Richard Hsu ’94

Streamlined Concepts

Spring 2014

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When attorney Richard Hsu ’94 first decided to create intellectual property law tutorials for his blog, http://www.hsutube.com, he enlisted the services of an unlikely assistant—his 13-year-old daughter, Maya. Though his teenager has no legal expertise, she is a talented artist, and Hsu hoped Maya’s drawings could help summarize complicated IP concepts that can sometimes be hard to understand.

“I’m always thinking about how I can illustrate points to my clients,” he says. “I always try to think of things in the simplest terms.”

Hsu, a partner at Shearman & Sterling in Palo Alto, began blogging in 2011 as a way to learn about new technologies. The former programmer says he had fallen out of touch with the tech industry after several years primarily focused on practicing law. His first posts on HsuTube were no-frills written summaries of various legal topics.

In 2012, Hsu began creating a set of videos, each explaining a specific IP law concept in three minutes or less. He narrated while Maya illustrated the concepts on a piece of paper. The videos were initially homemade—Hsu shot the footage with his own digital camera—but as the tutorials grew more popular, the duo moved to a production studio in San Francisco, which provided professional lighting and sound, as well as a translucent drawing table for Maya.

Since then, the blog has garnered industry attention. The Recorder, a California-based legal newspaper, featured Hsu’s website this past summer in a story on innovative law firm blogs, and he recently presented a lecture for the Legal Marketing Association. But Hsu notes that the project was also an important father-daughter bonding experience.

“When we first started,” he says, “[Maya] was like, ‘Is this what you do? Your job seems pretty simple!’”

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