10. Season Finale with Dr. Heidi Gardner: Smart Collaboration


In the tenth and final episode of Season One of the HALB Leadership Podcast, we speak to Dr. Heidi Gardner. She is Distinguished Fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School and Faculty Chair of Harvard Law School's Accelerated Leadership Program. She’s also the author of the book “Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos.”

In this episode, we talk about Dr. Gardner’s research findings on collaboration, the effect of collaboration on law firm revenue, why cross-selling and collaboration are NOT the same thing, and what law students or junior lawyers can do to start training themselves to identify and address complex, higher-level problems (that clients don’t mind paying for.)

09. Wilson Chu: On leadership, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and NAPABA


Wilson Chu is a leader in the M&A world. He is the Chair of the American Bar Association’s M&A Committee, one of the masterminds behind the ABA’s influential M&A Deal Points Studies, founding co-chair of the University of Texas M&A Institute, founding chair of the Asia M&A Forum in Hong Kong, founding chair of the M&A Section of the Dallas Bar Association, and more.

He is also a leader among Asian-American lawyers. At the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Wilson’s projects include founding the Partners Committee, Best Lawyers Under 40 award and In-House Counsel Network and “20 by 20” challenge.

In this episode, we cover everything from leadership and M&A, to career development strategies for Asian-American attorneys.

08. Amy Zhang and Nancy Zhu: Leadership lessons from running one of the world’s largest, busiest (and nicest) law school student organizations


Amy Zhang and Nancy Zhu are third-year students at Harvard Law School and the 2019-2020 Co-Presidents of the Harvard Association for Law and Business, one of the largest, busiest (and nicest) law school student organizations at Harvard Law School — and the world! (We might be a tiny, tiny bit biased.)

In this episode, we talk about their leadership philosophies, building a supportive community, how high-performing environments and fostering great culture are not mutually exclusive, challenging expectations about what a leader “looks like” and so, so much more.

Thank you to our sponsor, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP!


Here at the Harvard Association for Law & Business, we are extremely grateful to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP for their exclusive sponsorship of the entire first season of the HALB Leadership Podcast! 

We approached Simpson Thacher many months ago, with an idea for a student-run podcast and have been blown away by how wholehearted they've been in their support and how willing they were to take a risk on our project. 

Their sponsorship of our entire first season has meant that we have been able to hire the technical and other support that we needed, so that we didn't need to stress out about editing and could focus on bringing you the best content instead. 

Be sure to listen to Episode Seven of the HALB Leadership Podcast with Olga Gutman, Partner at Simpson Thacher!

If you're looking for a firm that acts fast on innovative ideas and that cares about the development and training of students and law students, we'd say - check out https://www.stblaw.com/your-career/summer-program.

07. Olga Gutman: On being a successful law firm partner, fantastic mom AND developing the next generation of attorneys


Olga Gutman is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she is a member of the Corporate Department. Olga specializes in hedge funds, private equity funds and investment management matters. She regularly represents sponsors of private equity and hedge funds, and additionally advises clients on strategic investments (including secondary transactions) and M&A transactions executed by asset management firms. She’s also Co-Chair of Simpson Thacher’s Attorney Development Committee and a very, very proud mom.

In this episode, we talk about everything from what private investment funds are, the journey to making partner and being a woman in big law, to investing in attorney development and why law firms must adapt and innovate in response to client demands.


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our podcast transcript at this link.

06. Kristi Jobson: Leadership insights from the Chief Admissions Officer of Harvard Law School


Kristi Jobson is Chief Admissions Officer of Harvard Law School and all-round A+ human being. (We may be a little biased here at HALB. We love Kristi!)

Prior to this role, Kristi was a big law litigator focusing on shareholder actions and complex commercial disputes and did three (3!) clerkships. She is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard College. Prior to law school, she was a teacher in New York City with Teach For America and she taught dance in Cambridge public schools throughout college.

In this episode, we talk about topics including Kristi’s leadership philosophy, the new initiatives at HLS Admissions that she’s most proud of and “the secret to getting into Harvard Law School”!


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our podcast transcript at this link.

05. Paula Edgar: How can law students build an authentic personal brand?


“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” — and Paula Edgar’s personal brand is so strong that her name kept popping up at a leadership conference that I attended... even though she wasn’t even there! So of course we had to ask #CoachPaula to speak on today’s episode on personal branding.

Paula Edgar is a speaker, executive coach, diversity consultant — and personal branding expert. She is the immediate past President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and her former roles include serving as the Chief Diversity Officer at New York Law School, the Associate Director of Career Services at Seton Hall University School of Law, and the Executive Director of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (PALS), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession.

Some takeaways from this episode include:
  • Your brand is your professional reputation. It’s the intersection of your skill, energy, emotional intelligence, effort, resilience, and grit all packaged into your outfit that day. It’s what people say about you when you’re in front of them and, even more specifically, what they say about you when you’re not in the room.
  • For Paula, the biggest challenge for black law students, law students of color in general and women law students is imposter syndrome. "It is like trying to climb a mountain and putting weights onto your own feet."


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript at this link.

04. Deborah Farone: Business development 101 — an introduction for law students and junior associates


Business development isn’t exactly a part of the typical law school curriculum. Yet, it is a key skill for senior lawyers and “rainmakers.”

In today’s episode, we speak to Deborah Farone, author of “Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing” and the former Chief Marketing Officer at both Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Debevoise & Plimpton. We discuss topics including: what law firm business development and marketing teams actually do, what makes a great rainmaker, what an RFP is, the “zippering effect,” and what are some of the skills we can be building now as law students.

Some takeaways include: 
  • A law firm’s strategy generally falls under two buckets: (1) growth or (2) gaining or changing visibility. Event marketing, public relations, writing newsletters, blogs or client memos, social media and so on can then be understood as tactics to achieve those goals.
  • The challenges that legal marketers face in 2020 generally track the challenges that lawyers face in today’s changing legal ecosystem. For example, the advent of legal operations and the outsourcing of legal services. 
  • Pitching business together is a great strategy, as it’s much easier to talk about someone else and their merits rather than talking about your own. This is a sign of a good, collaborative firm.
This is a tiny fraction of the helpful, substantive content that Deborah shared with us this episode, so be sure to listen to the entire episode.

Click here to listen now!


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript at this link.

03. David Lat: What makes candidates stand out on the lateral hiring market?


David Lat is a bit of a legend in legal circles. He is the founding editor of Above the Law, and is currently a writer, speaker, and legal recruiter at Lateral Link. David has also written a novel, Supreme Ambitions: A Novel (2014), and previously worked as a federal prosecutor, a litigation associate at Wachtell Lipton, and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

There are few who understand the legal industry as deeply David Lat does and, in this episode of the HALB Leadership Podcast, we ask David for an introduction to legal recruiting: how the business works, what characteristics and skills make a candidate stand out, what goes into a partner’s business plan, and so much more.

Some takeaways include:
  • Legal recruiting at the junior associate levels is still very credentials-driven: the hiring firm looks at the “prestige” of the firm you’re leaving, your law school and your grades. At the mid-level, more attention is paid to experience. At the partner level, the question becomes how much of your business is “portable.”
  • Your network and relationships are incredibly important! Get to know your peers at law school. For women and diverse candidates, affinity organizations provide helpful opportunities to connect with other members of your community. 
  • In general, “making partner” is still a desired thing for the associates that David has spoken to. It’s prestigious, lucrative and is helpful for developing business because companies are more willing to hire a partner as opposed to, for example, a mid-level associate.
Click here now to listen to this episode!



Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript at this link.

02. Prof. Scott Westfahl: On teaching leadership to students and law firm leaders


Professor Scott Westfahl teaches courses on problem solving, teams, networks and innovation at Harvard Law School. This year, his classes include “Innovation in Legal Education and Practice” and the 1L class, “Leadership Fundamentals.” He is also the Director of HLS Executive Education, which means he runs leadership classes for law firm Managing Partners, General Counsels and other senior leaders in the legal profession.

In this episode of the HALB Leadership Podcast, we talk about Professor Westfahl's career trajectory, as well as his work on leadership. If you want to hear about the transformational leadership insights that make law firm leaders end up "in tears" - don't miss this episode!

Takeaways include:
  • The psychology of motivation. Many law firm leaders and senior in-house counsel think that if you align monetary incentives, behavior will fall in line. Prof. Westfahl prompts leaders to look at the psychology of motivation and how to tap into the deeper factors that high-need-for-achievement lawyers are really driven by.

Listen to this episode now! Also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript at this link.

Thank you to our sponsor, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP!


Here at the Harvard Association for Law & Business, we are extremely grateful to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP for their exclusive sponsorship of the entire first season of the HALB Leadership Podcast! 

We approached Simpson Thacher many months ago, with an idea for a student-run podcast and have been blown away by how wholehearted they've been in their support and how willing they were to take a risk on our project. 

Their sponsorship of our entire first season has meant that we have been able to hire the technical and other support that we needed, so that we didn't need to stress out about editing and could focus on bringing you the best content instead. 

Episode One of the HALB Leadership Podcast finally launched this week, and we are super thankful to Simpson Thacher for helping us make this happen.

If you're looking for a firm that acts fast on innovative ideas and that cares about the development and training of students and law students, we'd say - check out https://www.stblaw.com/your-career/summer-program.

01. Prof. David Wilkins: What's happening in the legal profession?


Professor David Wilkins is the Lester Kissel Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, and Faculty Director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He is an internationally renowned expert on the legal profession and legal education who has written over 80 articles on these topics in leading scholarly journals... And also a wonderful teacher, mentor and friend to his students!

When we were brainstorming who we wanted to kick off Season One, Episode One of our podcast with, it was clear to us that there was no better person than Professor Wilkins to set the foundation and tone for the issues we want to discuss. His work and research has inspired generations of law students to think critically about the legal profession and its many changes and challenges, and we might not even have the frame of mind to start a podcast like this one, if not for his work. We hope that this conversation with Professor Wilkins will similarly inspire you—the law and pre-law students listening to the podcast—to engage with these issues.

Read "The Practice" by the Harvard Center on the Legal Profession at https://clp.law.harvard.edu/the-practice/

Some takeaways include:
  • Globalization is reshaping the careers of not just the lawyers in foreign jurisdictions, but all lawyers. Increasingly, lawyers have global or at least multinational careers, whether they’re practicing law in another country or they are serving foreign clients in the United States.
  • There's been a "blurring together of traditional categories of organization and thought" in the legal profession, e.g. public and private, or global and local, or law and business. People used to think of law not only as separate from business, but completely separate from accounting or consulting or strategic information or economics. Now, all of those things are being mixed together, which means that our generation of law students is going to have to think about law in a much more multidisciplinary context.

Excited to learn more? Click here now to listen to this episode! It's also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript at this link.

Trailer/00. Genevieve Antono: Welcome to the HALB Leadership Podcast!


The HALB Leadership Podcast is a student-run podcast committed to helping our generation of law students succeed and grow as leaders. If you’re a current law or pre-law student, this new podcast series is dedicated to you.

Episode 1 officially launches on Monday, February 10, 2020. In this short, pre-launch trailer episode, Harvard Law School student and Season One Host Genevieve Antono talks about why we’re starting this podcast, some of the (many) questions that she has, and why she’s excited for 2030. (Yup. Not a typo. Twenty-thirty.)

Click here now to listen to our trailer!



Excited for this podcast? Here’s how you can support us:
  • Visit us on Apple Podcasts and click “subscribe.” We would also love and super appreciate it if you could leave us a comment under “Ratings & Reviews.” (You don’t have to wait until February 10th to do this — please help us get the ball rolling!)
  • Visit us on Spotify and click “follow.” (Coming soon to Apple Podcasts!)
  • And, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter too!
We hope you’re as excited about the podcast as we are. Save the date and see you on February 10th! Season One will have ten episodes, with new episodes released every Monday until April 13th — ending just in time for Finals! :)

Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript for the Trailer at this link.