How Lawyers Work: Shreya Biswas Ley, Human Adventurer and Intellectual Property Attorney

In this week’s edition of How Lawyers Work, we hear from Shreya Biswas Ley. Shreya is the founder of LayRoots, LLC, located in Seattle Washington, and practices in the areas of asset protection, estate planning, business law, and intellectual property.

You can follow Shreya on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What’s your elevator pitch?

Lawyer-Humans® treat clients like people, not case files. We are dedicated to helping families and business owners create solid foundations for an awesome life.

What apps or tools are essential to your daily workflow?

Slack, Google Suite, Clio, Acuity, and Zoom. Between these tools and apps, I can stay connected, delegate, work from anywhere, serve clients all over the world, and empower people to schedule meetings. I appreciate everyone that reaches out to us, but I also don’t need to wear every hat in the business and these tools allow me to offload administrative tasks.

Also, our VPN is essential when working virtually or remotely. It is a must have for keeping our data and our clients’ data secure. As a bonus, the VPN allows us to pretend that we’re in the UK or EU to watch foreign shows before they’re aired in the U.S.

What does your workspace look like?

Our goal from the beginning was to be the antithesis of the stereotypical, traditional lawyer’s office—so, no mahogany and leather bound books. These days, typically, my office looks like either a boat (when I’m working from home) or the WeWork Office where we conduct “official business.” Although, I recently took a trip to Singapore and New Zealand and, while traveling, my workspace was an airplane seat.

I believe that relationships are built over coffee or an adult beverage and good food (basically not at the office), and a big part of what we do as law firm owners is building relationships. I loved reading Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” and that inspired me to also offer networking meetings at the Bouldering Project (a climbing gym in Seattle we frequent). I like to stay active, so if people are game to try it out, why not?

How do you keep track of your calendars and deadlines?

Calendars and Deadlines – Clio reminders; Synced online calendars; daily/weekly review of priorities and meetings; and, for larger projects, a Trello Board. I look forward to the day when I can have my personal robot assistant send me an itinerary for the day.

We also use time-blocking on our calendar to ensure there’s uninterrupted time to meet with clients, work on the business, AND to get the work done.

What is your coffee service setup?

WeWork provides coffee/tea; however, at home we alternate between a pour over coffee for a single cup and a French Press for multiple cups. It’s important to invest in some high quality coffee for me. I’m drinking it every day…I better enjoy it. If I’m at a coffee shop, my go-to is a cappuccino.

I don’t drink tea often, but I recently bought some high quality loose leaf tea from Singapore. Although my husband has introduced me to the fact that there are a variety of “teas,” I still believe that there is truly only one kind of tea – which is? Darjeeling Black Tea.

What is one thing that you listen to, read, or watch that everyone should?

You said “one thing,” but I’m a former punk rock kid and was born to break the rules (Just kidding. I’m a nerd. But I had aspirations!). I believe that law firm owners should read theThe E-Myth;Stumbling on Happiness; and Seth Godin’s stuff on marketing. If I am choosing just one, though, the E-myth.

What is your favorite local place to network or work solo?

Well, I did mention the Bouldering Project. However, I like to change it up. I love meeting people at Mr. West at the bottom of the Avvo building, at Belltown Brewing in Belltown, or Caffe Umbria in Pioneer Square. I’m mobile and changing it up allows me to get outside of the office.

Working solo though…what am I working on? This law firm was dreamt up and launched on a camping/surfing trip on the coast of Washington. So, am I dreaming or am I drafting/doing lawyer things? If I’m dreaming, I want to be as far away from technology as I can get.

What are three things you do without fail every day?

Do something active, eat delicious food, and drink coffee.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?

Megan Mcnally, Forrest Carlson, & Colin Ley (sort of kidding, but it would be interesting to hear his version of this)

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