How does one man’s life change from that of an ambitious, optimistic law student to a despondent, addicted Big Law partner? In this week’s podcast, we explore that path with Eilene Zimmerman, the ex-wife of a Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner who died of a drug overdose about five years ago.

Zimmerman, a journalist and author of “Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction and Tragedy,” talks with Gina Passarella, editor-in-chief of Law.com affiliate The American Lawyer. As part of Law.com’s Minds Over Matters project, ZImmerman shares what she learned from her research for the book—including the industry’s dysfunctional culture that begins at the law school level and the role that clients play in Big Law’s stressful environment. She also discusses how law firms—ever so slowly—and making progress in improving the working lives of their lawyers.

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