Legal Speak is a weekly podcast that makes sense of what's happening in the legal industry. Each episode tackles a subject that's worthy of a deep dive—from law firm profit hacks to Supreme Court showdowns to the most promising plays in legal tech. Hosted by Law.com Editor-in-Chief Zack Needles and Newsroom Innovation Director Vanessa Blum, Legal Speak offers straight talk from experts, plus an inside-the-newsroom perspective on market-shaping stories.
'We've Seen People Step Up': An Incoming Big Law Leader Talks Transitioning in Chaos
DLA Piper U.S. Chair-elect Frank Ryan talks with Law.com reporter Patrick Smith about how the firm has managed through COVID-19, as well as its plans for the future. Ryan, a New York-based IP lawyer, officially steps into the leadership role in January. He gives his take on young lawyer training in the age of remote work and on the departure of DLA Piper partner Doug Emhoff, as his wife, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, continues to work on her transition to the White House.
Why SPACs Are the New Black: Inside Corporate Law's Hottest Trend
Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are everywhere in 2020, with celebrities, athletes and even lawyers getting in on the action. On this episode Sidley Austin partners Joshua DuClos and Michael Heinz explain how SPACs work, what’s behind the current boom and why the spate of 2020 IPOs are likely to produce a huge wave of M&A and other legal work.
'Incredibly Distracted': Lawyers Grapple With Election Exhaustion and an Uncertain Future
As a wild week came to a close (with still no closure), we spoke with ALM journalists who have been following both the leadup to and the aftermath of Election Day. In this episode, business of law reporter Dylan Jackson discusses his reporting on how lawyers and staff at law firms have attempted to stay focused on work this past week. Fellow business of law reporter Brenda Sapino Jeffreys explains why dealmakers remain optimistic about M&A next year, regardless of who the president is. And Pennsylvania bureau chief Max Mitchell talks election-related legal challenges in the battleground state. We also discuss the mental toll this election cycle has taken on lawyers and legal professionals.
Big Law Goes 'Alternative': Can Traditional Firms Disrupt the Disrupters?
Legaltech News Editor-in-Chief Zach Warren talks with legal consultants Brad Blickstein and Beatrice Seravello about the forces driving some of the country’s largest and richest law firms to rethink the way they serve clients. Blickstein and Seravello, who lead the NewLaw practice at Baretz + Brunelle Brad, discuss the findings of a new report on captive ALSPs and what it means that a growing number of Am Law 100 law firms are launching units focused on alternative legal service delivery models. For more on alternative legal service providers, check out Law.com's special report, Breaking Tradition: How New Law Is Challenging Big Law.
A Plaintiff-Side View on Big Law Bloat, COVID Cutbacks and the ‘Secret Sauce’ for Landing Mega Settlements
On this episode, we connect with Chicago plaintiffs attorney Jay Edelson, who the New York Times once labeled 'tech's least friended man.' Edelson, founder of 30-lawyer class action firm Edelson P.C., discusses the firm's recent $650 million privacy settlement with Facebook and describes what he's learning about remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Edelson also shares his views on the wider industry’s approach to layoffs, summer programs and bonuses.
'A Big Divide': Why Some Associates Are Struggling as Others Excel—and What Firms Can Do About It
This week’s podcast is a conversation between Law.com business of law reporter Patrick Smith and Stephanie Biderman, a managing director of global consultancy Major Lindsey & Africa. They dive into the topic of associate life during COVID-19, discussing the challenges—and benefits—young lawyers have encountered while working remotely, as well as what firms have done and can do for associate development going forward.