On Thursday, May 13, we unveiled Nixon Peabody’s new quarterly virtual NP Alumni conversation series, “Sparking Connections,” by hosting NP CEO and Managing Partner Stephen Zubiago. Steve discussed myriad topics in our 30 minutes together, including his 20 years at NP, his journey to his new leadership role, and how NP alumni and current attorneys can continue to collaborate on legal work and opportunities to push our industry forward.
Here are the key takeaways from our conversation:
- Reflections from first 100 days: Steve acknowledged that returning to the office has not been as simple as opening up the doors, but that the process has required a thoughtful and collaborative approach. He has learned that NP’s clients need the firm in new and different ways, and that NP can continue to attract top talent in a remote work environment, including hiring attorneys who live in locations where NP does not have an office.
- Diversity and inclusion: Steve is proud of what NP has achieved but knows there is more work ahead. Through Move the Needle, NP is helping expand business development opportunities for diverse attorneys, and developing vibrant sponsorship programs, as well as offering continual education for firm leaders on what it means to be an inclusive organization. NP is also participating in the Mansfield Rule for the fourth year, which requires that at least 30% of the candidates considered for leadership roles and for lateral partner recruiting be women, racially/ethnically diverse, or LGBTQ+. We want to collaborate with NP Alumni who are also committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Biggest changes from past five years: The firm focused on building out niche practices, including the expansion of its government investigations and white collar expansion. NP has also focused on building up its corporate practice, especially on the West Coast, and identifying the areas for growth such as opportunity zones, digital health, and cannabis.
- Virtual ≠ in-person: Now that Steve is fully vaccinated, he is looking forward to traveling so that he can visit colleagues, clients, and NP alumni in other geographies.