If Tanya Acker’s voice sounds familiar on this week’s Legal Speak podcast, you may have caught her on the CBS syndicated TV show Hot Bench, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin. Yep, that Judge Judy.

A 1995 Yale Law School graduate, Acker was a litigator at a number of major law firms, including Williams & Connolly, O’Melveny & Myer and Irell & Manella.

Born in Los Angeles, Acker also clerked for Judge Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and she serves on the board of Public Counsel, the pro bono law firm.

These days, Acker spends much of her time in the TV studio taping Hot Bench, as a member of a three-judge panel that presides over small-claims cases, and then discusses the merits of the cases—while tape is rolling—before rendering a decision.

In this week’s episode, Acker talks about the transition from life as a high-powered litigator to a career on TV.

Acker also discusses the shortage of minorities in Big Law and how to improve the situation.

Listen to the podcast above or find us on Apple Podcasts, Google PlaySpotify or Libsyn.


Legal Speak is brought to you by Econ One, offering economic expertise, consulting and dispute resolution, and data analytics.