Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Interview with Lee Pacchia
[This interview was originally published on Elephant Creative and can be seen here]
The Zero to 140 interview series has been on a truly global tour de discourse, picking the minds of some of the leading legal heads in the UK and America.
The latest up to the #ZeroTo140 interview table is Lee Pacchia (@leepacchia) of Bloomberg Law, a man who regularly sits down with the people that set the agendas and direct the future of the industry. We’re delighted to be able to include him in our series.
Brian John Spencer (BJS) : So Lee, what’s happening today?
Lee Pacchia (LP): Booking guests, writing scripts, taping programs and posting a video a day. Welcome to my world.
BJS: What’s it like being part of the Bloomberg family?
LP: It’s great. The people and resources of Bloomberg Television have given us an enormous leg up.
BJS: You went to law school but now you’re doing online TV. How did that happen?
LP: I was hired as a bankruptcy analyst here. At the suggestion of myself and a couple of colleagues, we started interviewing newsmakers.
BJS: Who sets the interview agenda? Do you have much of an input editorially?
LP: Program hosts set the agendas for our six weekly shows. We’re all lawyers, so what interests us generally interests our audience.
BJS: One: favourite interviewee? Two: favourite interview?
LP: Senator Charles Grassley, law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann and Greece’s restructuring attorney Lee Buchheit of Cleary Gottlieb.
BJS: If there’s one person or one interview that lawyers, law firms and legal marketers should watch, who or which one is it?
LP: Law firm consultant Bruce MacEwen talked to us about the suicide pricing phenomenon he’s seeing play out among many American law firms.
BJS: Any plans to get back into practice?
LP: I’m going to assume that’s not a suggestion!
BJS: Being with Bloomberg you’re obviously at the edge of the ticker when it comes to the legal economy – how do you see it? How is Big Law and the AM 200 holding up?
LP: The Wachtells & Cravaths of the world are doing quite well. Once you get out of the top tier, however, it’s a mixed picture.
BJS: What about the small to middle market law firm – how are they holding up?
LP: I think firms with specialized practices are able to do well. But firms that do a little bit of everything face rough sledding.
BJS: We have some exciting market competitors in the UK doing some break-the-mould stuff. Are there any US firms spreading some magic that we should be unaware of?
LP: Fenwick & West Managing Partner Kate Fritz told us their new product manager position helps clients understand what they’re paying for.
BJS: Your recent interview with John Corey of Greentarget was particularly interesting. The short of it was that social media and blogging isn’t just a time suck; but they can actually boost your bottom line.
However having worked with a Park Avenue law firm I know for some US law firms blogging and social media just isn’t a concern or priority. What’s the situation? Do US law firms get blogging and the social web? Any stand outs?
LP: I think some law firms are *beginning* to get it, but a lot of people think social media and professional service firms just don’t mix.
BJS: Is the billable hour dead? Is the old model of law practice dead?
LP: I’d need 140 paragraphs to answer that, not 140 characters. Neither is dead, but both are in flux.
BJS: Law firms need to change and they want to change but don’t know how to change. What is that about?
LP: Not fair: some DO know how to change. But even there, running a law firm is often like herding cats.
BJS: Can you give us a quick rundown of the software and project management tools that Bloomberg law offers and what it can do?
LP: We’ve added ways for lawyers to collaborate with one another. Our dockets and secondary sources (including Bloomberg BNA) are world class.
BJS: Looking ahead – have you any core goals?
LP: More great guests! It’s always about the right topics and the right guests.
BJS: Finally, any last words of advice for lawyers, law firms and legal marketing people finding things hard and looking forward?
LP: Pay attention to the broader economic forces at play. All of professional services are in a state of change.
Interview conducted by Elephant Creative Associate, Brian John Spencer, of www.legalwire.co.uk