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The Lawyer's Edge

Business & Economics Podcasts

On The Lawyer's Edge podcast, attorney and professional business coach Elise Holtzman sits down with successful lawyers, legal marketing specialists, business leaders and authors to talk about how lawyers and law firms can grow and sustain healthy, profitable businesses.


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On The Lawyer's Edge podcast, attorney and professional business coach Elise Holtzman sits down with successful lawyers, legal marketing specialists, business leaders and authors to talk about how lawyers and law firms can grow and sustain healthy, profitable businesses.




Gina Zapanta | No Excuses: The Power of Investing in Yourself and Others

Gina Zapanta is the Co-founder and Partner of Z.A. Lawyers, a firm dedicated to protecting injured workers’ rights. She is also the CEO of AlderLaw and the Founder of Empowered with Gina, a platform for women to embrace empowerment. Passionate about helping others empower themselves through education, motivation, and community-building, Gina offers events and wellness retreats for women to embrace their power and live life on their terms. As an advocate for employees and injured people, she has experience in contracting, healthcare management, and personal injury strategic partnership development. Gina served a two-term appointment on the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association’s Board of Retirement and was appointed to the California Organized Investment Network Commission by the California Insurance Commission. Dedicated to addressing education and food insecurities in underserved communities, Gina and her husband established a $100,000 endowment at Loyola Law School Los Angeles for a first-generation Latina to attend law school. She also contributes to many other causes to help further access to quality education and additional opportunities. Through her charitable contributions, Gina demonstrates the value of investing in yourself and others. In this episode… If you think you’re too busy to devote time and attention to having a deep impact on your own life and the lives of others, think again! Meet Gina Zapanta, a practicing attorney and the Founder of Empowered with Gina. With an unwavering commitment to community empowerment, self-empowered lawyer Gina Zapanta has created programs and endowments to offer transformational opportunities to motivated women and lawyers. Making a consequential difference in the community begins by helping yourself; you must remain accountable for your actions and decisions and develop your ideal life to achieve self-love. In addition to self-satisfaction, charitable contributions allow you to market your law firm authentically, developing a mission that extends beyond the scope of traditional law. Listen in as Elise Holtzman, host of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, interviews Gina about how to invest in yourself and others through community involvement and a fierce devotion to pursuing success and bringing others with you. Gina doesn’t pull any punches as she shares the benefits of women’s empowerment programs, the typical barriers to freeing up time for what you really want, and how to empower yourself personally and professionally.


Kelly Culhane | Keeping It Real: How To Make a Difference for Yourself and Others

Kelly Rittenberry Culhane is the Founder and Managing Partner of Culhane Meadows, the largest full-service, women-owned law firm in the US. She is a member of the firm’s insurance and outsourcing practice groups, where she handles sourcing human resources, professional services, consultant functions, and risk management counseling. Kelly has over 20 years of experience advising clients on insurance and risk-management matters. Her authenticity makes her a trustworthy and reliable advisor to her clients. As a former trial attorney at one of the world’s largest firms, Kelly represented individual accountants and the Big Three firms in complex regulatory matters and was appointed to serve on a task force for a Fortune 100 company advising on CPA regulatory issues. Since 2014, she has been recognized by her peers and clients as one of D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas. Kelly has been named “First Person” by Womenetics, an organization focused on advancing women as business leaders. As a member of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, she mentors and advocates for survivors of exploitation and human trafficking. Through her charitable contributions, Kelly makes a considerable difference for herself and her community. In this episode… Most lawyers want to create positive impact for themselves and others. But how do you do that when faced with daily responsibilities, a mountain of work, and constant pressure to bill hours? After experiencing burnout from working 100-hour weeks at a global law firm, Kelly Rittenberry Culhane created an innovative law firm that defies traditional structures. She implemented an objective formulaic compensation system and established an environment that allowed women and diverse individuals to thrive. If you’re facing an internal battle and are struggling to take action, Kelly advises being realistic with yourself to gain the confidence to make profound decisions. By venturing out of your comfort zone, subverting established norms in the legal profession, and remaining humble, you can impact yourself and your clients. In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman interviews Kelly Rittenberry Culhane, a Founder and the Managing Partner of Culhane Meadows, about making a difference by being true to yourself. Kelly talks about her involvement with YoungLives, how she attracts attorneys who share her firm’s values and goals, and her history as a litigator.


Carolyn Blessing & Mehtap Cevher Conti | How Women’s Initiatives Can Create Maximum Impact

Carolyn Blessing is a Partner at Locke Lord LLP, a premier full-service law firm. In her practice, she focuses on IP pharmaceutical matters and Hatch-Waxman litigation. With experience in the FDA regulatory, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries, Carolyn represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in all aspects of federal IP litigation, including pre-litigation, fact and expert discovery, claim construction, motion practice, pre- and post-trial, and appellate phases. Carolyn serves on Locke Lord’s women’s initiative committee and served as the hiring partner for the Chicago office. Before joining Locke Lord, Carolyn was a lead associate for a family of four complex patent litigations at Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, involving both patent infringement and Hatch-Waxman litigation. She also assisted with all aspects of patent prosecution and counseling for biotechnology companies. Carolyn is the National Board Co-chair of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, a non-profit membership association supporting women in law firms and companies. She has been involved in numerous leadership positions at the organization and serves as a board member and Co-chair of the Professional Development Committee for Chicago Women in Intellectual Property. Dedicated to promoting women in the legal profession, Carolyn demonstrates how women’s initiatives maximize impact. Mehtap Cevher Conti is a Partner at Hogan Lovells’ Corporate and Finance Practice, where she focuses on asset finance in the aviation and transportation industries. She has experience working with clients on secured debt, revolving credit facilities, leveraged and operating leases, and portfolio acquisitions. Mehtap also handles asset-backed structured financing for commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, financial institutions, aircraft operating lessors, and airlines. Having managed financial transactions involving multiple global jurisdictions, she advises clients on the purchasing and lease financing of corporate aircraft and helicopters. Before joining Hogan Lovells, Mehtap worked in private practice, where she focused on global transportation finance. She has been recognized in The Legal 500 US for asset finance and leasing and by Chambers & Partners for transportation and aviation finance. Mehtap serves in leadership positions in multiple organizations and non-profit associations, including those promoting the advancement and retention of women in the legal profession. As the National Board Co-chair of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, she promotes women’s initiatives for maximum impact in the legal industry. In this episode… As the legal profession continues to tackle the twin challenges of women lawyers leaving the law more frequently than men and a disproportionately low percentage of women in leadership positions, internal and external women’s initiatives have become a welcome source of information and support. What are the top things women’s initiatives can do to have a positive impact on the retention and advancement of women in the profession? As fierce advocates for women in law, associates Carolyn Blessing and Mehtap Cevher Conti note three core pillars of effective women’s initiatives: programming, networking, and credentialing. These associations should foster authentic relationships with women and help them build their careers. Initiative leaders can also recruit and recommend other women for leadership roles, instilling confidence and community. By providing networking opportunities and mentorship in both internal and external women’s initiatives, you can strengthen your firm and provide alternative perspectives. On today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman hosts Carolyn Blessing and Mehtap Cevher Conti, private practice attorneys and Co-chairs of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, who talk about enhancing value and driving change through women’s initiatives. Together, they...


Audrey Miller | Why and How To Support Your Law Firm’s Revenue Enablers

Audrey Miller is an Operational Excellence Consultant at Calibrate, an executive search and organizational consultancy helping law firms optimize their talent, processes, and performance. Calibrate offers executive search and talent management operations strategies like business assessments, analytics and implementation, and leadership advice to help law firms reach their fullest potential in revenue, operations, and growth. As a strategic advisor to law firm leaders, Audrey helps business services teams enhance efficiencies and collaboration, improve the alignment of structure, roles, and accountability, and identify and communicate ROI. Before joining Calibrate, she spent over a decade in marketing and business development at various firms ranging from a top Am Law 100 firm to a litigation boutique. In these roles, Audrey developed and implemented initiatives to strengthen client relationships and grow firm revenue. She partners with key stakeholders to evaluate and optimize people, processes, and systems, boosting the performance of legal marketing and business development teams. With broad experience, practical guidance, and a results-oriented approach, Audrey instructs law firms on the practicalities and importance of supporting revenue enablers. In this episode… Many law firm leaders resist the prospect of outsourcing C-level executives to manage firm operations. Yet those same attorneys typically lack the time and effort required to drive strategy and growth, reducing consistent revenue generation and limiting the growth of the firm. How can law firm leaders collaborate with executives to optimize revenue, operations, and performance? According to law firm performance driver Audrey Miller, legal marketers, business developers, and other executives are revenue enablers who leverage their expertise to manage firm operations, allowing attorneys to focus on their strengths. When acquiring these professionals, firm leaders must consider their revenue and operational goals to fill relevant positions. Communicating expectations with these executives and allowing them to develop relationships with firm members and understand current practice operations is crucial for success. In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman sits down with Audrey Miller, the Operational Excellence Consultant at Calibrate, to discuss how law firm leaders can work with “revenue enablers” to optimize performance. Audrey addresses foundational hiring considerations for small to midsize firms, pertinent operational and leadership trends in the legal industry, and the knowledge gap between managing partners and law firm administrators.


Heidi K. Brown | The Flourishing Lawyer: Achieve Optimal Performance AND Well-Being

Heidi K. Brown is the Associate Dean for Upper Level Writing at the New York Law School and a former litigator in the construction industry. As a University of Virginia School of Law graduate, she earned her master’s degree in applied positive psychology in 2021. Heidi is an internationally recognized speaker and the author of three books about lawyer and law student well-being, including The Introverted Lawyer, Untangling Fear in Lawyering, and The Flourishing Lawyer. Having struggled with performance anxiety as a law student, attorney, and new law professor, Heidi untangled her fears and embraced authenticity as a powerful asset in teaching and practicing law. She advocates for openly discussing stressors, anxieties, and fears in the legal profession. Heidi has garnered several awards for her work, including recognition for outstanding contributions to well-being and legal education from the Association of American Law School’s section on balancing well-being and legal education. She helps quiet and anxious law students and lawyers harness individual strengths to become advocates for work and achieve optimal performance and well-being. In this episode… When facing public speaking anxiety and other stressors, lawyers and law students are often told to fake it until they make it or simply conquer their fears. Yet this advice is futile for introverts who rely on quiet spaces to recharge. How can lawyers (whether or not they are introverts) overcome these anxieties by leveraging their authentic personas, and how can law firm leaders support this practice? Having wrestled with introversion, social anxiety, and shyness, legal well-being advocate Heidi K. Brown struggled to overcome deeply embedded fears of judgment and criticism that caused her to shut down. After researching these widespread experiences, she learned that while these lawyers often can’t perform in the same manner as their extroverted counterparts, they can harness unique skills through legal writing and creative problem-solving to gain confidence and execute their authentic selves. This requires deconstructing fears by identifying their physical manifestations. When law firm leaders encourage creativity and authenticity, they benefit from optimal performance, potential, and intelligence. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman interviews Heidi K. Brown, a prolific author on how lawyers thrive and the Associate Dean for Upper Level Writing at the New York Law School, about promoting lawyer and law students’ performance and well-being. Heidi describes the difference between introversion and shyness, how she honed an authentic public speaking persona, and notable takeaways from her books.


Shaun Jardine | Stop Billing Hours! Why and How To Embrace Value Pricing

Shaun Jardine is the Managing Director of Big Yellow Penguin, which encourages businesses to adopt alternative pricing methods. As a non-practicing solicitor and mediator, Shaun served as the Commercial Director and CEO of Brethertons LLP, a top UK 250 law firm. During his tenure, he led the design and implementation of a value-based pricing project that reflected the services delivered to clients. Shaun is the author of Ditch The Billable Hour!, which is scheduled for publication on January 22, 2024. With experience in marketing and business development, he has created large and exceptional legal teams in niche areas, including property management debt recovery, catastrophic injury, and leasehold enfranchisement. As an international speaker, Shaun has spoken at business and legal industry events in the UK and the US to advocate for business pricing changes. With a unique insight into what makes law firms tick, he helps them understand why and how to transition from billable hours to value pricing. In this episode… Law firms have employed the billable hour pricing method for decades. Should they keep doing it? It turns out that the billable hour can actually hinder revenue growth and that value-based pricing is a viable, growth-oriented alternative when used properly. What are the benefits of value pricing, and how can law firms implement it to boost their bottom lines? Lawyers aren't always receptive to change, so when introduced to the concept of value pricing, they may resist based on the belief that their clients won’t benefit from it. However, having implemented value-based pricing at a leading law firm, seasoned mitigator Shaun Jardine says that allowing clients to choose between various service levels priced accordingly creates transparency and maximizes the service value clients receive. Additionally, this system provides clients with clear terms and conditions while ensuring more precise financial forecasting for firms. Implementing value pricing requires creating a pilot program to categorize and price each service appropriately to maintain consistency throughout the firm. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman welcomes Shaun Jardine, the Managing Director of Big Yellow Penguin and the author of Ditch the Billable Hour: Implementing Value-Based Pricing in a Law Firm, to talk about transitioning from the billable hour to value pricing. Shaun explains the differences between flat fee billing and value-based pricing, how to structure service prices, and his career trajectory from recovering lawyer to value pricing advocate.


Erin Kuzz | The Top Investments To Make in Your Firm’s Lawyers

Erin Kuzz is a Founding Partner and Lawyer at Sherrard Kuzz LLP, a labor and employment law firm. In her practice, she assists employers in various aspects of the employment relationship, including pre-screening and hiring, employment contracts, training and development, and employment standards issues. Erin also consults with non-union employers and helps unionized employers manage issues like bargaining and grievance arbitration and ending employment relationships. Erin is recognized as one of Canada’s leading labor and employment lawyers by Lexpert, Chambers Global, Who’s Who Legal, and Best Lawyers. As a leading lawyer, she is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the former Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Erin speaks frequently at national conferences about various labor and employment law topics and has taught at Canada’s leading law schools. Having founded Sherrard Kuzz in 2001 and practiced for over 25 years, she understands that investing in your lawyers’ personal and professional growth is crucial for firm success. In this episode… Traditionally, attorneys remained loyal to a single firm, advancing from junior associate to partner. Today, lawyers shift from firm to firm to pursue greater development opportunities with leaders who prioritize their personal and professional endeavors. In particular, women lawyers struggle to balance raising children, caring for aging parents, and excelling in their careers. How can law firms invest in their attorneys to retain top talent? As a seasoned attorney, Erin Kuzz received backlash and harsh demands from male senior lawyers. After taking the reins and becoming a partner, she gained the respect of her peers. Having witnessed young lawyers leave firms that don’t nurture their abilities and needs, Erin recommends these firms remain flexible to allow attorneys to prioritize responsibilities and explore additional growth opportunities. Even if your lawyers leave your firm to pursue other possibilities, they’re more likely to return when you invest in their personal and professional development. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman hosts Erin Kuzz, the Founding Partner and Lawyer at Sherrard Kuzz LLP, to talk about the investments law firms should make in their lawyers. Erin shares her initial mistakes as a partner, how to manage burnout as a female lawyer, and the lessons she learned from some of her most valued mentors.


Rich Bracken | Earn More and Stress Less by Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

Rich Bracken is an executive speaker coach, corporate culture consultant, and keynote speaker on emotional intelligence, leadership, motivation, and business differentiation. For over 20 years, he has researched how various leadership styles and employee engagement tactics impact businesses and teams. Through content, thought leadership, data-driven insights, and research, Rich drives sustainable change for individuals and organizations. As a trusted advisor, he has been featured on media channels such as Fox News, CBS News, and Reader’s Digest and has worked with global organizations, including the Legal Marketing Association. Rich is also the Founder of RB Consulting, a performance improvement firm focused on coaching and consulting top business leaders, organizations, and celebrities on goal achievement, personal branding, and public speaking. Rich has served as a professor of leadership, creating educational and training videos for internal leadership development. As a media personality and passionate servant leader, his unique blend of empathy and positivity resonates with professionals from diverse backgrounds. Rich’s ability to combine knowledge with compassion and results with care allows him to cultivate organizational well-being and teach executives how to increase their emotional intelligence to earn more and stress less. In this episode… The legal profession is considered one of the most demanding careers, with lawyers regularly encountering high-stress situations. These high-pressure circumstances trigger the fight-or-flight response, pushing you to persist but impacting critical thinking and compromising performance and client relationships. How can you reduce stress in your personal and professional life to boost productivity and increase your income? After a severe panic attack that left him hospitalized, Rich Bracken discovered the value of emotional intelligence for identifying and managing stress. Developing this skill requires possessing the self-awareness to recognize your emotions and adjusting your responses to manage these feelings effectively. Yet research shows that only 15% of people are emotionally intelligent, and lawyers are highly skeptical of this school of thought. Rich maintains that lawyer burnout is inevitable, so rather than waiting for it to occur, you can take time to document your emotions and restructure your day accordingly. Tune in to this edition of The Lawyer's Edge Podcast as host Elise Holtzman introduces executive speaker coach Rich Bracken, who talks about developing emotional intelligence to reduce stress and maximize income. Rich describes how to identify your emotional strengths and weaknesses, how highly sensitive servant leaders can cultivate emotional intelligence, and his engaging program for mastering the skill.


Barnaby Merrill | Will Your Law Firm Be Successful in 15 Years?

Barnaby Merrill is an Editor for The Legal 500, one of the world’s leading legal directories, which annually updates its comprehensive research to provide insights into the global legal market. The publication assesses the strength of law firms in more than 150 jurisdictions. As editor of The Legal 500’s US-related content, Barnaby is responsible for the annual rankings of more than 300 US law firms across various practice areas. He joined The Legal 500 after receiving a BA in history and politics and a Masters in US foreign policy. With experience in writing, interviewing, and research, Barnaby has conducted research for several Legal 500 guides and contributed to its magazine as a writer. He also hosts The Legal 500 Podcast, where he interviews lawyers and law professionals about key issues, including social mobility and ESG. Barnaby, an active participant in the coverage of the US legal market, analyzes long-term law firm strategies. The primary focus of his work is to assess the 15-year success rate of top firms. His research and expertise enable him to provide valuable insights into the trends and patterns that shape the US legal market. Through his work, Barnaby contributes significantly to understanding the strategies that lead to long-term success in the legal industry. In this episode… Amid economic volatility, clients spend less, and law firms try to maintain profitability while adapting to emerging trends and demands. As the industry focuses on technology investments and developing ESG principles and internal culture, it may seem difficult to prioritize these initiatives. How can you ensure the ongoing success of your law firm well into the future? With a deep understanding of the US legal market, Barnaby Merrill notes that leading law firms forecast and analyze overall market trends to develop long-term strategies. Rather than observing adjacent law firms in your sector, it’s wise to assess the larger business community for client needs, emerging work styles, and culture integrations. To remain successful over the next 15 years, you must listen to clients, legal talent, and the legal and business market to establish a robust culture and future-proof your firm. In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman chats with Barnaby Merrill, Editor for The Legal 500 United States, about how to assess and drive law firm success. Barnaby explains how The Legal 500 assesses law firm efficacy, how to select qualified law firm leaders, and strategies for addressing client demands.


Roslyn Tsao | Managing Your People: How To Drive Efficiency and Performance at Your Law Firm

Roslyn Tsao is the Managing Partner at Epstein Cole LLP, a boutique family law firm where she manages operations, recruitment, and student programs. As a family law attorney, she specializes in parenting arrangements, property division, and support issues and represents high-net-worth individuals with complex assets or compensation structures. Roslyn has appeared on motions, conferences, and trials in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and argued appeals at the Ontario Court of Appeal. She is also frequently retained as a mediator and arbitrator in private disputes. Roslyn is an Associate Editor of the Reports of Family Law and has taught family law courses at Osgoode Hall Law School and will teach at the University of Toronto Law School in 2024. She is the 2022 recipient of the Award of Excellence in Family Law and has a Band 1 ranking in the Chambers & Partners Global High Net Worth Guide in Family/Matrimonial. With prior experience in employment, wills and estates, criminal, real estate, and taxation law, Roslyn has achieved favorable outcomes for clients by focusing on practical, results-oriented legal advice and ongoing dialogue. Her expertise in the courtroom and role as Managing Partner enables her to manage attorneys effectively to drive law firm efficiency and performance. In this episode… Our legal education certainly didn’t cover how to best manage and lead people, meaning that most lawyers who assume leadership roles are learning on the job and figuring it out as they go (or to put it another way, “flying by the seat of their pants”). When you are one doing the managing and leading, what are some of the ways in which you can facilitate productivity and efficiency at your firm while at the same time fostering a desirable organizational culture? With over three decades of experience in the legal field, family law attorney Roslyn Tsao has become a coveted leader at her firm. She notes that attorneys today prioritize satisfaction in their careers and personal lives, so managing partners should facilitate a delicate balance to encourage professional development. Identifying your staff’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses allows you to cultivate empathy, deliver value, and boost performance and your firm’s bottom line. Additionally, Roslyn emphasizes educating lawyers on supplemental roles at the firm to reduce workload. Join Elise Holtzman for this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast as she interviews Roslyn Tsao, the Managing Partner at Epstein Cole LLP, about her experience managing lawyers to increase firm productivity and efficiency. Roslyn shares the ideal attributes of lawyers in a boutique law firm, how to terminate attorneys tactfully, and how professional talent management roles have evolved. Spoiler alert: Empathy drives more productivity and efficiency!


Bree Buchanan | Stigma and Silence – Tackling the Legal Industry’s Mental Health Crisis

Bree Buchanan is a Senior Advisor at Krill Strategies, which improves lawyer well-being by reducing the impact of mental health issues and substance abuse in the legal profession. With a 30-year career as a litigator, lobbyist, law professor, and legal assistance program director, she was a Founding Co-chair of the National Task Force of Lawyer Well-Being and co-authored its report, The Path to Well-Being. Bree is a member of the Lawyer Well-Being Committee of the National Bar Association. From 2013-2018, she was the Director of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, where she worked with lawyers experiencing behavioral health issues and legal employers seeking resources and support for their staff. Bree frequently speaks for national and international law organizations and global law firms on lawyer well-being and impairment issues. As the co-host of the Path to Well-Being in Law podcast, Bree shares her story of addiction recovery, and her writing has appeared in publications, including Law Practice Today and The American Lawyer. With a warm presentation style and engaging presence, she breaks the stigma and silence of mental health to tackle the crisis in the legal industry. In this episode… According to the ALM, 35% of lawyers feel detached and isolated, often leading to anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorders. This is especially prevalent among younger attorneys, who must navigate steep learning curves and face pressure to exceed expectations. What resources can law firms offer to promote lawyers’ mental health and well-being? With so much stigma surrounding mental health in the legal profession, many lawyers struggle to disclose their challenges. After experiencing burnout and alcoholism from a demanding career in law, Bree Buchanan became dedicated to sharing her experiences with others. Hearing stories from lawyers facing similar issues fosters connection and encouragement to seek help. Additionally, law firms can provide confidential employee assistance programs (EAP) with professional psychologists. However, reducing the pervasiveness of mental health issues in the legal profession requires easing work-hour expectations and motivating employees to take vacation time. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman welcomes her guest Bree Buchanan, a Senior Advisor at Krill Strategies, for a conversation about addressing the mental health crisis in the legal profession. Bree shares mental health resources promoting confidentiality, how to raise awareness of substance abuse in the industry, and the increased mental health epidemic among younger lawyers.


Jessica Fairchild | How Flexibility and an Entrepreneurial Mindset Can Lead To Explosive Growth

Jessica Fairchild is a Partner at Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, a certified women’s business enterprise counseling clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. As a lawyer, law firm leader, women’s advocate, and entrepreneur, she serves as Co-chair of the firm’s Management Committee. Over her 23-year legal career, Jessica has served as a mergers and acquisitions attorney, counseling founders, private equity sponsors, family enterprises, and corporations on both the buyer and seller sides. She also has experience with general counsel law and corporate governance, securities, joint ventures, and negotiating sponsorship transactions and key commercial agreements. Before founding Croke Fairchild, Jessica founded and managed several additional law firms and served as General Counsel for Chicago 2016, the non-profit and civic organization that led Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games. Her flexible and entrepreneurial approach to acting as a legal and business advisor has allowed her to facilitate explosive growth for diverse organizations. In this episode… Many lawyers don’t have an entrepreneurial background and may struggle to grow their firms effectively. These professionals either don’t know how to execute a strategy or lose top talent when trying to maintain culture at scale. How can you build a durable and impactful law firm? After serving as general counsel for Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid, the city lost the competition, prompting business-minded attorney Jessica Fairchild to explore additional opportunities. Her passion for entrepreneurship and desire for flexibility allowed her to launch and scale a firm that values professional growth. One of the most vital aspects of firm success is building an attractive and valuable culture. This involves providing attorneys with the flexibility to pursue their passions and allowing each team member to share ideas and voice their concerns directly to management, creating a unified environment. On this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Jessica Fairchild, a Partner at Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, joins Elise Holtzman to talk about growing a law firm through flexibility and entrepreneurship. Jessica shares her transition from BigLaw to founding a midsize law firm, the common mistakes of scaling a firm, and how to include your entire team in your culture.


Marc W. Halpert | How To Use LinkedIn To Express Your WHY

Marc W. Halpert is the Managing Partner of connect2collaborate, where he trains and coaches professionals using LinkedIn. As a self-proclaimed “multipreneur,” he has built three businesses and sold two of them. Marc became a solopreneur to help professionals in corporations, law firms, small companies, membership organizations, and nonprofits clarify their brand and positioning on LinkedIn. As a LinkedIn trainer, Marc has been recognized as a high-energy speaker at national and regional conferences and an instructor to sales, marketing, HR, and training departments at professional service firms. He ranked on the top five list of fastest growth in the number of followers among global LinkedIn coaches and trainers. Marc has written two books on LinkedIn marketing and articles in national publications on using the latest LinkedIn techniques for self-branding. His specialty in customized personal coaching has helped individuals in various industries use LinkedIn to express their WHY. In this episode… Most lawyers have LinkedIn profiles, but many aren’t updated or optimized for their target audiences. An inactive profile with outdated credentials deters potential clients, limiting attorneys’ recognition and authority. How can you leverage LinkedIn to communicate your value proposition and clarify your WHY? As a renowned LinkedIn coach and marketing consultant, Marc Halpert understands the platform’s value in distinguishing yourself and creating lasting impressions. Prospects will likely browse your profile after receiving a referral, so posting engaging and informative content and crafting a bio that aligns with your professional purpose keeps you relevant. Each post should demonstrate your area of expertise, encourage commentary, and include calls to action. However, most lawyers must maintain ethical and professional standards, so ensure your posts are accurate and justifiable. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman is joined by Marc W. Halpert, the Managing Partner of connect2collaborate, who shares techniques for using LinkedIn to market your WHY. Marc discusses the top LinkedIn marketing mistakes, how law firms can build their brands on the platform, and how to use AI responsibly to develop LinkedIn profiles.


Carole Piovesan | How to Responsibly Use ChatGPT and Other AI

Carole Piovesan is the Managing Partner of INQ Law, which helps clients navigate complex data collection and use regulations. She counsels clients on matters including privacy, cyber readiness and breach response, data governance, ethical AI, and responsible innovation. As a member of the OECD.AI Policy Observatory, Carole helps shape data law, policy, and standards in Canada and globally, contributing to various organizations, including the Global Partnership on AI. As a seasoned litigator, Carole has represented clients within all levels of court in Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She teaches, speaks, and writes about cybersecurity, privacy, data law, and AI topics and has been featured on the CBC and other news outlets. Carole is an Adjunct Professor of AI regulation at the University of Toronto and the co-editor of Leading Legal Disruption. Carole was appointed by the federal Minister of Innovation to serve as one of six digital leaders in the national data and digital transformation consultations. In this role, she consulted with businesses, academics, and civil society and industry associations to inform the first national Digital Charter. Her expertise in AI qualifies her to advise lawyers on the responsible use of ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI. In this episode… With the rapid adoption of AI, law firms are employing this technology to review contracts and assess documents during electronic discovery. However, AI often misconstrues inherently biased data, and without reviewing its output, lawyers and firms risk legal violations. How can you leverage AI technologies responsibly and ethically? As a litigator and data privacy consultant, Carole Piovesan advises attorneys on AI’s legal implications and helps develop governance programs. These initiatives involve performing third-party bias and model assessments on high-risk AI to secure confidential data. When inputting data into an AI system, Carole says to ascertain the information’s location to protect it from open-source databases. Additionally, firms must provide adequate lawyer training, oversight, and output controls to develop a beneficial AI program. On this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Carole Piovesan, the Managing Partner of INQ Law, joins Elise Holtzman to discuss how lawyers and firms can develop AI governance programs that will increase value and reduce reputational and legal risks. Carole shares the dangers of high-risk AI, how to adapt to evolving AI use cases and regulations, and her research on the integration of AI and law.


Saish Setty | From BigLaw To a Startup – How To Make the Transition

Saish Setty is the General Counsel at Parallaxes Capital, an emerging alternative asset manager focused on TRAs (Tax Receivable Agreements) and esoteric assets. As a senior member of the company’s deal team, he spearheads the development of TRA strategies, a complex alternative asset class. Parallaxes has deployed more than $250 million across its various funds. After graduating with a BA in economics from Princeton, Saish earned his JD from Harvard Law School. Before joining Parallaxes, Saish was an Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and began his legal career in the restructuring and finance department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. As an authority in the legal industry, he has been featured in Fitch Solutions’ LevFin Insights, the Reorg Radio podcast, and Forbes. Saish has spoken at events and conferences, including ones sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute and the CFA Society’s High Yield Bond Master Class. Having transitioned from corporate law to a growing startup, he can instruct junior associates on making the shift. In this episode… Some lawyers are content in their roles at private practices, whereas others want to make a more significant impact. These driven professionals are often attracted to startups, where they can contribute to long-term growth. However, transitioning from BigLaw to business is not a hasty decision, as substantial career changes can be a difficult adjustment. Before trading your law firm duties for a fast-growing startup, what should you consider? With more impact comes additional responsibility, which Saish Setty experienced firsthand after moving from BigLaw to an emerging alternative asset startup. You may be required to lead pivotal decisions for growth and innovation, undertaking projects in new disciplines without prior experience. Before making the shift, Saish says to uncover the origin of your interest in the legal business. This helps you identify potential doubts and adjust your mindset to prepare appropriately. If your drive is authentic, acquire skills, experience, and knowledge in sales by joining client pitches and attending networking events. Tune in to this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast as Elise Holtzman sits down with Saish Setty, Parallaxes Capital’s General Counsel, to talk about transitioning from BigLaw to the startup space. Saish addresses the functional and cultural differences between business and BigLaw, how a background as a private practice lawyer translates to a general counsel role, and investors’ interest in TRAs.


Megan Senese | Marketing With Empathy: Giving Clients What They Really Want

Megan Senese is the Co-founder and Principal of stage, a woman-owned business development and marketing firm focused on generating relationships, revenue, and growth for lawyers and law firms. With over 16 years of marketing and business development experience, she has instituted client teams and launched industry programs at three AM Law 100 firms. As a certified Smart Collaborator and accredited partner to administer the Garden & Co. Smart Collaboration Accelerator, Megan coaches lawyers on internal and external networking, client and industry development, and targeting. Her strengths include developing and implementing co-selling initiatives by connecting lawyers and facilitating discussions and bespoke client initiatives. Megan wrote a Bloomberg Law article and three Law360 articles and has spoken and presented at various industry events, including the New York Local Group’s Marketing with Empathy Workshop. With a unique marketing and business development approach, she helps lawyers give clients what they truly desire. In this episode… In law school, lawyers are taught to maintain a strict level of professionalism and avoid revealing too much of their personal lives. However, the pandemic initiated a radical shift in how attorneys interact with each other and their clients, emphasizing authentic conversations rather than exclusive business relationships. How can you adjust your marketing approach to meet client needs effectively? Legal marketer and business development veteran Megan Senese promotes empathetic marketing for mutually beneficial relationships. She defines this as actively listening to clients’ pain points to connect with them and build rapport. This may involve sharing elements of your personal life and checking in on clients to foster trust and encourage honesty. Altering your marketing strategies requires facilitating a culture that inspires inclusivity, authenticity, and client feedback, which you can use to develop and refine your messaging. On today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman invites Megan Senese, the Co-founder and Principal of stage, to chat about marketing with empathy to uncover client needs. Megan shares how perceptions of professionalism have evolved, how to market with authenticity, and her motivation for founding stage.


Kait LeDonne | Why and How To Build Your Personal Brand

Kait LeDonne is a Personal Branding Expert and Keynote Speaker at Brandwise Media, where she helps companies and consultants scale their businesses by creating clear brand messaging, a refined image, and high-value packages to attract ideal clients. As a chief brand officer, she works with professionals to launch best-selling books, speaking careers, and high-ticket training businesses. Kait is the author of The Attraction Magnet and is regularly featured in national and international publications as a commentator on celebrity and corporate brands. After leaving her corporate job to gain freedom and pursue a passion for personal branding, she became burned-out from constantly marketing herself through hours of networking events, writing countless proposals, and speaking for free. Once she identified her ideal audience, honed her personal brand position and niche, and created a system to build a community of like-minded individuals, Kait recognized the value of personal branding. Since discovering her “why” for building a personal brand, Kait has been teaching other professionals how to launch, grow, and monetize their unique brands online through courses and training programs. In this episode… Some lawyers are apprehensive about personal branding, believing it’s an insincere publicity stunt that diverts them from providing clients with quality services. This is because personal branding is often mistaken for lifestyle branding, where influencers monetize themselves and their businesses. How can you build an authentic personal brand connecting you to your target audience? As a personal branding champion, Kait LeDonne maintains that this form of thought leadership denotes an audience’s feelings when interacting with your company. Influencing these opinions requires fostering a sense of belonging by identifying a core problem and the emotions associated with this issue to build confidence and trust. Kait cites the three essential principles of personal branding that lawyers should consider. Your personal brand should focus on your audience rather than yourself. These brands exist to help your clients, so sharing personal anecdotes rather than positioning yourself as an expert is crucial. To minimize confusion, Kait advises niching down by focusing on a single audience, problem, and platform. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman chats with Kait LeDonne, the Personal Branding Expert behind Brandwise Media, about why and how lawyers should build a personal brand. Kait addresses maintaining client confidentiality when creating a personal brand, how to share personal stories on LinkedIn, and the difference between personal and professional branding.


Jacqueline Newman | Play To Your Strengths To Achieve Happiness and Success

Jacqueline Newman is the Managing Partner of Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, LLP, one of the largest matrimonial law firms in New York. In her practice, she focuses on litigation, collaborative law, and mediation, specializing in complex high-net-worth marital cases and negotiating prenuptial agreements. Jacqueline is the author of The New Rules of Divorce and has appeared as an expert commentator on television and radio shows. She has also been quoted in publications, including NBC News, ABC News, the New York Times, and Woman’s Day. As an adjunct law professor, Jacqueline teaches divorce processes at Cardozo School of Law and has taught family law practice, collaborative family law, and matrimonial law at other reputable institutions. In 2019, she was selected as a family and matrimonial attorney serving high-net-worth clients in New York by Chambers and Partners, a respected international lawyer research company. Jacqueline was also named in the New York-Metro Super Lawyers Top 50 Women Attorneys, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers’ Top 100 Lawyers in New York City. With a substantial career honing her strengths and a reputation for ethical standards, Jacqueline has reached the pinnacle of happiness and success. In this episode… In a traditional law firm setting, many lawyers focus so much on practicing law and serving clients that business growth may take a back seat. But with client demands evolving and junior attorneys wanting more growth opportunities, attorneys must market and develop their firms. How can you balance these competing roles while fostering your strengths and aiming for success? After joining a law firm as a partner, esteemed attorney Jacqueline Newman recognized an opportunity to build and grow the business using strategic infrastructure and marketing techniques. Rather than outsourcing business development representatives, Jacqueline recommends building credibility gradually by emphasizing your talents and participating in public speaking opportunities. This allows you to advance your strengths and promote your firm as a reputable company. Join Elise Holtzman in this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast as she speaks with Jacqueline Newman, the Managing Partner of Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, LLP, about nurturing your strengths to achieve a successful and rewarding career. Jacqueline explains how personal recognition impacts client acquisition and firm growth, how she balances multiple roles, and why attorneys should nurture associates’ strengths.


Deborah Glatter | Shift Performance Reviews From Painful to Transformational

Deborah Glatter is a legal management and training consultant and certified culture coach helping law firms align their values and behaviors with their business objectives. After practicing law for a decade, she joined the Law Society of Ontario’s Department of Education, where she designed courses and licensing examinations for the Bar Admission Course. Deborah then joined a national law firm as a partner, where she was responsible for the professional development and management of its lawyers. As an Accredited Provider of Professionalism Content, Deborah co-designed a graduate diploma for lawyers in Legal Services Management for Queen’s Law School. She is regularly invited to speak to bar and management associations, conferences, and firm retreats about topics, including legal workforces in transition, navigating new working arrangements, and best practices for virtual meetings. With specialties in legal skills training and designing human capital management systems, Deborah focuses on competencies and skills inventories and performance management and development systems. Her expertise in these areas equips her to instruct firms on facilitating transformational performance reviews. In this episode… Traditional performance reviews were developed during World War I and II when the US military implemented a system to promote and dismiss soldiers. However, this review structure is ineffective for knowledge-based professionals like lawyers who rely on professional development opportunities to advance their careers. How can law firms create a functional infrastructure that nurtures progress and reduces the discomfort of critical reviews? The next generation of attorneys are bright, ambitious, and motivated individuals, so culture coach and legal management consultant Deborah Glatter maintains that attracting and retaining them requires transitioning from an evaluative performance review system to a developmental coaching session. Rather than identifying lawyers’ shortcomings, Deborah advises setting three to five incremental goals and communicating skills expectations and partnership criteria. Yet sometimes performance reviews are necessary, so collaborating to identify problems and develop solutions is crucial. Tune in to this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast as Elise Holtzman hosts Deborah Glatter, a legal management consultant, to discuss how to transition from uncomfortable performance reviews to transformational development sessions. Deborah explains the importance of infrastructure for law firms, how lawyers should respond to criticism during performance reviews, and how to structure a high-performing law firm.


Scott Mason | Dislodge Toxic Myths To Ignite the Best Version of Yourself

Scott Mason is a Keynote Speaker and Coach at My Freedom Rocks, where he helps individuals and teams magnetize and monetize professional freedom. After graduating from Columbia Law School, he worked for more than 25 years as an attorney and C-suite executive with numerous government and nonprofit organizations before growing and scaling a small manufacturing company. As an executive and leadership coach, Scott helps frustrated attorneys level up their leadership, find a new purpose, and envision and achieve their goals. As a public speaker, he has given speeches and panel presentations before international audiences, and his insights have appeared in book compilations, online magazines, television, and podcasts. Scott sits on the board of the New York City National Speakers’ Association. Using the lessons of Greek mythology, Scott provides lawyers who feel stagnant in their careers with a system that obliterates toxic myths to ignite their inner charisma. By reframing challenges and removing internal barriers in their professional lives, he helps attorneys uncover the best versions of themselves to attract new opportunities. In this episode… Many lawyers reject traditional work cultures and feel a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration associated with their careers. In response, some have transitioned from partners into leadership roles to find a greater purpose. Still, attorneys can be apprehensive about making major personal and professional transformations. How can you dispel deeply embedded societal myths to envision and attain your objectives? By employing the powerful lessons and imagery of Greek Mythology, of course! As a passionate student of Greek mythology, executive coach Scott Mason identifies five toxic myths governing professionals’ lives: the tragic origin, social, ritual, apocalyptic, and underworld myths. Lawyers are plagued by the ritual myth in which they fear change, the social myth allowing family and friends to govern their decisions, and the apocalyptic myth that promotes risk aversion. Eliminating these beliefs involves cultivating the highest version of yourself, maximizing your impact, and making meaningful changes in the world through charisma. Scott advises identifying a mythological figure that aligns with your vision to facilitate the journey to self-transformation. In today’s episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, join Elise Holtzman as she welcomes Scott Mason, the Keynote Speaker and Coach at My Freedom Rocks, who shares the secrets to dislodging toxic myths to uncover your true self. Scott explains the role of avatars and the Oracle in attorneys’ lives, the value of charisma, and the difference between an Olympian and a hero.