, my world. And I don’t deviate too much, though you are forced to pick up other skills when you take on certain types of cases and challenges. But, I have been practising laws since 2017, 2018, I can’t even remember now, the pre-covid. It’s like pre-covid, post-covid. Since its pre-covid, many years before then, and I used to work at an international law firm, my firm was actually based out of Luxembourg. And I worked at the US headquarters for their US clients and for their European clients who wanted to file things in the US. So I really learned a lot about high volume, large scale global brands and how they innovate, how they launched their brands, how they launched their new products and designs and things like that. And it was a probably a once in a lifetime opportunity I got to kind of work at that firm at the time that I did, and be able to get the experience in that different, vastly different projects that I got to work on there. I learned more and you know, my first year there than I would have, you know, 5 years anywhere else. So it was really once in a lifetime. But you know, eventually I just kind of wanted to do things on my own term. And there was I felt a need, and there was a couple of reasons I decided to leave my old firm, even though I loved my job so much and I really loved my clients and my co-workers and my boss and everything. It was just such a wonderful opportunity I had, but there was number 1 a huge need in the market for people who have really high skills and being able to deliver them to people who wouldn’t normally have access to the type of law firm that I worked at. Mostly we served, you know, we did serve some smaller businesses and things but most of our my clients were, you know, Fortune 100, Fortune 50 type of companies and they were global brands. So, you know, I decided there was a need in the market and then I really wanted to establish my brand because I do see you know, a problem or not a problem but I see that there’s a risk for people who are very ordinary and take traditional paths, they won’t be able to distinguish themselves from AI and I always saw that coming. Lawyers in particular they feel they’re very special, the way they do law school, the you know, briefing cases during law school, getting called on I mean, it’s just it doesn’t make sense how they do it in my opinion. I come from a science background and the law is just another subject it should be taught like another subject and people you know, should be taught the writing, the, you know, the way other people are taught to write in my opinion. Lawyers feel they’re very special and they do think that things their own way and it’s also like that with law firms too. But I always saw that this was coming now, you know, we just got this new ChatGPT, I always get those letters confused, but the new AI that came out and all lawyers are freaking out. So you know, this is what I, this, I knew this was happening. And I think it was so important for me to kind of launch when I did, my own brand and be able to establish myself so that I can, you know, develop connections and skills that will set me apart long term, because I have a lot more years left to work. I’m not retiring in 10 years, you know, so I’m in a different position maybe than a lot of, you know, other lawyers that are.
05:37 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, but I love that you talked about sort of the personal brand and building that brand because you know, we talk a lot about this on the show about, it’s your greatest asset, but it’s also your greatest insurance policy should things go bad. So yeah, I love that you do that and we should probably talk a little bit more about that later on. Because, I want to go back because after law school, you did spend, you mentioned time at that sort of large international law firm, you know, what was sort of maybe 2 or 3 key lessons you got from, from, from your time there?
06:04 Ana Juneja:
So I really learned a lot about what it means to be a lawyer that they don’t teach you at firms, and they don’t teach you in law school and what it means to be a lawyer, if you are a transactional lawyer, which means like, not, you’re not dealing with people’s, you know, divorces, or speeding tickets, like just you’re literally just doing things to make businesses and people money. That’s the realm that transactional lawyers stay in. And if that is your, you know, world and wheelhouse, you need to be more than a lawyer, you need to actually understand how business works. And you need to understand that being a lawyer does not mean that you need to be giving your client a 10-page memo about the law every single time, I mean, we can all go on and on about different theories and go back and forth and make arguments and draft this and that. But at the end of the day, you know, your client is coming to you, and they hope that you’re going to be an asset and provide them a service that’s going to be valuable to them, instead of just providing them with kind of legal garbage, which is a huge problem in the legal industry, because you have, because a lot of lawyers have never run a business, they don’t have family members who have run a business, they are not connected in that world. And, it’s a detriment then because, you know, I can file, you know, trademarks, or, you know, get people their copyrights and patents and do M&A work for them and things like that. But at the end of the day if that is just going to cost them 200k in legal bills and they don’t really get that much out of it, and what’s the point of me being around then. And, and that’s why people have a lot of frustrations with lawyers. So I think that was a huge, you know, because I really got thrown into managing these very large portfolios of, you know, 1000s and 1000s of IP assets and, now I, you know it was kind of baptism by fire, because that’s just how it went. When you kind of work at a start-up or something, you know, a branch that’s starting in the US, you know, it was, you know, there wasn’t an opportunity to say no or to not figure it out on your own, you just kind of had to do it. And that was, that meant I got to be 1 on 1 with a client pretty much right away, which does not happen anywhere. First years, first year associates never even, you know, when third, fourth year associates, even when I was more senior, that still doesn’t happen at other firms like no way would that happen. So I got to be 1 on 1 with clients a lot. And I really got to understand how their different departments work in large corporations. So, their IP department is usually a small thing. It’s maybe, it’s an afterthought, and they’re they have to justify everything that they’re doing. And so I also learned that as a lawyer I need to justify everything I’m doing for the client, it can’t just be, I’m charging you, you know, 1,000 dollars an hour for 6 hours to hand you a memo that doesn’t even do anything for you. So that is the biggest absolute biggest skill that I took away from my time there that I went, I really think it’s a huge detriment that lawyers don’t learn that early on in their career, because it has helped me and my clients so much more than you know, any other skill that I learned in law school. So, being able to navigate the law is 1 thing, but being able to navigate it usefully is more important, way more important. So, another skill I learned is, you know really being able to, you know, I think that there’s a lot of people now who want to start their own thing and build their own personal brand, and they don’t necessarily have the qualifications for it. They don’t necessarily have the skill set behind it. And I think I really learned you know, my, my key core IP skills when I worked there, and that is not anything you can really learn in school. I also worked at the USPTO. So between working at the USPTO while I was in law school plus working, you know, at this firm, where I was managing very, very complex cases, pretty much on my own very early on and being forced to figure it out, as in like, I was pulling, you know, 2 to 3 all-nighters every single week for like, a year and a half, almost, because I just had to figure it out, and self-teach, there wasn’t shortcut to, to learning the skills. So I think just, you know, lawyers really need to learn their craft very, very, very well. And for some people it’s going to take you 20 years. And for some people it’s going to take you 1 month, it just depends on you know, how fast you pick things up, how methodical you’re being about different skill sets. IP is very transactional, so that makes it easy for someone with a science background, I think, more easier for me to pick it up maybe than someone without that background. But, you know, I think I really learned my, my how to be excellent at what I do and how to get deliver results, because when you’re working with large corporations there is just no option to fail, like they do not pay people to, like do BS work for them. That’s just what it is. And, and it’s very high pressure, but it, you know, pressure, you know, what’s that phrase like, pressure is really good for people. So, it, you know, you, I really learned to deliver. So because I learned that core like skill set in my field.
11:28 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, like so many great examples you give there and so many good takeaways. And I think, you know, I remember the quote around pressure is a privilege as well, you know, put yourself to those environments to actually sort of give yourself to bring out your excellence, you talk a lot about autonomy, you talk a lot about responsibility, you talk a lot about sort of, you know, accountability, I think there’s so many great nuggets there. So thank you for, for sharing that. And I just want to touch on a little bit about your, your internship because you had an internship in the US with the, I believe, Senator Marco Rubio. So how did that, how did you come across that opportunity?
11:58 Ana Juneja:
So I just emailed around, it’s, it’s actually not that hard to do that. And I was at 1 point very interested in going into politics, I’m still very interested in going into politics actually, because there’s a lot of specific global issues and issues in tech that I’m very passionate about. So, I still hope 1 day to go into politics or be involved in some way. And I was kind of just exploring that, of course, at that internship I really didn’t do much substantively. I pretty much met with lobbyists, like every day all day, and we just, you know, talked to them and kind of see what they want and what they’re willing to give in exchange. You know, that’s just kind of how things work in politics in the US. So, I don’t think I really learned too much. It was a good experience and it was a great thing to put on my resume. But it was not, it didn’t sell me on politics clearly because I didn’t go into right then.
12:53 Rob Hanna:
Well you were sold on the law and you were sold on intellectual property, which where you now specialise. And we’ll talk about your own firm in a minute. But for those perhaps interested in getting to know more about intellectual property, and I know you do a lot about this online, but just break it down in simple terms, what is intellectual property?
13:12 Ana Juneja:
So IP is basically creations of your mind, your ideas, your content that you make, it’s pretty much everything that’s intangible. So for the flip side, like a house, your house, your condo, your car, those are real assets that you can touch and feel. And of course, there’s paperwork connected to them, but you actually have something you could hold in your hand or touch. And then on intellectual property is intangible. So, the main types are going to be things like trademarks, which are brands. So you know, the Nike swoosh is a trademark, the Apple logo, the apple with a bite out of it, I can’t describe it, that’s a trademark, the name Apple as well. And you know, and you can also get protection for different colours, trademark protection for colours, like Louboutin red shoes, Tiffany blue, all of that. So, that’s what trademarks protect. So these are all intangible, but they’re very, very valuable because brands are in better companies invest a lot into their brand. So typically, you know, the value of your trademarks is very high compared to the value of your business. It’s like, it can be like up to more than half of the value of your brand. It’s actually the brand. And then another very valuable type of IP is patents which protect inventions. So everything that you use and do in your life, you know, is probably patented. So you know, the AirPods, computer, this, I don’t know if they patented this Riverside system, but you know, a lot of different technology tools, everything you use, you know, when you go to the doctors and they’re doing you know, they’re looking at your ear, you know, that tool is it has a patent on it, so that you can, if you create something that’s going to benefit society, the government allows you to monetise it for a period of time in exchange for telling the world about it, and, and also the best method to make it and use it and all of that. So, that’s what patents do. And then copyrights are, are for original works of authorship. So this is going to be like, if you write a book, if you, you know, architecture, the NFTs, music, videos, YouTube videos, all of that kind of, you know, content falls into copyright law, and then trade secrets, which is just basically anything that’s secret proprietary information that has some sort of value. So this, you know, the famous example is the Coca Cola formula. But of course, anything like vendor list, the supplier list, just private customer list, private information in your business, that’s trade secret. And you have to obviously, it took, for it to be considered a trade secret and, and get that trade secret protection, you know, you have to have the correct language everywhere, and you have to take steps to protect it. But that’s a, that’s a really big overview of what IP is. And I think maybe a lot of lawyers who are going to be listening to this or law students and so if you’re interested in IP, there’s a lot of benefits to it, mostly that it’s a lot of remote work and you can work from anywhere, you only have to be barred in 1 state. And if you have a science background you can also work with patents and it’s, it’s just a very flexible fields of law, we don’t have a lot of courts going on. And, and it’s now I think it’s becoming a little more popular, it wasn’t popular back when I started, at all, but it’s become more, it feels like it’s become a lot more popular lately. So, if you’re interested in, in, you know, something with a really good lifestyle, not as exciting as you know, getting people off of murder and things like that, or getting 100 dollar million or 500 dollar million settlement, but that make headlines, but it is, it is still really interesting and great lifestyle. And you know the cases are really, are very interesting, you know, if you like this field of law, and I love it because I get to see, you know, what brands and products are coming out a few years before everyone else, I get to like trend predict because I already know, and I, I love that about this field, or I love being an IP attorney for that actually.
17:09 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, and I can just hear the passion in your voice as well that you just genuinely love your practice area. We talk a lot about that, you know, practice an area you’re passionate about and you know, I think probably trademarking the Nike swoosh or the Apple, you know, that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty, pretty cool stuff. So, I want to now talk about your firm, because you are the very proud owner of Ana Law LLC. And you are serving basically clients all over the US. So, can you describe the timeline of how you’ve built up the firm, so quickly?
17:39 Ana Juneja:
Yeah, so I left my old firm, and I’m doing you know, the same field area of law, the same type of thing, just, you know, on my own now. So, I started my firm pretty much right away, like a few weeks after I left my old firm. I didn’t necessarily have a plan and this was in summer of 2021 that I started it. I kind of knew what I was going to do vaguely and I had an idea of what I was going to do, which was you know, connecting people who I knew were out there and needed help and weren’t getting it. And I, I did sort of wing it because I didn’t have a rigid plan of okay, I’m going to be doing XYZ work for these clients and I’m going to take these clients with me and it wasn’t as organised I think as, as a lot of people who leave firms and make their exit and have a strategic plan for what they’re going to do. I really wanted to use social media. I wanted to be able to connect with people on, you know, a certain level that would allow me to kind of establish authority, and would provide me a lot of benefit, but also would provide, you know, my community with a lot of benefits and education as well. So, I launched and I mean, you know, I didn’t have 100 clients on day 1 of course, but I spent the time that, you know, I would have done working, just creating content. And I just did that until you know, now, of course, I’m not creating that much content because once you actually have an audience, it’s actually dangerous to be posting content because you will get an influx of traffic and if you can’t manage it, it looks really bad and people get very upset when you know you don’t respond to emails and things like that. So, I think, you know, I found it really easy to use the tools that were out there, I literally started just making like 15 second videos on TikTok, I would film them on my phone just, didn’t care about what I was wearing, just did whatever said whatever. I said so many words mispronounced, I messed up my sentences, it doesn’t really matter. People are still gonna listen to you if you’re a lawyer or if you’re providing them some sort of value that they want, you know, and certain platforms are really good at connecting you with the right audience. TikTok was really good back in the day when I started. I heard it’s not the same anymore but, what I launched, I just would post, you know, a couple times a day, and then, you know, some videos would do really well and I’d get an influx of clients and kind of deal with them. And then, you know, still be promoting a little bit. But I did everything organically, like just on my own, I didn’t really have a true strategy for it, I literally just answered people’s questions and talked about what I wanted to talk about, or I never scripted anything, I never had a rigid schedule. I have tried it, it just doesn’t work because life gets in the way, the whole, you know, it just, it was really, it felt really authentic. Now I’ve backed off a lot from social media, I don’t even have like the apps on my phone anymore. So, it’s, I’m in a way different place now than I was before. You just never know what’s gonna happen to you and how quickly you’ll grow. And then there comes a point where you build a big audience which is great, because you’re getting leads, and you’re getting, you know, the feedback you need for all the effort you put in. But you know building that audience comes with so many downsides that, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s really good now that I’ve outsourced a lot of my, my work on social media because I don’t actually, don’t enjoy it as much anymore. But when, I am so thankful for it, when I launched my firm because I was able to get you know, I was able to market for free and know, never before in history, have regular people, you know, like you and me or anyone who just feels like it, are they able to market for free, and just be able to be like, hey I have this, this service, I have this knowledge, here it is. And people will be like, okay, and you don’t have to pay anything to add a billboard or Facebook or anyone, you can just, you know, put out whatever you do and whatever skills you have, or what you’re interested in, and, and you know, the people who are interested in hiring you are going to hire you just based on that, you know, you don’t have to make it really complicated, or make it very expensive, which is a huge benefit to people now.
21:59 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, and it’s so true. And I think ultimately, it’s a tool, right? You utilise the tool for your business that got you good lead flow. And that’s the key folks, need to remember that all of these platforms, as you’re speaking to an IT, IP attorney, it’s not your data, you don’t own, you know, you want to make sure you’re getting that off some, those followers into your ecosystem into your communities, then you can market your products and services. So it’s a really important lesson there to learn. And you managed to do that so well, you captured your audience and you converted them into clients, which is super, super cool. And I want to stick with that because you are servicing clients all across the states of America, which just sounds super impressive to people listening in, how do you do it? What sort of systems have you developed or how is your firm structured to enable you to do that and do that so efficient?
22:45 Ana Juneja:
Well, a huge part of it is my practice area. So actually, the, you know, IP filings have been virtual for a while now. It’s, I in my entire group I’ve never filed like a paper trademark or anything at all, like never, I’ve never had you know, a paper patent application, paper assignment, nothing at the USPTO at all really is in paper anymore. So that makes it a huge benefit to people who do want to serve people outside of their local network. And, you know, I never had to worry about targeting with social media either. So I would, you can mark it basically to the US which is kind of what happened, now I have cities that you know, I’ve pockets of clients in and I find it fascinating to look at all that, those analytics. But I basically am able to be serving people actually globally, anybody who wants IP work done in the US, because the practice area I’m in allows me to do so I’ve also, I also have a big, big network of you know, associates that I work with, associated firms and things if we need filings done in different states, which sometimes that happens and it’s connected to IP. Not often but occasionally we will need that stuff done. So the systems I use though are pretty basic. I like to keep things basic, I actually just got or started using Clio. I actually had Clio but I never even logged on I couldn’t figure it out for like a whole year. So I just though like actually set it up, I was using Google Sheets and my email and my brain and it was, it was just getting to be you reach a certain point that you just simply can’t do that anymore. There was a point in time where I knew every single banner every single thing off the top of my head like the back of my hand and, and then you reach a point where that’s not feasible. So I, you know, I used Clio, I used Clio Manage and Clio Grow and that’s my main system that I use now because, well, I think there’s a lot of great systems out there. It’s kind of just using 1 and making it work and doing it and I think deviating waste time um and I think Clio, you know, it’s secure, I like it for that and it’s, it gets the job done. So that’s kind of where I’m at now. I use like email, Zoom, sometimes Calendly, not really though. Mostly I just use Clio, I still do a lot of things manually or my team, my staff does, because I’m just, my fields of law, I don’t know, I just, I know there’s way to automate it, I, I really need to look into that I, there’s a great AI and tech out there. But, right now, I just kind of like to be micromanaging all my clients. So not a lot of stuff isn’t, isn’t automated right now for me. And I, I also think that’s due to the fact that I came from the kind of firm that I was at, where, you know, there was a lot of assistance and things like that and, we didn’t automate things because typically higher end clients don’t really tolerate that. They’re not going to go and fill out your 6-step form, they’re just simply not going to do it. Now if somebody’s paying lower rates, and, and, and there’s people out there that have implemented those systems of course, that is, that’s more, you know, feasible for their business plan. But for the, you know, my clients and obviously the future clients I want to attract, it’s not, they really need the, they need to be face to face with the paralegal, with the attorney and, and any associate any staff, you know, they need to know the names, the face and all that, that working with them and managing their case. So that’s just kind of how it goes. It’s not standard right now in traditional, even boutique firms to really be automating every little thing and using Dubsado and, and all these kind of random software’s to, you know, like getting somebody to e-sign something is, is, is, is enough for me, because if they do that, that’s great.
26:45 Rob Hanna:
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28:55 Ana Juneja:
Umm, I mean the biggest 1 for their brand is going to be that they, they don’t protect it. That’s a, that’s a gimme though, so I can’t, I can’t say that. So that’s an obvious 1. Obviously file your trademark if you’re going to launch a brand you want to make sure that you’re filing it before you launch it ideally, and if you’ve already launched it, get on it because, you know, once someone files for that trademark that you want, they can shut you down and if you, you can potentially fight it if you were first and have enough evidence to prove so but it’s, it is like 10 times more expensive and it’s not feasible for small business owners so, easy gimme you know mistake is yeah, they, they don’t file their trademarks or you know, they don’t file there, they don’t go seek counsel when they have invented something or created something. Umm, I’m totally stealing this idea from 1 of my friends Jeanette Braun from Braun IP Law, so I’m giving her a shout out because she posted this video. I reposted it on my story a while ago, but there are snacks I’m sure you guys have packaging like this and overseas as well. There are snacks that come in cardboard boxes and they have a window like a plastic window cut out so you can see inside. Little, little cookies and cakes, right? So, the inventor of that, who created this window design in the box, you know, I can’t now remember if she did or didn’t file, I think she did not file her patent, so on that. Now, that is something that gives her a competitive advantage had she filed the patent on it can you imagine how valuable that would be and being able to license that out. So she, she created this amazing thing that was very useful for people like her a business owner selling these type of food items that customers would love to see inside of when you’re buying it. And she didn’t have the patent on it, she didn’t protect that, and she gave away her competitive advantage, right. So that’s a huge mistake that people make is they, they create something that could be patentable and could be patent, you know, licensing, and, and, you know, sales are, are can be extremely profitable, and giving away. Patents are tricky. Trademarks it’s like the earlier you use, the earlier you file the better. Patents are tricky because they have very strict time limits and grace periods of when you’re allowed to disclose things publicly. And, America is a first to file country. So you know you have to get things on paper, filing date, there’s no use arguments you can make really with patents and be very successful. So patents are tricky and people really are so innovative. And if you’re that innovative that you’ve created something that gives you a competitive advantage, why would you not want to monetise it? Why would you give it away like it, it, you know, I, I really want to bring awareness to that because a lot of people talk about, you know, trademarks and protecting your brand. And I think that’s getting more common just because trademark disputes kind of especially like with the Kardashians and sports teams, they get in the news a little bit. But patents you know, people think oh it’s for Apple and Samsung, but actually anybody can create something that’s innovative and give their business a competitive edge. And if you have done that you should really really monetise it, there’s no reason you know not to, if it’s, if it’s truly something that’s valuable, you know, you’ll be able to get proper protection and be able to make a lot of money from it. So there’s that and then copyrights. What mistakes do people make with their copyrights? Copyrights, people should register them there, there relatively cheap to do. And, you know, there’s in US there’s statutory damages of 150k. That means you don’t have to prove damage, you don’t have to prove that your business was damaged to get 150k. That’s a lot of money, you know, for, for each incidents of infringement. So there’s a lot of benefits to registering your copyright. People skip out on filing these type of protections for themselves. That’s the biggest mistake, probably an obvious 1, but biggest mistake that’s out there in the IP world. But for business owners as well, like they signed contracts they don’t even read, they give away their certain types of IP rights, they upload things to platforms that they have no idea what their terms of service are. So just being aware of, you know, the law is not interesting to some people, it is not, it’s not always interesting to us, either. But the law really controls you, you know, it controls your entire life, if you sign something and you sign away your rights to something and it comes back to bite you and you truly did sign it. You know, there’s, you know, I don’t know there’s, there’s just nothing to say people just need to be more aware of legal consequences of these little things that they do that affect their life in ways, you know, that are very detrimental. So for example Hayley Paige, the designer, the fashion designer for Say Yes To The Dress, she allegedly when she was 25 years old, she signed away the rights to her own personal name. So, she now cannot use her name at all whatsoever on you know, in business, not even in a different field. She lost her Instagram account of a million followers that she was using to make her income as a, as a influencer doing brand deals. So she, you know, really lost a lot because of something she probably did in 20 minutes. You know, she signed, she read something, she signed it. Oh, it’s done and you know, her whole life is affected. So, so that’s really devastating in a very public incident. But I can tell you, you know, since I deal with this privately with my clients it happens often, people have a lot of traumatic things happen to them because of things that they have inadvertently signed or, or done with legal consequences that they didn’t realise at the time. So being aware of what’s going on with you legally, with the actions that you take is very, very important and it’s a huge mistake people are continuously making.
34:42 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, and I, I, I my friend Mitch Jackson who’s been on the show always says this as a sort of trial lawyer, do your due diligence, you know, make sure that you check and you do things properly because yes I think things could have huge consequences and you gave some really great examples there and you touched on sort of, you know, social media and we’re going to talk back, back about a little bit because you, you were very active on social media, you did build up huge followings and you did content ranging from travel, lifestyle, you did some really entertaining legal videos as well. Do you believe that lawyers should be worried about leaving a digital footprint in regards to social media accounts or not?
35:19 Ana Juneja:
Yeah, they definitely should. It’s very, very, very important to think about what you’re putting out, and how you want to be perceived. So, I’m now at a point where I can literally post a picture of the moon and I will get like 12 hate DMs. So, there are people watching you that you don’t know who they are, and you don’t know when things are gonna come back to bite you. And it’s not about what you feel like doing today, it’s about the fact that somebody can hold it against you, this can come up against you in court and affect you and your clients. You know, there’s a lot of attorneys and they do it well and they do it strategically. You talk about celebrities, and, you know, I, I have clients that are some of them, the people that they talk about, or, you know, those celebrities sue some of my clients and things like that. So, I have made it a really strong point to never talk about celebrities because I think it would just be so poorly reflected on my personal brand. Now this is only for me in my particular situation, with a handful of clients that I have. For someone else who is trying to build up, you know, following by, you know, making really viral videos that’s an amazing strategy. But for me it’s not going to work. And you have to think about who your clients are, who your, how it can affect your current clients, how it’s gonna affect the people you want to attract in the future. And also how how’s it gonna affect everything, how’s it gonna affect your mental health, I don’t have the apps on my phone, because I just think it’s not good for me personally, to sit there and read hundreds of comments about myself, I think it’s just unproductive, and there was no reason for it anymore. I can make content, and I can give it to somebody who will edit it, and then I can, you know, they’ll send it to my social media manager who will upload it. And I never have to really deal with reading comments or dealing with people on social media, of course, I still go on like a few minutes here or there. But for the most part, if you told me I was, I would be living like this a year ago, I would have dropped dead, because I probably go on social media less than like 15 minutes a day now. And I would say I was on there, you know, just like everyone else a few hours a day minimum. So, you know, it’s, it’s a, you really have to think about what you’re doing on the internet, how it’s going to be perceived, who is it that you know, I, I potentially want to go into politics 1 day, so I have to make sure that what I say is accurate. And my real name is on my account. It always has been my real name, or you know my married name, or my maiden name, but something that was very easily connected to me. So I can never just go out there and spew BS like some, you know, people who are more anonymous, because, it’s, it’s connected to my licence, and you know, I, I just wouldn’t be able to risk that. So I’m confident in everything I put out that it’s, in its accuracy. Um, that’s very important. It’s not just oh, I feel like, you know, I feel like being a badass today, I’m going to post this racy photo, like, yeah everybody should do what they want but you just have to be prepared for the consequences and think a little bit longer term. As a lawyer, you are representing clients, and it’s a big responsibility, you know, they’re trusting you to maintain certain decorum or professionalism. I don’t think, I don’t know if I’m saying that word right. But, you have to think beyond yourself sometimes, and how that’s going to be perceived by, you know, opposing counsel, and is it going to affect your client poorly, in a court case. And I think there is this thing now on social media with lawyers that, they want to be different and they want to kind of like push the envelope a little and that’s great, you just have to think about the consequences of it too. You have to be, if you make that decision to kind of do things a little bit differently, in a way that, you’re trying to, do something a little more controversial, that is not necessarily accepted in the legal world you just have to be prepared for it. And I have also done that. I have called people out by name before which has been very hated, like I’ve gotten a lot of hate from other lawyers for doing so. But, I feel like personally wrong sometimes and you know, I can talk about my legal issues because I don’t have confidentiality issues and I’m not going to sue these other lawyers. I use it as an example and I’ve gotten cease and desist letters from lawyers. I have, I have been really ridiculed for like calling people out and you know that’s a decision I made, that was, I, I thought about it a lot, I thought okay, how is this gonna affect my clients, no my clients are gonna like it because they’re gonna see that this does happen to everyone. It will rarely happen to IP attorneys that they get ripped off or, or they get, you know, they get cease and desist too, like, it, I, I made that decision, I thought how is this gonna affect me long term? I’m like, no, I’m taking a legal stand, like this is going to be okay for my brand. But I went through that thought process and I thought before I just threw something up. And I think, as a lawyer, like I said, you’re representing your client. And if something you did, you posted a picture of you, you know that, that doesn’t necessarily reflect very professionally on you from 6 months ago, and it comes up in court or opposing counsel finds it and, you know, there’s inherent biases still today. And if, if that’s what loses your clients case that’s really bad, you know, in my opinion. You have a different responsibility as a lawyer than you know, somebody who is, you know, maybe just a clerk at a law firm who’s not going to have to actually represent people.
40:44 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, no, I think you have some really good sound advice and thought maybe people should think about when it comes to social media. And just while we sort of finish on the social media point, you were positively accepted and celebrated on LinkedIn recently because you’re part of the US LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Programme for Technology and Innovation, and 2 other members of the show, your side of the pond as well Alex Su who’s featured and Flo Nicholas were also part of that on your side of the world. So, prior to the programme, how did you utilise LinkedIn? Obviously the world’s largest professional networking site, and you know has that changed since that programme? Have you changed any strategies there or any tips you would give to people who particularly are trying to generate business off LinkedIn?
41:28 Ana Juneja:
I think LinkedIn is great. I think LinkedIn is like the new TikTok. LinkedIn 2023 is gonna be like TikTok 2020. So I think if you’re not already on LinkedIn, get on and you’re a lawyer get on LinkedIn, it’s great. There’s not very many people posting anything good. So, in your field go look at what people are posting and just do it a little bit better than them, and you will get the clients. There’s a lot of people on LinkedIn who are lurkers. So they’re not, you may think like, oh, I only have like 12 likes on this. But you’ll get like, literally 20 leads from that post. So, there, there’s a lot of lurkers on LinkedIn, it’s not as dead as I think people perceive. So get on LinkedIn, biggest tip. Before I was in the creator programme, I started a new LinkedIn account. I think I like couldn’t find mine or something or maybe I, like what it was wiped or something. It was like a secondary account. I can’t remember. But, I, I didn’t have any content up there. I like made a new profile basically. And then I, I don’t, actually I wasn’t posting much, but I think 1 of the LinkedIn creator managers like found my TikTok, and she told me, she was like, hey you should be in the LinkedIn creator programme. This is not the accelerator programme. This is like just the regular LinkedIn creator programme, and then what you don’t get paid for. So, she just said, hey, like, do this, you’re gonna get, you know, we’re gonna send you tips on how what to do with LinkedIn, we’re gonna promote like some of your posts, she’s like just post like, all, you know, whatever different types of content that we get to post on LinkedIn. And then I started doing that like maybe once a week, it wasn’t anything like super intense. And then I randomly applied for the Creator Accelerator Programme. I actually have a client who was in it, the first cohort and so I, I saw how she, you know, liked it. And she made like review posts and stuff. So, I applied, I found out about it from that. And my creator manager like told me to so I applied for it, I got in, I’m really in my realm, the topic we had. So, you know, tech and innovation perfect for an IP attorney. I wish I, I thought more IP attorneys would have applied but I tried to do it justice, our field. So I then had to post the certain amount of times that LinkedIn told us to post and the type of posts they wanted us to post, I’m sure you guys have a similar structure for how you had to do it. But then now I’ve kind of gone to what works for me on LinkedIn. So I find you know, that I just like to post when I think of something, and I like to keep it really simple. When I was in the creator programme I was kind of like, I was having, you know, my social media manager do like a little bit more intense graphics now like, I’m just like, oh, go screenshot this tweet. And it’s, it’s, it’s like more casual now, like I’m not as worried like that any you know, I don’t know, I just don’t I care a little less now. I feel like less LinkedIn people are watching. So I kind of post whatever I want. But we had, you know, ChatGPT come out and so I’ve been posting like a lot about that because it’s so fascinating. I wish it came out during the programme, but I’m going to talk about it now. So, in the future I mean. So you know, I am just posting on LinkedIn, as I normally would post on any social media, which is kind of when I feel like it. When I have a thought in my head I’ll just type it out on you know, a notes app, and then I’ll send it to, you know, my social media manager who will schedule it and post it or sometimes I post it right myself too, if it’s, I just feel like it. So there is no schedule. I don’t recommend that if you don’t have like any sort of base following. I think when you’re just starting you need some sort of structure. And if you’re just starting you probably shouldn’t be inundated with like client work, you probably have more time too. So if you want to launch a business or a law firm in particular, and you set aside 2 hours a day, or even 90 minutes a day, consistently for 3 months to create content and post it just 90 minutes a day, Monday through Friday for 3 months, I can guarantee you, you will have enough clients. So, you, but people don’t do it that’s the thing. People just don’t simply they just don’t do it. They have a lot of problems with starting. And you know what a lot of people say starting is the hardest part. Actually, I think that’s awful. I think if you think starting is the hardest part, you’d have a really hard time being consistent and then dealing with it. So, you know, I’m not even super encouraging of people to get on social media, I think there’s just some of us who really have a message that we want to share, and it’s genuine. And then I think there’s people who would try to do it to achieve a particular goal, and it won’t be fun for them, and they won’t like it and, they feel like they have ruined their reputation and things like that from posting and doing things on social media. I think it takes a certain type of person. And if you really want to post on social media, you’re probably already doing it or you probably already have plans to do it and you don’t need someone to encourage you, to do so. So I, I, I hate saying that. But, you know I have friends who I used to tell everyone like all my coworkers who also left that firm and they didn’t know what they were gonna do, you know where they were gonna go, and I was like, no just start it, like it’s, trust me literally just set aside an hour a day you got this like, it’s either you do it or you don’t and either you want to do it or you don’t. And I, I personally just don’t want to see social media be saturated by junk and by like these fake personalities and things that are very forced and make it get really commercialised, I really love that the people creating right now authentically love it because it is not profitable. It’s not that profitable unless you do brand deals, which lawyers can’t do, like we have conflict of interest issues, I can’t go out and promote a dress or software, things like that. So, for lawyers, it’s not profitable to, to be posting on social media, you know, you’re not getting brand, you’re not ethically really, in my opinion, able to really do a lot of brand deals and things like that. It is a donation of your time, and you hope to get a return on your investment of that time, which if you are authentic and genuine and build a community you will. But if it’s, if it’s not something you really want to do and you’re not wholeheartedly in it and you don’t feel a purpose behind it, I feel purpose, you feel a purpose behind what you do. That’s why we’re doing it. And that’s why people kind of resonate with us. If you’re not in that realm I think, it’s not for you, find a different avenue, you know.
47:46 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, and there are, and there are lots of different avenues.
47:49 Ana Juneja:
Yeah, there are so many other avenues. There’s so many other avenues but, people, social media and lawyers, like they think oh my god it’s like the time to get in on social media, I have to force myself to do this. You don’t, you really don’t. And you’re not going to be happy if you do. And if you really want to though, do it. But like it has to be like something inside of you, like wants to do it. But you want to share your message, you want to connect with people, you know that for, in whatever you want to do, in whatever way you want to do, but it’s, it has to come from inside of you. It can’t be like, external motivation. I’m gonna be really rich and famous. If I become a, you know, TikTok lawyer and things.
48:22 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, I think, you know, what is your what, what do you want to know for, but what, what makes you tick, you know, and is that right for you on social media. I love that you talked about now you just post what comes into your head because that’s authentic, right? It’s just sort of not scripted. It’s sort of you know, it’s an authentic share and people are craving that sort of authenticity, that human connection. So, I love that you gave so many great nuggets of wisdom around that. I want to talk a little bit briefly before we look to, to close, because you teach continuing legal education classes for other attorneys as well. So, you know, what do the classes typically involve?
48:53 Ana Juneja:
So I teach 2 different classes. The, 1 of them is actually like social media for lawyers. And I’m not going to be doing that again because I think there’s a lot of lawyers that kind of want that market. And it’s not, like I said, I’m, I’m very conflicted about lawyers on social media because I think most of them don’t do it properly. And they harm their reputation and their clients. So I’m not pushing actually, for lawyers to go on social media unless you’re absolutely authentic and really professional and representing your clients and yourself to the best of your abilities. You should always put your best foot forward. And when you don’t on social media detriments you and the people you represent. So, I’m not doing that course anymore. That was 1 thing that I was asked to do. But the main, the main thing that I teach is actually I teach other lawyers, not IP lawyers like family law attorneys, estate planning attorneys, other types of attorneys about IP transaction. So IP transfers in particular during events like life events, during M&A, during death and divorce, during you know, estate planning, you know, when people are drafting their wills and trusts and how, how to best protect their royalties from their IP. Basically once you have IP and you’ve monetised it, what do you do with it when life happens in different situations, or when you want to make an exit and sell your business and, or buy a business and things like that. So teaching people yeah, what to do, what to do with, you know, when, when it works.
50:23 Rob Hanna:
Yeah exactly. But yes, as you say, life does happen. And it’s important to be aware, and it’s great that you are educating those other attorneys and people on that. So, again, we’ve talked a lot about IP because it is your wheelhouse, it’s your, your zone of genius. And again, for people who are probably looking to get into IP, or maybe want to, to switch going to IP, what 1 piece of advice would you give to those people interested in intellectual property to ensure they’ll be successful?
50:49 Ana Juneja:
This is going to be like, so not politically correct. But I’m gonna say it anyway because it’s going to be really helpful. And that if you are generally, if you are genuinely interested in IP, because you see the benefits of the lifestyle, and you like the transactional work, and you, you like innovation and things like that, you have a genuine want to go into IP, you really should work at a law firm, for at least like, you know, a couple years minimum, more if you, if you can do 3, 4 years, you know, like I did, you’ll have a really, really good foundation. IP assets are incredibly valuable to businesses, if it’s a small business, it’s actually more valuable to them because they do not have cushion to mess up their IP. IP litigation and IP problems are the most expensive type of law by far, by an exponential factor than other types of law. You cannot be a bad IP attorney and there’s a lot of them out there. So, 1 way to mitigate that, in my opinion and it’s not guaranteed but, if you have a few or at least a couple of solid years of law firm experience working with people doing high volume work, doing high volume IP work and you get exposure, you have mentors, built-in mentors basically, and you are forced to deliver results because working certain types of firms, you’re just not allowed to get away with, you know, BS work, you will develop your skills that you need, and then you will be able to do what you need to do. There’s just too much lack of skill out there right now in this field. Less so with patents, but very much so in other areas of, in other areas. So I think really consider that you need to work and try to get a job at a good IP firm, or a big law firm, either a big law firm that has a very reputable IP department or a boutique specialised IP firm. So either of those, having a few years of experience and push to get a lot of client interaction, build your skill set, do everything you can to build those IP skills. And then, you know, if you do want to launch or you want to go to a smaller firm or launch your own, you’re going to be very well equipped. I on a daily basis actually see attorneys who are not very experienced, they’ve been practising IP law for a few years, and I’ll go look them up and it’s like, okay, they have filed, you know, like 100 trademarks, and, and maybe it’s just like, under their name but I, I’ll go look up their history and, oh they used to be a divorce lawyer or a real estate lawyer and then they switched to IP. And it’s like okay you’ve been an IP attorney for you know, 4 years, you filed 100ish trademarks, couple 100 trademarks, but you know, they’re, they’re not coming for a firm where they were filing stuff under somebody else’s name or company name or their clients name. So that means they’ve been on their own doing stuff. But in their many years, you know, multiple years of practice, they’ve only filed like a 100, few 100 things. So when you work at a firm, like a IP firm, that’s relatively well established, you’re filing hundreds of, you’re doing 100s of filings a week, a month. So you’re getting, you know, rapid fire, increasing your skills. So there’s just a difference in, in experience. So I’m not saying you absolutely can’t do it on your own. But, but I think that if you’re in law school or thinking about transitioning to a different field, try to see if you can work at an IP firm, and try to get a lot of good experience, because skilled IP lawyers in the next few years will really be set apart from the masses.
54:13 Rob Hanna:
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. That’s such great advice because we also talk a lot about the importance of mentors on the show and you know, getting the best experience you can and obviously with the, the Web3 technologies and you know Metaverse and virtual environments and you know, all of that good stuff with virtual trademark, etc, etc, etc. It is a cool area to be in, it’s gonna get bigger and bigger and bigger. It’s gonna be a higher demand for IP attorneys. That is for sure. So Ana, if our listeners which I’m sure they will, want to know more about your journey, what’s the best way for them to contact you. Feel free to shout out any of those social media handles or website links. We’ll also share them with this episode for you too.
54:48 Ana Juneja:
Yes, all my socials are at Ana Juneja. So just my first and last name. And my website is Ana Law dot com. So just a n a l a w dot com. Really Easy. I feel like people, I go on podcast and then I get DMs and say oh I saw you once before now you came up again, I found you again. It’s so funny. So I feel like you probably have seen a couple of my like reels or TikTok videos here or there. But you can always find me on Instagram and TikTok and LinkedIn. I’m posting the most on LinkedIn because actually the less followers you have, sometimes the better because you don’t get a lot of hate. So I love LinkedIn. I’ve been posting there a lot and I’ve been actually I manage my own LinkedIn inbox. So if you really want to talk to me personally, message me on LinkedIn, otherwise you’re gonna get like an autoresponder and my social media manager. So on IG, so, so I would love to connect with you guys, and learn more about your areas of law and what you guys are doing.
55:46 Rob Hanna:
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Ana. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. But for now, from all of us on the Legally Speaking Podcast, wishing you lots of continued success with your career, over and out. 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.