From photographers to lawyers, calligraphers to doulas, the Dubsado family is a rich collection of skills, talents, and expertise. This week, we're hearing from two incredible lawyers, Joey Vitale and Ticora Davis!
We asked them a little about themselves, their businesses, and why Dubsado is revolutionizing their business process!
Joey: "Well hey there!! I'm Joey! I'm a trademark lawyer for creative entrepreneurs, and I like chips and salsa a lot ... probably too much.
I recently moved to Chicago and am loving it. There's so much to do and experience, and I know I've only scratched the surface of what the city has to offer. (To any readers in the Chicago area — let's grab a coffee on me and you can tell me all about your favorite places!)
Ticora: I am an intellectual property attorney and business strategist and the founder of both The Creator’s Law Firm, a disruptive virtual law firm that helps small business owners protect their smarts, and Revolutionary Creative, an enterprising online community of rebellious creative entrepreneurs.
I'm known in the industry and beyond for being legally savvy, quick witted and revolutionary in my approach to law, life and leadership. Due to my innovative work, I've been featured on VH1, Black Enterprise and WeddingWorld World.I'm on a mission to help women lawyers build disruptive law firms that refuse to pander to the partnership track and strategically scale to multiple six figures.
1. What is one of the most unique aspects of being a lawyer in the Creative Entrepreneur industry?
Joey: Alright, I'm super passionate about this question!
Entrepreneurship is hard, no way around it, and it can be especially difficult for creative-minded humans. In order for creative entrepreneurs to succeed—in business and in life—they need to build a business that serves them and not the other way around.
One of my mottos is "Love yourself more than you love your business." To do that, you need to understand that you ARE NOT your business—you need to put separations in place between you and your business. As a lawyer, I get to help business owners put those important separations in place, and I get to give them peace of mind on the legal side of things (which can be one of the most daunting aspects of running a business).
There's a term for lawyers that isn't often used anymore, called a "counselor at law." That's the unique perspective I think I bring to my clients and my community—I often play more of a "counselor" role than what you would think in my capacity as a lawyer.
Ticora: The most unique aspects of being a lawyer in the Creative Entrepreneur industry is my ability to rebel against tradition and explore freedom and creativity in my marketing and representation of my clients.
Many of my colleagues have their creativity restricted due to the archaic principles of our profession. I love that I can wear my hair in different styles, make legal rap videos and, on occasion, color my hair purple without fear of being judged by my clients.
I’m happy to say that I have a lot of fun helping my clients protect their smarts in these internet streets as we experience the new wave of an entrepreneurial renaissance.
2. How has Dubsado been most impactful to your business?
Joey: Oh, in so many ways!
As a lawyer, I'm especially drawn to the way that Dubsado approaches and builds contracts. Getting the actual language in your contract is one thing (and it's a big thing!). But making contracts more visually appealing, allowing for clients to sign electronically, and easily transitioning leads into clients internally—those are crucial to a business, and they are things I can't really help with as an attorney.
For that reason, I'm constantly recommending that creatives—especially ones coming to me for contract drafting—check out Dubsado.
Ticora: Dubsado is bae!
Traditional legal software is not user friendly and lacks significant automation. You often have to hire extra support staff just to manage the software for you. As a solo attorney, I love that Dubsado is not only affordable, but allows me to create processes and workflows that work for me and not against me.
Not only is Dubsado easy to navigate, it’s smart tech that’s constantly being updated to meet the needs of a variety of industries.
3. Do you have any processes in Dubsado you think would be helpful for other Lawyers?
Joey: Every lawyer or law firm runs their practice a bit differently—whether that's due to practice areas, size of the firm, or personal preferences.
They often need something flexible enough to fit into their particular needs or workflow. That's one thing I love about Dubsado, it is so flexible of a tool that you can use the features that work for you and not put as much attention on features that you may not need.
For me, I go back to Dubsado's killer contract features. I have several different kinds of packages that a client can sign up for. Rather than having one version of a contract that would need tweaking each time, Dubsado has made it so easy for me to create separate versions of contracts. That alone has made Dubsado a phenomenal investment for me.
Ticora: Yes! My team has created a unique five-phase trademark workflow to manage the timeline of my client’s trademarks.
As our submitted trademark applications are processed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) we’re able to trigger various workflows that coincide with updating our clients on the status of their trademarks. Other processes that we’ve implemented are client on-boarding workflows. We’ve also embedded videos into our intake forms.
As a cyberlawyer who is rarely able to meet in person with her clients, I love that we’re able to use Dubsado to make the overall experience a much more personalized.
4. Creative Business Owners should NOT contact lawyers if...
Joey: …you don't think your business is successful or worth protecting yet. If you're the type of person that wants to make sure all of your ducks are in a row when you start, and you just need to make that investment in a lawyer to get peace of mind, awesome. Let's talk, I'd be happy to take that mental load off your plate!
But if not, that's okay.
I don't try to pressure or scare people into investing in legal protections. At the end of the day, you or your business need to have assets worth protecting before it becomes crucial to protect those assets.
By all means, focus on sales, marketing, and brand recognition to first get you to a place of viability or sustainability, and then when that's done make it a priority to develop a relationship with a lawyer you like and trust.
Ticora: I encourage you to “clutch your pearls,” because what I’m about to say may surprise you.
I do not believe you should call a lawyer for every minor infraction, client grievance or breach of contract. Many trials we experience in business are merely learning experiences. When your triumph comes down to the “the principle of the matter” and you want to right a wrong, things can get very expensive, very fast.
You should not contact an attorney to settle a score when walking away from a bad client will give you greater peace and more money in your pocket.
5. Creative Business Owners SHOULD contact lawyers if...
Joey: …it's costing you time, money, and your mental energy worrying about legal parts of the business. As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that foundational protections are in place, such as contracts, LLCs, trademarks, copyrights, and other basic legal documents.
Your legal needs will grow along with your business, so I recommend finding a lawyer that can counsel you as your business grows and morphs. Indie Law was really built from the ground up to offer that kind of legal counsel that can help you with the fundamentals as your business grows into maturity.
If you'd like, you can grab a discovery consultation with me at indielaw.com/discovery and we can see if we'd be a good fit and if the timing is right for you and your business!"
Ticora: I will tell you that Facebook business groups are not the proper forum to ask for legal advice as some laws vary from state to state and other well-meaning individuals regularly dish out poor and inaccurate advice.
I encourage you to contact an attorney prior to signing any agreement that contains language you do not understand, especially when it comes to transferring ownership of any inherent rights you may have to your intellectual property.
Speaking of intellectual property, you should definitely reach out to an experienced trademark attorney if you are developing a unique coaching program, product or service and need to protect your smarts by way of securing your brand’s on and offline identity. For creative entrepreneurs, your intellectual property can compose 40-80% of your business’s assets.
It pays to protect your smarts and ensure your contracts are well drafted and your intellectual property is registered properly.
Dubsado is build to work great with any industry! If you have any questions on how it might work best for you, email or chat us. We are always here to help.