Writing to Become a Better Lawyer: Questions and Answers with Thought Leader John Ingrassia | JD Supra Perspectives

[The latest in our ongoing series of discussions on successful thought leadership with recipients of JD Supra’s Readers’ Choice awards:]

John Ingrassia enjoys writing – he has done it his entire career – because it forces him to think more about the challenges his clients face.

A senior lawyer at Proskauer where he advises companies on foreign investment, antitrust laws and predatory pricing, John also spends time every day reading about issues to monitor lawsuits, see what his peers cover and, most importantly, stay. at the head of the developments he will need to write.

[I write] with clients and prospects in mind – to help them navigate issues … but also to demonstrate my understanding

Why did you decide to start writing?

I have been writing since the start of my practice. This is something that I have always done to provide my perspective on the issues our clients face when I have something to contribute. I am fortunate that this has been encouraged in the companies where I have been in my career. At first, of course, I would write in support others, but now that has changed – there are several people who support the writing that we do at the firm.

Throughout my career I have written with clients and prospects in mind – to help them deal with issues first and foremost, but also to demonstrate my understanding of those issues, build a thought leadership body and create a story of my work. . It’s important that the people who hire you and who might hire you see that you are an expert in your field.

I also write for secondary audiences: colleagues, other lawyers, etc. I think it’s valuable to share ideas with peers in my practice, and at the same time it helps me maintain my credibility outside of the firm.

What were your expectations when you started? How have they changed?

At first, putting my name on something was really cool! This evolved over time until I had articles, ideas and thoughts to spread, a message that I wanted to communicate to the types of clients and industries that I am trying to reach. I want my audience to know where I am on certain issues that concern them.

What inspires you to write?

I write about antitrust matters, foreign direct investment, national security reviews, and price gouging – topics that are central to my practice. I’m looking for interesting things that other people don’t seem to notice or pay much attention to. Things where I can provide a unique perspective.

I’m looking for interesting things that others don’t seem to have noticed …

I’m trying to highlight issues that are important to the people we’re trying to reach that others might not notice.

What’s your writing process?

There is a whole team of people here at the firm working to identify the topics. We look at what’s going on, the status of cases, what’s going on in the news, etc. Then we meet several times a week to think about what is important and interesting to our clients, to identify what is worth writing about that week.

I love this deliberative approach, affirmatively researching topics and then discussing and reflecting on what’s most important we should write about.

What role do the analyzes provided by JD Supra play in your content decisions?

They influence what we do. When we see that certain topics are getting more attention, we know they are of interest to our audience, so we will focus more on those types of issues.

When we see that certain topics get more attention … we will focus more on these kinds of issues.

In addition, our communications team spends time reviewing topics that are gaining ground. This information also influences our processes as we go. Analytics and data are an important part of the equation for us.

What are the benefits of writing?

For me, the biggest advantage is that writing forces you to think more about the issues. And it makes you better at what you do when you take as much time as we do to look at issues. We’re posting at a high rate here, so we’re forced to stay current not only to see what’s going on, but also what’s happening on the pike.

… makes us better lawyers because we are forced to focus on what affects our clients …

This makes us better lawyers because we are forced to look more regularly at what affects our clients. And to think of them more harshly than we would if we didn’t write about them.

What does success mean to you?

I think success means people see and react positively to our written work. It’s great when they call you – the best case is when someone reads your article and then calls you and wants to hire you. It happens from time to time, but not all the time.

Most importantly, it’s about having a body of work so that when you talk to clients or introduce new clients, they have something to do. It’s a form of your CV, if you will, quality, reliable, and believable work that people can turn to and think, “This is the person we want to talk to about this matter.” They’ve been there for a long time and they really know it.

What advice would you give to other lawyers who wish to become thought leaders?

The main thing I would say is read. I’m trying to do this. There’s a huge amount of content happening every day, and you can’t read it all – you can’t spend all day there – but you can manage it for things that are useful or interesting to your customers.

I try to read as much as I can in the morning, before the start of the day, not end to end on each article, but to stay in tune with what is going on and what is going on: what are the cases, where are the developments, what are people saying, etc. You can use it as a guide to find out what is interesting to people and what you should pay attention to and ultimately write.


John Ingrassia is Senior Counsel at Proskauer. He occupies the first place among the ten best authors of JD Supra’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards in the Antitrust & Trade Regulation category. Follow John’s latest writings here.

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