August 1, 2011
Back in May, the editors of Westlaw Insider asked our solo and small law firm customers to share what they are passionate about in addition to the practice of law. Since then, the response has been tremendous and the Small Law Firm Blog is excited to start sharing these stories with the world. Do you have a unique hobby or interest? We want to hear from you! Submissions are still being accepted and the most compelling will be featured in future blog posts, videos, and advertisements. You can submit your story by clicking here.
The first attorney we are profiling is Rishi Bagga, also known as DJ Rishi B. Not only does he practice law, but he knows how to get a party moving with his passion for being a DJ! I recently chatted with Rishi and here are the highlights of our conversation.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE?
My practice is pretty varied. I do about 50% criminal defense, 20% employment discrimination, and the remainder includes various types of commercial litigation, mainly representing small businesses in the Orlando area in credit card disputes, contracts, construction liens, etc.
YOU DEFINITELY USE A LOT OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR PRACTICE. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
I wanted to try to focus on a different clientele. To be honest, I do not have all of the big firm resources, but most of my family owns small businesses, and I wanted to have something where even a small business could go to a small firm and receive the same service as a large firm. Also, I am a pretty young guy, and I thought that some of my younger clients would appreciate the ability to do things online rather than having to take the time coming to a lawyer’s office.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A DJ?
I started when I was thirteen years old. I have an older sister and it was her 18th or 19th birthday party. We hired a DJ for it and he quit last minute. I had always recorded songs off the radio, and I thought, “let me try and do this.” I went to Radio Shack and bought a little mixer and mixed songs between my Walkman and my dad’s tape deck. It ended up being a lot of fun and everybody enjoyed it. And from there I had friends call me up and ask me to DJ their parties.
When I was in high school, some folks who worked at Universal and Disney came to one of my performances and they said, “You know, if you get some real equipment, you can try out for us.” I was able to do that, and I performed a couple times at Disney World and Universal Studios. I was DJing every weekend through college. I did that to get through college, and then when I got to law school, I did parties on the weekends, as well as DJ competitions.
It’s kind of something that has just kept going. Of course, when I was a prosecutor it was something that was much harder for me to do due to work limitations. But I didn’t want to stop DJing, so that’s when I started posting mixes online. This is my way of keeping it going. I still occasionally do live events, mainly for charity events. It’s not really for the money, it’s more of a passion of mine.
YOU ALSO USE WESTLAW NEXT. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?
I like it a lot. I shopped around a lot, especially as a guy who was starting out on his own. I wanted to keep my expenses down and there are low cost alternatives. Once I gave a Westlaw Next trial a whirl it was pretty clear this was the way I wanted to go for two reasons. First, it’s pretty quick. It’s a lot quicker to get the results I’m looking for than I remember it being in law school. Secondly, it was kind of a confidence issue for me. I wanted to be able to confidently talk to my clients about whatever issue they have. Having come from a criminal law background, I had some hesitation opening up to small business clients for civil work, because I was afraid I might not have enough mastery of the substantive law behind their issue. I thought that having a stronger research service would be the equalizer. I figured if I have the best legal service that is out there, the same one that the big guys are using, then I could confidently go up against the big guys. I think that that has worked so far. I have handled some large cases so far, and even been local counsel for some very large law firms, and I am proud to say that I have been able to do the work without any hesitations and delve into different practice areas and still be successful at it.