James d’Apice has a deep, resonant voice that sounds like gravel mixed with molasses. His preferred coffee is a V60 extraction or pourover. Every now and then, you’ll find the commercial and litigation lawyer at Gumption cafe in Sydney’s Strand Arcade, swigging a piccolo latte. According to d’Apice, piccolo lattes are more “telegenic” (the TV equivalent of photogenic) and an apt choice to feature in a legal video project he kicked off six months ago.
The video project, named Coffee and a Case Note, began with a goal d’Apice set for himself in the new financial year to cut down time spent on what he calls his “bludging apps” (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and make a more concerted effort to engage with LinkedIn. After scrolling the LinkedIn feed for a few minutes each day, d’Apice realised that videos offered a great medium for lawyers to share content in a more accessible way than a blog post published on a firm website. The challenge would be to keep it brief but interesting and relevant.
“I just started to find value for myself as a consumer, while at the same time trying to figure out how I might contribute [to the platform],” d’Apice says.
“Like almost every other lawyer, I’ve had experience drafting a blog post for a website: summarising a recent decision and listing the facts, issues, outcomes, points to consider. I thought, ‘Right, I’ve got 1,300 characters – can I do little baby case notes that are of value to people?’ It turned out the answer was yes.”
The idea was to produce something each week with a focus on legal insights that were approachable yet rigorous. In d’Apice’s view, having an avenue to scale a one-on-one coffee beyond the CBD and even further was a great way for him to reach an audience beyond his network. It was also important for him to ensure this new endeavour did not take more time than it had to.