For those of us who went to law school, a large percentage probably assumed we’d graduate, take the bar, and practice law. But, sometimes life takes you in a different direction. Today’s guest fits that mold, and also decided to talk with 15 other law school grads who also found careers outside the traditional legal practice. Adam Pascarella is the Founder of Second Order Capital Management, and the author of the new book, Reversed in Part: 15 Law School Grads on Pursuing Non-Traditional Careers. Within the book, you’ll also find two former TGIR guests, Ayelette Robinson and Richard Hsu.
Reversed in Part is designed to give inspiration and some practical insights from professionals who followed their passions and how their legal career experiences helped them along the way. Adam tells us how he essentially used the interviews to help guide himself into a career outside of BigLaw and take the risk to start his own business.
LegalWeek Crystal Ball Question
This week we hear from Michael Burns, Chief Revenue Officer at Steno on what he sees for the legal industry when he peers into his crystal ball. For the industry to improve, it’s going to take the help of allied professionals, automation, and even API integration to make it a reality.
Congrats to Marlene
For those who haven’t seen yet, Marlene was included in the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech 2022. Such a great list of leaders, including five former guests. It was nice of the ABA’s LTRC to give us an additional list of eleven more leaders who we need to get on the podcast!!
Music: Jerry David DeCicca
Marlene Gebauer 0:26
Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer,
Greg Lambert 0:32
And I’m Greg Lambert. Oh, Marlene, congratulations on being recognized by the ABA, legal Technology Resource Center as one of the women of legal tech 2022. I have to say that’s a heck of a list including we had five I think prior guest of the podcast. So congrats.
Marlene Gebauer 0:49
Thank you very much. It was really quite an honor to be included with this group of amazing, amazing women. And you know, I know we’ve had we’ve had five, but I guess we got to get all the rest of them onto.
Greg Lambert 1:02
Yeah, well, I was telling you that. Well, at least it gives us a checklist of 11 more that we can.
Marlene Gebauer 1:08
That’s right. That’s right.
Greg Lambert 1:10
Well, congratulations and well deserved. Thank you. So today’s guest talks about how important it is to have a network of professional peers and to maintain those relationships. In fact, it was our common relationship with former guest Richard Chu that sparked our being able to even get author Adam Pascarella on the show. That’s right. So Adam has a new book out where he interviews 15 people who were former legal practitioners or law school grads, and who went on to have careers outside the traditional legal industry. Richard Chu and our good friend from all the way back in episode four. Yeah, yeah. Let Robinson Yeah, that was a while ago, was there both in the book along with folks like ESPN J Bayless, Anthony, the mooch, Scaramucci, and other writers, artists, business folks, and more,
Marlene Gebauer 2:01
we talk about why Adam decided to write the book and the effect it had on him as he started his own business and capital management. So stick around for that. But first up, we have another legal week crystal ball question. This time we talk with Michael Burns, Chief Revenue Officer at steno about what he sees for the near future in the legal industry.
Michael Burns 2:22
My name is Michael Burns and Chief Revenue Officer at Steno. We are a legal technology company focusing on litigation support services. So we provide mostly court reporting and deposition services to firms across the country. I’ve been with the firm for a while now. I think I’m coming up on 70 days. So I’m an expert. Exactly. a tried and true veteran. Yeah. But I’ve been in and around legal tech for a better part of 20 years. So I’ve seen a lot of change in this business, mostly for the good, I would say, not 100%, mostly for the good. Yeah. And to your question, get my crystal ball out. So you see where things are going. So I think in general, across the ecosystem, legal is the last bastion of the non digitally transformed, right. So if we think about in house, if we think about law firms, the advantages that other industries or their corporate departments have taken advantage of, as it pertains to automation, really haven’t been reaped by those, those segments. So I, we obviously are seeing the pendulum swing towards automation and towards technology. I think we haven’t seen you know, the midpoint of the fulcrum yet, I think we’re gonna see a lot, a lot of swing, and that should accelerate for us. At steno, a lot of what we’re focused on as not just a court reporting agency, but also a tech company, is identifying ways that we can integrate our services into the workflows of our customers. So we’re very focused on on looking at partnerships with manner management and case management vendors to actually get the litigation services part of an attorney or a paralegal or legal secretaries, workflow automated, right. So we just launched an integration with Wodify, for instance, where somebody could literally in their case management platform, hit a button, and information on the case goes out through API to our back end, you’re able to schedule a deposition seamlessly without leaving the workflow. So I think that’s where things are gonna be going over the next two to five years as it pertains to legal services, and especially litigation services.
Marlene Gebauer 4:39
How do you how do you feel your clients are sort of accepting that like in terms of this move towards automation?
Michael Burns 4:46
Adoption is slow among attorneys. What have we heard of this this breaking news? You heard it here first, folks. Yeah, I think there’s a lot of excitement to hampered by trepidation right? across, across everybody in the industry. There’s always gonna be early adopters, right? And the early adopters are all in they they blazed the trail. And we need to show wins, right? So what we’re focused on is trying to enable our customers who are starting to take advantage of this type of technology, right, really be there for them provide great customer success. Make sure that we surround them with enablement to be able to take advantage of what it is that we’re offering. And over time, right, what we’ll see adoption increase, I’m sure like we have with, you know, eDiscovery, 15 years ago, right. You know, that was new ones, too.
Marlene Gebauer 5:38
That’s true. All right. Well,
Greg Lambert 5:40
thanks for dropping by.
Michael Burns 5:42
Anytime. Thanks, guys.
Marlene Gebauer 5:46
I like how Michael was being polite when he referred to let its of the legal industry as the non digitally transformed.
Greg Lambert 5:52
Yeah, he’s definitely correct in projecting that, you know, there’s the allied professionals along with automation and even API integration, that’s going to have to come into play to improve the overall process of the legal services. So thanks, Michael, for letting us get you in front of a mic there at legal week and have you peer into your crystal ball. Now on to today’s guest,
Marlene Gebauer 6:15
most of us that went to law school thought we were going to end up being some sort of version of a lawyer who practices law. But as evidenced by the two of us that doesn’t always become reality. Today’s guest wrote a book where he interviewed 15 law school grads, who found themselves in non traditional, but very rewarding careers.
Greg Lambert 6:35
We’d like to welcome Adam Pascarella, founder of second order Capital Management and the author of the book reversed in part 15 law school grads on pursuing non traditional careers. Adam, welcome to The Geek in Review.
Adam Pascarella 6:49
Greg, Marlene, thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
Marlene Gebauer 6:53
So Adam, before we dive into your book, we wanted to talk a little about your background and how you went from working as a corporate litigator at Baker McKenzie, just starting your own capital management company. We’ve had a few other Penn Law grads on the show before who seem to be very entrepreneurial, very. So is it just something in the water there at Penn that makes grads want to start their own businesses?
Adam Pascarella 7:13
That’s that’s certainly possible. I think, the connection with the Wharton School, there’s something there at least I was at Penn from 2011 to 2014. And back then, a lot of the big direct to consumer companies or startups are being funded and Warby Parker was one of the most notable ones and the founders of Warby Parker came from Penn. So I think maybe there’s something to be said about seeing a huge success come from the Wharton School. And you know, Wharton students and law students thinking they could come up with the next big thing. So. So I do think there is something to that. And even when I was at Penn, I thought of something similar to I was interested in the startup world, even while I was in law school. As you know, while you’re in law school, especially the first year, it’s very important to focus on your academics and your courses, because there’s a direct correlation between that and the job, your first job that you receive after graduation. So the stakes are high. I wanted to do the best I could. But I also had this nagging itch that I wanted to scratch in the startup world. So I was dabbling with some things on the side. But besides those side projects, focused on doing the best job, I could attend law school, I graduated in 2014. Went to Baker McKenzie, and there I was a litigation associate. So mostly worked on general commercial litigation matters. I also did some white collar defense and anti trust work as well. I practice there for about two and a half years. And towards the latter half of my short career there, I was thinking of what I wanted my career to look like, what really came back to me was starting my own business doing my own thing. Maybe it was off the beaten path, I didn’t know exactly what it would look like. But I didn’t really want the traditional path of working at a law firm for six, seven years becoming a partner than becoming an equity partner, perhaps I’m counsel and then retiring. That’s something that I didn’t really want. I think I knew that before I even went into big law into my first job. So didn’t know exactly how my path would play out. But I knew it was something non traditional. And that’s sort of the impetus of why I wrote the book as well.
Greg Lambert 9:10
Yep. Well, I’m just curious. Because right now, we see a lot of associates that come in, and they stay long enough to basically pay off most of their debt and then go do what they really want to do. Was that kind of what you wanted? Or is that kind of what you ended up doing?
Adam Pascarella 9:28
Yeah, something similar to that. Yeah. And I think, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. As long as law schools are charging hundreds of 1000s of dollars in tuition, and you’re taking out loans, especially if you have to live you have to almost look out for yourself first and and by doing that, you know, you may end up like really liking what you’re doing at a big firm and you may end up staying so there’s, I’m not advocating for people just to go there and cut and run once their their loans are paid off. But that is a trend certainly in the past couple decades, I would say and it’s most likely going to continue as long as law school as expensive as it is.
Greg Lambert 10:06
I agree. So, Adam, I was looking at your personal website. And that is kind of interesting, because the way that you have it laid out, you have three words that describe you. And the words are professional, curious, and passionate. And so why those three words? And how does that describe your personal philosophy?
Adam Pascarella 10:29
Sure, I can go through them one by one. So the first one is professional. And since I graduate from college, I’ve been in service based businesses, I’ve been serving clients and serving customers. And it’s service fashion. So what you really need to focus on is being as professional as you can, and professional can mean so many different things, but I think mostly means treating the client or customer like you want to be treated. So that’s responding to emails and calls diligently. That’s, you know, giving them a fair price. If you have pricing power, if you can control pricing. So being a professional towards my clients, that’s, that’s, that’s an attitude I take towards my day to day work. Curiosity is a tenants that I strongly adhere to, and that I follow. I think that’s, you know, you can be interested in your job itself, like, say, a litigation associate, I was, I was interested in the work that I was doing, but I think it makes you a better and more interesting worker, or associate or whatever, if you’re studying or looking into adjacent things to what you’re working on. So say you could be an oil and gas attorney, for instance, if you can study the renewable energy market, or the green energy market that can make you a better oil and gas attorney. So following your curiosity, I think is an important tenant for anyone, whatever you’re doing, and so I try to stay curious and and really try to expand my circle of competence, as they say. And then passion. It’s kind of interesting. In the course of writing this book, when I spoke with 15, law school graduates, some of the questions that I did ask were, should you follow your passion, especially if you want to leave the law to do something else? And there really isn’t a clear answer to that. You see, you hear people like Mark Cuban say, you should follow your effort rather than your passion. There’s something to be said about that. But there’s also something to be said about being genuinely interested in what you’re working on. So I tried to stay passionate in what I’m doing. I it’s interesting. One example from the book is Sandra Daniel supid Sousa, CEO of thumbtack, which is a startup. And he told me that he wasn’t inherently interested or passionate about local services, which is what thumbtack does, the passion kind of grew and evolved into that. So really, what I, what I’m trying to say here is that I tried to stay interested in what I’m doing. I’m passionate about what I do. But I didn’t leave the law to pursue some nagging passion that I had that there were some curiosities. There were some things I was interested in. But it wasn’t like, oh, I have to do this or that,
Greg Lambert 12:48
right? Yeah, these don’t necessarily always stand on their own, you can combine all three of them, it seems like,
Adam Pascarella 12:55
Marlene Gebauer 12:56
Was there something in the work that you were doing as a lawyer that that didn’t allow you to leverage these three principles or leverage them in a way that you wanted?
Adam Pascarella 13:05
Um, I say, maybe maybe it is, especially the curiosity parts. As you likely know, if you’re working at a big law or corporate law environments, that the work is very demanding, and you’re expected to put all of your time and effort into the matters that you have on your plates. And so it doesn’t leave as much time as you want to pursue other interests that you may have, or other other curiosities that you may want to pursue. So at the time, like, like I was telling you a couple minutes ago, I was interested in the startup world, I thought there may be something there that I can be a founder that I could start something. But working at a law firm, it’s obviously difficult to start something on the side, some firms don’t even let you do that, if you look at your employment agreements. So that is one thing. That’s I guess I was deprived of something that I wanted to pursue. But overall, I would say that working at my firm allowed me to tap into those three tenants that I spoke about.
Greg Lambert 13:59
It’s hard to do a side job when you’re billing 2400 hours.
Adam Pascarella 14:03
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, for sure. It’s it’s difficult. I’m assuming it’s possible, but very, very difficult.
Marlene Gebauer 14:10
So speaking of the 2400 hours, you know, what are some of the starkest differences that you see owning your own business versus being a practicing lawyer? I mean, I imagine you put in a lot of time, as you know, as a business owner, but you know, maybe where you put the time or how or you know, the things you focus on are a little bit different than when you’re you’re practicing.
Adam Pascarella 14:34
For sure. Yeah, as a business owner, you have to wear so many different hats, especially if you’re a small business, you have to not only provide the service in my situation, that’s the service that I provide to clients, but also you have to deal with housekeeping matters. And sure, you can delegate that to freelancers or a staff but especially in the early days, you may not have resources to do that. So it ends up being on your plate. And that’s one of the things that I think legal practice helps with in some respects is the time management. you’re billing six minute increments at a big law firm. And I’m not, I’m not tracking my time like that. But the focus on time management and maximizing your output within a certain period of time is, is really important. And it’s something that you learn in practice. I just had my first baby, Thanksgiving Day last year. And that’s Thank you. And this lesson is even more stark for me is that when your time is so constricted, you need to make the most out of it and actually end up being more productive. It’s kind of funny that way. But going back to what you’re saying, It’s time management is something and also, I think a bias for action is another huge thing is lawyers. We’re paid to be analytical, we’re paid to sit back, look at case law on my circumstance, look at both sides of an issue, come to some sort of conclusion, write a memo presented to a client and move on. But when you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, you need to take action and action is everything. You can be analytical, especially with larger decisions. I think it helps to be analytical. But for the most parts, you have to be much more action oriented. And for some attorneys, especially me at the start, that was difficult. I think my analytical skills is one of my superpowers. And if you’re not able to tap into that all the time, it can be difficult, but the more you do it, the more you get used to taking action.
Greg Lambert 16:15
Yeah, imagine it’s changing gears from being an issue spotter to identify everything that could go wrong to being more of entrepreneur or thinker and think of the things that could go right. So yeah,
Adam Pascarella 16:30
that’s it. That’s it as attorneys, especially litigators, you’re focused on the downside, but as an entrepreneur, it’s all upside, right? Like, sure, there are risks, but, you know, the upsides could be 10x, the risk so that’s, that’s another mental model change that you have to make.
Marlene Gebauer 16:44
That’s, that’s what I’ve always heard with, with business owners that you’re you’re kind of, you’re less focused on the risk, you’re focused on the, you know, how can we do this? Or we can do this. And then on the attorney side, it’s much more it’s like, no, no, no, you can’t do this because of xy and z. So it’s a really good mindset.
Adam Pascarella 17:02
And for the attorneys listening out there, I think that’s something that can make you especially attractive to clients is having that, that glass half full attitude towards whatever advice you’re giving. Now, granted, you’re being paid to assess risk, there’s no doubt about that. But if you can present solutions or actions that the client can take to help them achieve their goals, not withstanding the risks, that’s extremely attractive. So something to think about.
Greg Lambert 17:26
Well, that brings us now to the book. And it was just released in March, the book called reversed in part. So what made you decide that you wanted to write a book where you interview people who were lawyers or law school grads, but decided at some point to take on a new career? What was the impetus behind that?
Adam Pascarella 17:47
Yeah, it was really to solve the circumstance or problem that I was facing, I wanted to do something different with my career, didn’t know exactly what starting a business, like I said, was something that was appealing. But I didn’t really know how to go from point A to point B. And granted the book isn’t, isn’t exactly that it’s kind of this combination of inspiration and practical steps to get to where you want. But like I was saying, there, there wasn’t really a resource that I knew of, that could help me in that respect. So I spoke with some attorneys that had made the switch, they were practicing attorneys were doing something else. But I also wanted to see you know, what else is out there. So if you look in the book, I speak with an artist, I speak with a nonprofit CEO, I speak with venture capitalists. Now granted, I I’m not creative at all, I’m not going to become an artist in the future. But I wanted to speak with people that had done different things. And, you know, no matter what they’re doing right now, I think there are lessons and insights that we can take no matter what our career goals are. So it really came from solving a personal problem or issue that I was facing when I was at my law firm. And once I got started, I was getting momentum, I was speaking with interesting people. And the project kept going along. And it took me three years, writing a book is no small feat. So there’s, I could have a whole different conversation about that. But it was a problem that I wanted to solve. I felt like a lot of attorneys, maybe don’t say this to each other, but maybe are thinking of doing something different with their careers but don’t really know where to start or what to do. So the book is again, both inspirational and provide some practical guidance in certain areas, if you want to do something else. So
Greg Lambert 19:18
you basically use the research for the book as a your own coaching and counseling to help you along.
Adam Pascarella 19:24
Yeah, that’s definitely fair. And even in my journey right now, I go back to the book and some of the conversations I had and in refer to it because there’s so many good insights in there. Yeah, so it’s almost like like starting a podcast like in your shoes as well. Like it’s, you could speak with interesting people about topics that interest you or problems that you’re facing. So, you know, it’s a win win in that respect.
Marlene Gebauer 19:45
So I’m very happy that you wrote this. First because of what you said that and I’ve heard this over the course of my career, like a lot of attorneys will, will say, you know, I really wish I could, I could do something else but they really I don’t know what else they could do. And I think this book kind of opens different opportunities, you know, for them to explore. And similarly, I’m happy that you wrote the book, because I do think there are certain, you know, groups of attorneys where if people do something outside of practicing law, if they do something else with their legal education, you know, that that’s just that’s odd. You know, and I think you highlight here that no, there’s a lot of people who do this, lots of people that do this. So you know, you have 15 professionals who left their legal careers that are in the book. And that’s including our friends who we’ve had on the podcast, Richard Chu, and a yell at Robinson. The Careers vary from, you know, business leaders, artists, sports managers, and commentators and policy experts. How did you set out to find the people who had a story to tell for your book?
Adam Pascarella 20:57
Yeah, so I wanted to get as diverse of an audience’s as possible for the book. But to back up a little bit. So So first, I was really pursuing my own interests, selfishly like we were, we were alluding to a little bit ago. So I wanted to potentially build a business start a startup. So I thought,
Marlene Gebauer 21:13
right, right about what you’re passionate about.
Adam Pascarella 21:16
Yeah, exactly. And I knew there were attorneys that had done that. But I wanted to start this book project and wanted to help other attorneys that were interested in tech or startups. So I reached out to Keith Raboy, who’s a, who’s a Partner of Founders Fund, who was a member of the PayPal Mafia is involved in a lot of startups. And he responded to me decided to speak with me and I was off to the races from there. And then from that point, I spoke with a couple other people in the startup world, like, like I said, Sander Daniels, who’s the CEO of Thumbtack. I spoke with David Hornick, who’s also renowned venture capitalist. So it was kind of startup tech heavy. And then I thought, How am I gonna diversify this out a little bit. So really, it was a combination of trying to get as broad of an experiences as possible in the book, but also pursuing my own interests. And I really do think there’s so many different paths that you can take, being a former lawyer, so I couldn’t discuss every single career path that there there is out there, the book would be impossibly long. So chose 15 people, eight women, seven men in different industries and sectors and went from there, I could create a sequel if I wanted to. But I think that I think that there’s enough knowledge in here that it’s a good start for people.
Marlene Gebauer 22:24
How did you get in touch with these these individuals? Like once once you started with the folks that you knew, like, you know, how did you get to some of these other ones?
Adam Pascarella 22:33
Yeah, it was predominantly cold email, funnily enough, wow. For, I think it was 15 or 15 individuals I had no prior experience or relationship with. And I think it really goes to show that if you’re trying to do something difference, a cold email can actually be super powerful. I still use it to this day, and there’s an art to it. You don’t want to be overly spammy or annoying. But if you just have the audacity to reach out to people, you never know what will happen like Anthony Scaramucci, I thought was an impossible person to contact. He has such a high profile. But I reached out to his media people and they directed me to his assistant, and then I was passed up someone else. And then eventually I was able to meet him. So I think if you’re, if you show that you have some value to provide, and if you show some common interests with the person you’re targeting, your odds are better than you’d think. So no matter what you’re trying to do, if you’re trying to even go into a different sector or industry, and you’ve no contact in that sector or industry, just try reaching out to someone you never know what’ll happen.
Greg Lambert 23:31
Yeah, I guess the worst they can say is no or not respond. So.
Adam Pascarella 23:36
And then you get used to rejection, which is honestly a skill or trait that’s very valuable.
Greg Lambert 23:42
Especially if you’re an author.
Marlene Gebauer 23:43
Yeah. Author and an entrepreneur, author and entrepreneur. Yeah.
Adam Pascarella 23:48
You’re trying to create anything rejection is in your future. So get used to it.
Greg Lambert 23:53
Well, Adam, one of the things that and I had an electronic copy of the book, so I did a scanned it and realize that you never once in the book, use the phrase recovering attorney. And before we jumped on, Marlene, and I had a discussion on whether or not this is is is bad, or phrases I make it out to be. But in the whole book, it sounds like you weren’t trying to make it sound like practicing law was some type of failure, but rather, that was one experience that helped them, you know, move on to the next career or their passion. As we talked about earlier. Did you find any commonalities on what caused these 15 individuals to leave the practice of law or the idea of pursuing something in the law and then pursue something completely different?
Adam Pascarella 24:41
I did. Yeah. But But going back to the idea of the recovering lawyer, I agree. I think that’s law school. It is kind of a technical school you learn how to analyze case law and write say a brief in the Cree AK format or version, whatever your your chosen version is. But there are skills. It’s a great training ground and you develop real skills that you can use in different areas, you, you develop analytical skills, oral advocacy skills, problem solving skills. So, and this really was a reason why I named the book reversed in part, you’re not totally turning your back on your legal training or experiences our law school entirely. I think there are plenty of things that you can apply from your past in the law to whatever it is you’re doing. So I agree that the recovering lawyer or attorney phrase, it’s something I don’t use. I do understand people use it, but I would push back on it slightly. But But to go back to your question, I think it was mostly people pursuing their curiosities. Again. So So legal practice, obviously is very important. I’m sitting on the opposite side of the table lawyers are very important to what I do and for for a lot of people both in the profit and nonprofit world, but it is a narrowly defined, you know, job. And so people, the 15 interviewees, I had had different interests, and they wanted to pursue them, they couldn’t pursue those interests in their current line work. So if you look at someone like Melinda Snodgrass who, who’s an author, she’s a very prominent science fiction and fantasy author. She was working at Sandia laboratories in an in house role, I think she also had a commercial law role. But she wanted to write and she, as she told me, in our interview, she had these characters in her mind that she had to put out onto the paper. She couldn’t do that in her law job, so she had to leave. Same thing is true of Sander Daniels, who’s another man I referenced, he co founded thumbtack while he was in law school, still went to Sullivan and Cromwell, I believe, practice for two years and thought, Hey, I can’t work on this opportunity. While Sullivan and Cromwell This is really gaining traction, I’m going to regret if I don’t leave and work on it. So he did it. So I do think it was this pursuit of a curiosity outside of the law that really prompted people to leave. Now, granted, maybe they left for financial reasons, or there are others that could leave for financial reasons. Like you said, Greg, they may have paid off their loans and thought, hey, I hate doing this, I want to do something else. I didn’t really have that experience speaking with those 15 interviews in a release in my book, but I’m sure there are people out there that feel that way. But going back, it’s just about pursuing something else outside of legal practice. That’s that’s the common thread that I saw.
Marlene Gebauer 27:15
So the final chapter of the book is something really fascinating. you title it 25 key takeaways now, we won’t ask you to go through all 25. But but but many of them revolve around the concept of know yourself and build and leverage relationships. So in that regard, what are some of the biggest lessons you learned as you were interviewing these amazing people for reversed in part? And what are some key things that you do to know yourself and to build and leverage relationships?
Adam Pascarella 27:47
Yeah, relationships are huge, especially if you’re trying to do something non traditional. I really think that if I were to ask all 15 of these individuals, would you have gotten to where you are, if you, you know, submitted your resume on indeed.com, or just blindly submitted resumes? They would say absolutely not. It was all based on relationships, or hustling to is a combination of work and relationships. So those things are absolutely huge. It’s a common thread I saw amongst all of the people. And one of the individuals that spoke about that most was David Hornick, who is actually featured in Adam grants book, give and take, he’s, he’s known for, for maximizing and maximizing his network and expanding, really providing as much value as he can to his network and trying to meet as many people as possible. Even in my case, he didn’t need to pick up the phone or answer my email. But he did, because he understands how powerful relationships are. So that’s, again, if you’re looking to do something different in your career, really try to expand your network and in leverage your network no matter what it is you’re trying to do. So in my case, I think when I was looking at my transition, I guess I didn’t really know what to do. So to better know, myself, I worked with a career coach. And that was actually really helpful. I think that as lawyers, we can be really analytical, we can look at all the different sides of an issue, we can issue spots, that’s what we’re trying to do in law school. But when you’re looking at your own career, you can be so stuck in your head that you’re not asking yourself the right questions and having a nonpartisan third party really probe what it is that you want and make you think about different priorities that you may have is really powerful. So a career coach was good. And then my then girlfriend now wife was, was really helpful in that respect. We talked about work all the time, and she’s always challenging me and making me be the best that I can be. So having a loved one or a friend, really push you in that respect is is helpful.
Greg Lambert 29:39
Yeah, it’s always good to have someone you can bounce things off of and and can also give it to you straight. Yes, yeah.
Marlene Gebauer 29:45
someone you trust someone you trust? Yes.
Greg Lambert 29:49
Or they’re in any general principles or insights that you can share from the book, writing process itself. You know, there might be a listener out there. That’s that’s now listening to this thinking that, you know, they want to write their own book, or she may want to create something else as a side project or side hustles and any insights you can share.
Adam Pascarella 30:11
Yeah, definitely, I would first recommend reading one book, which is called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He’s a, he’s a prominent author, I think he wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance and some other some other fiction books that are well known. But it was, for me, it was one of the most impactful books on the writing or creative process, because he defines this, this a amorphous idea called resistance. And it’s basically, resistance is going to stand in your way of creating anything new. And your job to combat resistance is to become a professional. So you need to treat your job of writing like a professional. So in that case, that means finding, you know, an hour in your day where you can write, whether that’s in the morning or in the evening. It’s like treating it like a second job. And granted for lawyers, like we were alluding to a couple minutes ago, that can be difficult, because your job is all encompassing, especially if you work at a big firm. But if you do want to create something in the world, whether that’s a book or a side hustle or something, you need to put in the time and combat resistance. So that’s, that’s definitely something that’s, that’s helpful when when writing a book. And then in the process of writing a book itself, it’s also helpful to have an audience beforehand. I think, when people are thinking of writing a book, especially working with a publisher, this book is self published. But if you’re working with a publisher, you think the publisher is going to do everything for you. They’re going to promote your book to a huge audience, you’re going to get in Barnes and Noble and all that stuff. And while that may be true, the publisher is really relying on you to do a lot of the work. So if you can create an audience somehow before writing the book, whether that’s on on Twitter, or a blog, or YouTube channel, something like that, that’s really helpful later on when you’re marketing. And it’s also helpful when you’re testing the concept of the book, because you have an audience where you can spit ball ideas back and forth and see if there’s actual demand for the book. So for this book, I was trying to scratch my own itch that I had, I do believe that there are lawyers out there that feel this way that they want to transition into different careers and do something different. But if you can have a large, preferably large audience beforehand, and bounce ideas off of that, it really minimizes your risk and maximizes your chances of success for your book. Yeah.
Greg Lambert 32:16
So how did you find your audience?
Adam Pascarella 32:18
Yeah, so I created a before I wrote the book, I created a course on deciding whether you want to go to law school or not. So that was my little test of, you know, creating an audience, first of all, seeing if I could create value in the law school legal space. And so I created a course I put it on Udemy, which is one of these core sites and had a blog, wrote on Quora, medium, these sorts of places, there were a couple posts I had about big law that got some traction, and I developed a little audience that way. So really, as lawyers, we’re pretty good writers compared to the general population. So if you want to tap into that, that’s, that’s helpful. But then there are also people that have developed really good followings and tick tock or YouTube, legal versions of tick tock or YouTube. So whatever suits your strengths and interests, I would say, build an audience that way, and then test if there’s interest in your book.
Marlene Gebauer 33:05
Yeah, it was funny when you were saying this, I was thinking of stand up. I mean, you know, the best performers don’t just go and, you know, do their hour long, special cold. I mean, they they go to small venues, and they test out their material. And they see you know, if it’s something that’s going to take with an audience before they put the final product together. So there’s a lot going on in the world right now. So we wanted to give you a chance to pull out your crystal ball, and talk about how you think the legal profession may change over the next five years or so. What, if anything, can it do to help professional, curious and passionate lawyers? who are entering the legal field? Enjoy being a lawyer and stay in the profession?
Adam Pascarella 33:51
Yeah, it’s a great question. I think that one of the most prominent things in my mind is the role of technology in the legal field itself. And I’m not as involved as I was back when I was a practicing lawyer. But both as a practicing lawyer and in certain practice areas, there are new innovations and technologies that are really making things interesting. So as a former litigation associate, I can’t imagine now what research tools there are to make your job easier researching case laws. So as a young associate or attorney, I would I would be really bullish on on technology and learning what all these new platforms can offer, both both to you and your clients. And then in terms of practice areas, it seems like crypto is just a huge thing in the legal field right now. There’s there’s a lot of lot of unanswered questions that are being addressed. Both and empty stuff. Yeah, key stuff in the coins themselves. So if you have any interest in technology, I would say as a young attorney, definitely develop some expertise in even even a niche in the crypto field that you can be extremely valuable that way. So that’s, that’s probably what if I was practicing, that’s probably what I’d be doing right now.
Marlene Gebauer 35:00
Yeah, Greg and I both attended a session. And there was a lot of focus on sort of trademark and copyright and around the NF T’s and that there was so much opportunity there.
Adam Pascarella 35:11
Yeah, definitely. And whether coins can be considered securities? I mean, there’s so many unanswered questions. Yes, that are being addressed. And lawyers are billing a lot of time and money for that. So
Greg Lambert 35:22
I was gonna say uncertainty makes a lot of lawyers richer. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, Adam Pascarella, founder of second order Capital Management and author of the new book that’s just released reversed. In Part, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to come in and talk with us. It’s been fun.
Adam Pascarella 35:41
Thank you so much, Greg, and Marlene. Appreciate it.
Marlene Gebauer 35:43
Thank you, Adam. So Greg, I think that was a really excellent discussion with Adam. And I think very inspirational, to hear these different stories or hear him talk about the different stories that are in his book. And, you know, I hope that that gives some some insight to those who are listening who, you know, may want to pursue a different path.
Greg Lambert 36:06
Yeah, and I don’t think I mentioned I mean, I mentioned their names. But Richard Chu actually reached out to us and introduced us to Adam so that we could get him on the show. And it was a, you know, super pleasant surprise, because I think we had a yell at Robinson on the show. She was like, on the third or fourth show, early, early. And, you know, her career as an actress. And, you know, as a former lawyer, and now now actress, so it was really, really exciting to see her name in the book as well. So be really happy. Yeah. So I, you know, there was a number of things that he kind of ticked off on his list, but I think a lot of us, you know, well, you and I are not exactly in traditional legal careers, either. And, you know, just this, just this passion, being able to follow it, at some point I would love to do and, you know, an episode, and I think we’ve kind of, like, nibbling around the edges of it. But, you know, what can law firms do, to put more creativity into the work so that you’re not losing these people, and I just don’t think we’re, I just don’t think we’re set up to save these people. And maybe that’s a good thing, maybe, maybe we want to have them spread their wings outside, but boy, be nice to have some of these people,
Marlene Gebauer 37:28
you know, I hear what you’re saying. I mean, it would be nice to be able to harness that, that, you know, that creativity and use it, you know, within the confines, probably confines, within the confines of the loft of a law firm, because
Greg Lambert 37:44
within the jail cell, the law firm
Marlene Gebauer 37:48
known as it but, you know, within the law firms, you know, because I mean, some of the things he said really resonated, that, you know, look, if you’re doing something innovative, you know, you’re going to be, you’re gonna have to deal with rejection on a regular basis. And, you know, he’s, he’s not wrong in that, because, you know, you’re trying something new and, and there’s always a bit of resistance to that. And, you know, and also what, you know, he was talking about, you know, making the time, you know, when you’re starting something new, or you’re starting a new business, that you make the time and again, that is something that I have heard years ago, and it was in relation to training, that look, either there’s people that make the time, and then there’s people that don’t make the time. So if it’s important to you, you will make the time.
Greg Lambert 38:36
Yeah, yeah, I agree. And that’s, you know, and I think that’s one of the things we’ve learned about doing just doing this podcast is, you have to set aside the time, it’s not just something that just occur,
Marlene Gebauer 38:46
right. It’s not, it doesn’t magically happen.
Greg Lambert 38:49
Yeah. And I know I wished it was Yeah. But yeah, that’s that’s how it is so well. It was a pleasure having Adam Pascarella from second order Capital Management and excited for his new book that was just just released called reversed in part 15 law school grads on pursuing non traditional careers. So Adam, thank you very much for taking time to talk with us. That was great.
Marlene Gebauer 39:14
And of course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at gave our M on Twitter,
Greg Lambert 39:27
and I can be reached at glamour to on Twitter. Or
Marlene Gebauer 39:30
you can leave us a voicemail on The Geek in Review Hotline at 713-487-7270. And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you, Jerry.
Greg Lambert 39:42
Thanks, Jerry. All right. Marlene, I will talk with you later.
Marlene Gebauer 39:45
All right, bye bye.