Come take a look at the ‘big picture’

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

I rarely mix business and pleasure.  Or should I say, I try not to mix the two. So — even though this blog can sometimes be a bit snarky — there are certain things that are out-of-bounds. Forbidden topics include religion, politics (especially anything having to do with Donald Trump) and, well, blatant self-promotion. I will talk about Eli, but I won’t plug my book here. Nor will I discuss any other extracurricular activities.

Of course, having said all of that, there are exceptions to every rule.

So for the next couple of days, I’m taking a break from writing about murder, mayhem, animals, the nanny state, fantasy sports and our judicial system. Instead I’ll focus on a couple of things that might help you get to know me a little better. And who knows, you may even find them interesting.

An official invitation

First of all, I’d like to invite any of you who live in the New York City area to the opening reception for a group photography exhibition in a couple of weeks. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 3, at the Art and Sound Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut.

You are cordially invited to a group photography exhibition featuring photos by Alexandra Bogdanovic, founder and owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services
Invitation to opening reception for a gallery event including photos by In Brief Legal Services Owner/Founder Alexandra Bogdanovic.

Located on the Greenwich side of Mill Street near the Byram River bridge, the gallery is actually just a short walk from the Port Chester train station — so all you have to do is jump on the train if you don’t want to drive. Plus the owner, curator and exhibitors are really cool, so you will definitely have a good time. And just as importantly — okay maybe even more importantly — you’ll get to see some of my work.

Yes, when I’m not working on research, writing or editing projects here at In Brief Legal Writing Services, I am an amateur photographer — among other things.

Picture this

To begin with, I was born in Bronxville, N.Y., and raised in Greenwich, so I am definitely a child of the New York City suburbs. Even so, I’ve always identified with the City, and think of myself as an (unofficial) New Yorker.

Now I channel my passion for the single greatest city on the face of the planet through my photography. I see something new every single time I go there, even if I go to the same places over and over again. The time of day, time of year and the weather all make a huge difference in the types of pictures I can get. It’s always challenging and it’s always fun. I never get bored.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Out of all the places I go in New York City, Times Square is probably my favorite place to shoot. I think I’m drawn to it because I love big, bold, graphic images — but my interest in photography isn’t limited to urban settings. I also love beach and nature photography, automotive photography and travel photography. In addition to the Big Apple, I’ve shot in Barcelona, Belgrade, Munich,  Virginia the Hamptons, Greenwich, Rye, N.Y., and rural Australia. Last year I documented a train trip up and down the east coast, from New York City to Orlando, Florida.

My work has been shown at the Rye Nature Center in 2003, and at the Byram Library in Greenwich last year.

At any rate, it’s kind of ironic that I love photography so much, since it’s something I really started doing as part of my job back when I was a reporter at papers with limited resources. But on the other hand, it’s an interest and passion I share with my mother. It’s also a fantastic creative outlet. When I am behind the camera, I can relax, forget all about any stress or drama I’ve got going on at work or in my personal life and focus on the task at hand.

Beware of ‘funny business’

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

“It was three days before Christmas and I almost got scammed. Luckily I foiled the dastardly plan. They wanted to charge me exorbitant membership fees, but the bait and switch tactic was easy to see. I’ve got to admit it was a pretty neat trick. The people that pull it are certainly slick. I’m happy to say it was just a close call. And you’d better believe I won’t forget it at all.”

Yes, I’m making light of the situation. But in all honesty I am lucky I can afford to do so. If my instincts hadn’t kicked in when they did, I could have been bilked for hundreds of dollars.

That’s somewhat ironic. And scary.

As a police reporter, I spent a lot of time writing about the predators who take advantage of unsuspecting people. I’ve also been the victim of identity theft – someone stole my Social Security number after I was divorced and used my married name (which I had already changed) to claim my tax refund. Needless to say, clearing up that mess was a lot of fun.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner Alexandra Bogdanovic

As a new business owner, I was peripherally aware that I could be a target for unscrupulous individuals or organizations. Or, as in this case, for what could very well be a perfectly legitimate organization using what are, in my opinion, questionable tactics.

Here’s what happened. I received an invitation to join this group. I checked out its website and was intrigued by what I saw. I was also reassured by the fact that this particular organization is currently advertising on a well-known social media site. Long story short, I filled out the initial form and was informed that a membership coordinator would be in touch.

The aforementioned coordinator contacted me on December 22. After asking a series of questions, she informed me my membership was approved. After some more small talk and flattery, she said I could choose from a couple of different membership plans, costing approximately $900 and $700 respectively. When I expressed my surprise and displeasure, she offered some “affordable” alternatives. I again declined, this time more forcefully.

“This is a classic example of a bait and switch,” I said. “I don’t want any part of it.”


If you’re a new business owner, you may also be targeted. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Before you commit to anything, research it thoroughly.
  • Do not be fooled by glossy marketing material or slick websites.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Be wary of any organization that does not provide information about dues or membership plans up front.
  • Be wary of any organization that asks for credit card or other personal information over the phone.




Starting from scratch

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

I did it.

On Tuesday afternoon, I set up a new Twitter account to be used solely for my business. It makes sense. It was the right thing to do.

This will eliminate the confusion that resulted when I tweeted about business matters from my personal account. As I mentioned on Monday, I created that account when I was building my brand as an author and promoting my book. I also use that account to post photographs, chat with friends, share meaningful quotations and so forth. So you can see why it caused some consternation when I started tweeting about something entirely different out of the blue.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner Alexandra Bogdanovic

Speaking of confusion, I must admit I’m having a hard time setting up my new Google+ page, navigating all the nuances of Google My Business, etc. I don’t know why that’s the case. I had no trouble with the set up for my personal page. At any rate, I appreciate your patience and hope you’ll bear with me until I get everything sorted out.

I’m still debating whether or not to build a Facebook page. I’ve heard it’s a good idea, but I’m not convinced it’s the right thing to do. As I said on Monday, I’ve got my hands full as it is.

I’ll let you know what I decide to do. In the meantime, please feel free to follow me @InBriefLegalWS on Twitter if you’re already there. You can also view my profile by clicking on the link at the bottom of my website.

Leading by example

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

“… I guess it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.”

Now it’s officially official. Or something like that.

I launched on December 7. So now In Brief Legal Writing Services is finally open for business. So it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

This venture began based on the idea that most attorneys are way to busy with the daily demands of their jobs to keep up with the demands of the digital world. It’s perfectly understandable. Whether you are running your own practice, working as an associate in a small firm or a partner in a large one, your clients are your first priority. Meeting their needs is paramount.

Of course you’ve probably heard that updating your website and blogging on a regular basis is the most effective way to keep your current clients informed and engaged. You’ve probably heard that it’s a great way to attract new ones, too. Even so, putting this advice into practice is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

That’s where I can help. When you drop the ball, I can pick it up and run with it. You probably don’t have time to do one new post per week much less three. But I do. You might not have the time to put the news about your latest accomplishments on your website. But I can do that, too.

I can also lead by example. And that’s exactly what I intend to do. Starting next week, you’ll be able to find three new posts per week right here. Initially you’ll gain insight into my experiences as a burgeoning entrepreneur. As time goes on, I’ll provide effective writing techniques; share some of my favorite reading material; and share my opinions on timely legal issues, current events and more.

In the meantime, I’m always here to help. But I need yours, too. Please vote in the following poll to help me learn how I can best meet your needs.




Trial and error

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

It’s official. In Brief Legal Writing Services is finally open for business.

Or at least it will be by the time you read this.

So I guess you could say that I’m ready to get to work — except for the fact that getting to this point has been a pretty big job in and of itself.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner Alexandra Bogdanovic

It all began with a tremendous leap of faith. Yes, making the decision to start my own business was the biggest, and arguably the scariest step I’ve taken but it was just the first. Since then I’ve been taking a lot of “baby steps.” Among other things, I enrolled in a couple of web design classes so I could learn how to create my own “virtual workplace.”

Each class was six weeks long. Building this site took the better part of three weeks. Along the way, I had more than my share of frustration. I stumbled, I fell. I got up. I tried again. I cried. I resisted the urge to throw my computer out of the window. I learned a lot and believe it or not, I had fun.

Yes, I could have paid someone to create a site. I suppose that would have been quicker. Perhaps it would have been easier. I am sure I could have spared myself a lot of exasperation.

But in the end there’s no guarantee that I would have gotten a site I like as much as this one. And I definitely wouldn’t have gotten the satisfaction of designing it myself.