Last week, despite a monsoon and the Stanley Cup playoffs, Above the Law hosted a well-attended cocktail reception in Chicago at the elegant Standard Club. The highlight of the evening was an Inside the Actor’s Studio-style question and answer session with our columnist Mark Herrmann, Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel of Aon, the world’s largest insurance broker, and our assistant editor, Staci Zaretsky. Mark was a hilarious and insightful interview subject.

Here are the top five takeaways from Mark and Staci’s conversation:

1. If you like to work for four months on crafting a solution of Pythagorean elegance to a complex legal problem, then you should work at a law firm.

2. If you’re able to take five minutes and gin up a workable solution that will suffice 95% of the time, then you should work in-house.

3. There’s no such thing as a draft.

4. Work should fuel your life, not be your life.

5. The best part about working in-house is that your pulse rate never goes above 60; the worst part about working in-house is that your pulse rate never goes above 60.

Once again, thank you to Mark Herrmann for his insights, to our readers for joining us, and to our friends at AccessData for sponsoring an educational and enjoyable evening.

In 2013, we’ve held events in New York, D.C., Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago. If you’d be interested in sponsoring an ATL event in your city, email Thanks.