A Ropes & Gray (RopesTalk) podcast series featuring conversations with Ropes & Gray alumni.
Conversation with Heidy King-Jones
In the latest installment of Ropes & Gray’s Alumni @ RopesTalk podcast, life sciences partner Amanda Austin, who’s also a member of the firm’s alumni committee, interviews alum and friend Heidy (Abreu) King-Jones, former chief legal officer at Provention Bio. Heidy was an associate at Ropes & Gray from 2008 – 2013, after which she took in-house roles at Sarepta Therapeutics, Axcella and Provention Bio. As a self-described “student of law, student of biotech and student of life,” Heidy talks broadly about her career, with detours into the experience of working at Provention Bio during its acquisition by Sanofi. She shares what she learned at Ropes & Gray, including an important lesson about client service. For anyone thinking about next steps in their career, Heidy also offers great advice focused on where you find professional joy versus professional drain. This interview was recorded on May 25, shortly before Heidy’s departure from Provention Bio, which was acquired by Sanofi in April.
Conversation with Beibei Sun, Sanofi
In the latest installment of Ropes & Gray’s Alumni @ RopesTalk podcast, strategic transactions partner Abby Gregor interviews Beibei Sun, senior corporate counsel of global licensing and business development at Sanofi. Beibei was an associate in the life sciences group at Ropes & Gray before joining Sanofi in 2021. At Sanofi, she supports the specialty care business unit on licensing transactions and the ventures team on venture capital transactions. In this interview, Beibei talks about the differences between being a deal lawyer at a big firm versus in-house. In thinking about her career, she shares the three pieces of advice she would give to newer lawyers. Beibei also reflects on her time at Ropes & Gray—what she gained from the firm, what she misses most, and how she’s been able to continue doing pro bono work in collaboration with the firm as an alumni.
Conversation with Erin Abood, Stanford University
In the latest installment of Ropes & Gray’s Alumni @ RopesTalk podcast, health care partner Ben Wilson interviews Erin Abood, senior university counsel at Stanford University. Erin was a health care associate at Ropes & Gray for five years before joining the in-house team at Stanford in 2010. Her practice focuses on digital health, international medicine, fraud and abuse, and privacy issues for Stanford Medicine. In this interview, Erin discusses her transition from Big Law to a small in-house team, what her team at Stanford values most about outside counsel, how her secondment to Stanford while still an associate helped smooth the path for her, and the phenomenal training she received at Ropes & Gray that she feels was critical to her development as a lawyer. She also reflects on the dramatic shift to digital health during the pandemic, and offers advice to associates who are considering an in-house move.
Conversation with Ryan Dickey, DOJ & GW Law
In the latest installment of Ropes & Gray’s Alumni @ RopesTalk podcast series, IP litigation partner Matt Rizzolo interviews Ryan Dickey, a cybercrime and intellectual property prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. Ryan started his legal career at Ropes & Gray with plans to become a patent litigator. He talks about how his career goals shifted along the way, leading him to a federal clerkship in Hawaii, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and now, working at the DOJ and teaching at GW Law. Ryan shares what initially drew him to Ropes & Gray and how his time at the firm prepared him for his later career roles. He also offers his thoughts about why being kind is not only good life advice, but also important for professional success.
Conversation with Julie Constable, Blackstone
In the latest installment of Ropes & Gray’s alumni podcast series, Alumni @ RopesTalk, life sciences and health care partner Michael Beauvais interviews Julie Constable, vice president of legal and compliance at Blackstone. Julie spent almost a decade at Ropes & Gray as an associate before taking a senior legal role at Blackstone. Julie talks about what a typical day looks like in-house as she leads transactions emerging from the Blackstone Life Sciences team. She reflects on how Ropes & Gray prepared her for her position now by training her to think more critically. Julie also talks about the unique pro bono partnership between Ropes & Gray and Blackstone that she helped to develop, benefitting organizations such as The Innocence Project.
Conversation with Jacob Comer, NovaQuest Capital Management
In the latest installment of Ropes & Gray’s alumni podcast series, Alumni @ RopesTalk, asset management partner Jason Brown interviews Jacob Comer, general counsel and chief compliance officer at NovaQuest Capital Management, a leading investor in life sciences and health care companies. Jacob began his career at Ropes & Gray in 2003 as an investment management associate and has since taken on legal, regulatory and compliance roles for a private equity firm, venture capital firm and hedge fund. Now at NovaQuest, Jacob talks about the challenges of moving in-house, interviewing for and accepting a new job during the pandemic, his experience working at Ropes & Gray, and his professional influences. Jacob also discusses what he looks for when engaging outside counsel and offers advice for attorneys considering a move in-house.